For any discerning vodka consumer, a certain brand out of Texas has probably been spotted behind various bars or sponsoring events with increasing frequency: Deep Eddy Vodka. Though Tito’s still takes the crown as the most prominent vodka (and perhaps spirit) to come out of Texas, Deep Eddy has stormed out of Austin and onto the North American vodka scene with its unique flavors and retro-branding.
Based out of Austin, the Deep Eddy brand was the brainchild of Clayton Christopher and Chad Auler. Auler had previous experience in spirits industry, primarily with wine, and Christopher cut his teeth founding the Sweet Leaf Tea Company, which he sold to Nestle in 2011. Flush with cash and looking for an opportunity, the two teamed up and decided to bring their talents to the vodka industry.
Using a unique column still, Deep Eddy uses the finest organically grown Texas corn and combines it with natural spring water before filtering it 4 times through charcoal for a clear, smooth finish. Its namesake is the oldest swimming pool in Texas, on the National Register of Historic Places. The water for Deep Eddy comes from an artesian well in north Texas, and the corn for the vodka – which is distilled 10 times – from south Texas. With their flavored vodkas (which are actually more like infused vodkas, using natural ingredients) Texas clover honey and Imperial cane sugar are the only sweeteners. It contains no artificial colors or preservatives or high-fructose corn syrup, unlike every other sweet tea vodka on the market.
It’s their ‘Sweet Tea’ vodka that can be said to have skyrocketed the brand to bar shelves everywhere. Using Indonesian organge pekoe tea leaves, they effectively infuse their already delicious vodka with roughly 15% tea per bottle. The result is a naturally sweetened, slightly caffeinated spirit that many are hailing as the more grown up heir to the Redbull Vodka.
Much like their Sweet Tea offering, Deep Eddy also produces naturally-infused Lemon, Grapefruit, and Cranberry vodkas.
Though still based in Austin and making their vodka with the integrity their founders instilled in the company, it should be noted that in 2015 Heaven Hill Brands, one of the oldest, largest family own liquor companies in the world, purchased Deep Eddy for the undisclosed sum. With the craft spirit market being as hot as it is with both investors and customers alike, we can expect to see a lot more consolidation as the big players pick up market share, brand by brand.