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When the marketing team at Columbia Restaurant Group heard that Tito Beveridge would be in Tampa, they invited him to Ulele to experience the restaurant, and meet some of the employees.


The Vodka Guy. Once An Underdog; Now, Leader Of The Pack.


–by Anna Cooke


One of the very first employees of Tito’s Handmade Vodka was a dog named Dogjo. She was right by Tito Beveridge’s side when he started his distillery in 1997. It was the first legal distillery in Texas and the only crafts spirits distillery in the country, at the time.


During those early years, Tito’s Handmade Vodka was a one-man operation – from crafting and packaging to selling, delivering and dealing with paperwork. Beveridge and Jo often ate and slept at the warehouse. The 50-pound bags of dog food that Beveridge stored for Jo eventually attracted a revolving door of homeless pups, fondly called “distillery dogs.” Beveridge has always said that he makes the vodka


he likes to drink. “Since I was the guy making it, bot- tling it and selling it, I realized I couldn’t make some- thing for somebody else. It was just fortunate for me that my palate falls into the bell curve of what vodka drinkers like.”


56 THE NEW BARKER Tito’s Handmade Vodka grew and so did the number


of dogs who hung around the distillery, as Beveridge continued to feed and take care of them. Today, the distillery is home to a handful of rescued dogs, including Taki, the current resident distillery dog who eats, plays and lives there. The dogs are a constant reminder of the company’s mission to “unite with our friends, fans and partners to better the lives of pets and their families far and wide.” Following the devastating destruction that resulted


from Hurricane Harvey in 2017, it is no surprise that this dog-loving team came together to brainstorm the most effective and immediate ways to help those affected.


Taki, the current official distillery dog at Tito’s Handmade Vodka. www.TheNewBarker.com


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