Video by Anna Auld
Special occasions call for special drinks. Choices for ultra premium vodka usually consist of Grey Goose or Belvedere. Now, a new spirit created by a CSU alum has hit the market rivalling well-known vodka brands.
Hachmeister began his vodka endeavor nearly three years ago with an idea.
Gioli hit the shelves back in January of 2012, according to Dan Hachmeister, CSU alumni and owner of Hachmeister Beverage Group LLC.
In 2012, Gioli entered the Micro Liquor Spirit Competition, for companies selling less than 50,000 cases a year. This competition is geared towards emerging distillers.
“We were awarded the gold medal and there was roughly 600 brands in that competition,” Hachmeister said.
In 2013, Gioli entered the San Francisco World Spirit Competition, the world’s most respected spirit competition.
“This year’s competition had approximately 1,400 brands,” Hachmeister said. “We were awarded a gold medal for best tasting vodka.”
Recently, Gioli has expanded into the Fort Collins market. Hachmeister began his venture to create a product that is better, for less.
“We’ve sold six (bottles) — I think the word is starting to get out,” said Joe Musa, general manager of Campus West. “We’ve only had it for about a month.”
For Hachmeister, coming back to Fort Collins is a milestone.
“For me, it’s a pretty exciting time because I was born and raised here in Colorado and I attended CSU from 2002 to 2006,” Hachmeister said. “To have it come back there and come full circle is something that’s very exciting for myself and the company.”
“Now, it’s currently available from Colorado Springs to Boulder to Fort Collins and everything in between,” Hachmeister said. “The only place we sell this vodka is in Colorado.”
The vodka is produced in Oregon and then shipped to a warehouse in Denver. From there, it is distributed state-wide.
“I could not get to the quality that we currently have with the ingredients and water source here in Colorado, so I made the decision to not sacrifice quality,” Hachmeister said.
The quality of the vodka has made it a competitor against established names, according to Zack Burley, junior liberal arts major.
“I would take Belvedere over Gioli, but Gioli is a close second” Burley said. “It’s a lot smoother than Grey Goose.”
According to Hachmeister, competing with brands such as Grey Goose and Belvedere has been one of the biggest challenges he has had to face.
“What we had to do was put people in the stores, talking to customers face to face,” Hachmeister said.
Hachmeister assembled teams within the stores to help promote his vodka by trying to sway buyers before they made a purchase.
This was part of his plan to initiate Gioli into the Fort Collins Market.
“It was my intention when I first started the company to create the best vodka on the market and be cheaper in price than most of the big name brands,” Hachmeister said.
Three years later, after two gold medals, his goal is starting to come to fruition.
“It’s as good as some of the other ultra premium vodka brands,” Musa said. “This should be Fort Collins’ number one vodka.”
Collegian Senior Reporter Lawrence Lam can be reached at email@example.com. City Beat Reporter Caitlin Curley contributed to this report.