Gray Duck Vodka celebrates its western Minnesota connection

Benson area farms produce the corn distilled by Glacial Grain Spirits

Bottles of Gray Duck handcrafted vodka signed by Chad Greenway were distributed at the annual meeting of the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company earlier this year. The company's Glacial Grain Spirits distills the vodka using corn raised by farmers in the Benson area. The company marks its first anniversary this month. Forum News Service file photo

Bottles of Gray Duck handcrafted vodka signed by Chad Greenway were distributed at the annual meeting of the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company earlier this year. The company's Glacial Grain Spirits distills the vodka using corn raised by farmers in the Benson area. The company marks its first anniversary this month. Forum News Service file photo

BENSON, Minn. — Napa Valley is not bashful about its ability to produce some of the country’s best wines, thanks to its lush vineyards.

Maybe it’s time for Benson to brag about its ability to produce one of the country’s best vodkas, thanks to the farms around it, and the distillery located in it.

Gray Duck Vodka certainly has no qualms about letting people know. The fact that the vodka is made from corn raised by farmers in western Minnesota is an integral part of the company’s marketing strategy, as is its connection to the Glacial Grain Spirits distillery owned and operated by the farmers comprising the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company in Benson.

“We don’t shy away from the fact that we have them make it. They do a great job of distilling and making a very clean and great product,” said Chad Greenway, the former Minnesota Viking and one of the partners in Gray Duck Vodka.

The company is marking its first-year anniversary this month. The year has been a whirlwind, according to Greenway. Sales have continued to grow. The company has expanded its market reach from the Twin Cities metro area and Minnesota into South Dakota, North Dakota and Iowa.

It’s also established itself as one of the country’s best vodkas. It reports that in three spirits competitions, Gray Duck has won three gold medals and never scored lower than 90 points, beating out several national vodka brands. 

For full article, go to: Park Rapids Enterprise

Source, image(s), credits & more: Park Rapids Enterprise | Tom Cherveny / Forum News Service