Prairie Organic Spirits was recently named the No. 1 craft vodka distillery in the country in USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards for 2018. The award is a testament to the product line’s organic and sustainable practices, as well as the distilling process they employ.
The brand is one of the many under the 106-year-old Phillips Distilling Co. label out of Princeton and was developed in 2007, with its first vodka product available to consumers in 2008.
Prairie Organic Spirits offers three handcrafted certified organic spirits: vodka, cucumber vodka and gin.
Scott Meek, Prairie Organic’s vice president of marketing said, “There’s something in there for everyone.”
The intent behind creating an organic-based spirit line was driven by consumers.
“People want more transparency,” and people want to know where the products they consume are coming from, he said.
Prairie Organic has given the people what they wanted. They use traceable products that can be linked to a family farm somewhere in Minnesota, helping to support sustainable agriculture and farming while using the least amount of resources possible.
A number of organic-based Minnesota family-owned farms provide the grain and corn needed for the products, and all use single-sourced non-GMO corn with no herbicides or pesticides so there is little to no waste in the production process. The corn cobs are turned into biofuel, helping to reduce the brand’s carbon footprint and any leftover grains are used for animal feed on local farms.
Using a copper still to distill the corn, “We use higher-quality grains which in turn creates a higher-quality product,” Meek said of the USDA certified brand, and it has paid off. “People use their wallets to vote,” he said, and over time, the brand has cemented itself as a top choice for vodka and gin connoisseurs.
Another unique part of the Prairie Organic brand is there is no predesignated number of times each batch is distilled. Instead, there is a team of trained employees called the Guardians of Prairie, who taste each batch after it has been distilled. If it doesn’t meet their requirements, they make it right until it does, distilling it as many times as necessary to meet their high standards.
“Our biggest challenge is letting people know there’s an organic option,” Meek said. He estimated organic liquor products are only about 5 percent of the market, so there isn’t a lot out there, but he asserts the Prairie Organic line offers the best organic products on the market. “You don’t get to be 106 years old in this industry without putting out great products.”
“To win the USA Today award is a great reflection of what goes on here. We’re extremely proud of it,” Meek said. “We work hard to create great-tasting vodkas and gin while at the same time improving our sustainable practices, protecting wildlife and supporting our organic farmers. This recognition by USA Today’s readers reinforces that people truly value organic and brands like Prairie Organic that work to foster positive change for our planet.”
Prairie Organic is no stranger to taking home hardware. All three of its products boast multiple awards ranging from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition to being named Food & Wine’s Best New Vodka in 2009.
The Prairie Organic line of products can be found in major retailers not only across Minnesota, but also the entire U.S. as well as in Canada, Australia and the UK.
For more information and a full list of the awards, visit https://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-craft-vodka-distillery.