Pure Gould on what it means to be handcrafted

Line extensions, including a cognac/vodka combi weighing in at US$74, are all geared to bolster the brand’s progress Stateside after a 5% slide back in 2013, but it has to be said that the multi-million dollar Fly Beyond campaign is curiously out of sync with today’s consumers, who are really buying into the Texan ‘homespunness’ of Tito’s Handmade brew, which costs an attractive, not to say competitive, US$20 a bottle. 

Just consider the offerings on its website store, I hasten to add these are not for Ms Greer’s eyes as she would be feeling more than just nauseous. 

You can buy a VFDP (that is Vodkafordogpeople) 32oz dog water bowl on the premise that “you aren’t drinking alone if your dog is around right?”. Or a set of 12x16oz mason jar mugs, billed as “perfect for Tito’s Handmade vodka’s handcrafted cocktails (there’s that word again)”, or Tito’s Custom Copper Mug so that you can “learn to be a master and maybe one day you can take Tito on”. 

Apparently there are several folk who would like to do just that, and some are beginning to question Tito’s ‘handmade’ claim, which is not surprising if you look at the brand’s figures. 

Total volume last year was just under the 2m case mark, a colossal increase on its 200,000 case tally back in 2007.

All of which sounds very homespun and handcrafted. And way outside the production capacity of the original 16 gallon pot still. Success means that Tito’s Handmade is now produced on a 26-acre production site that boasts 10 floor-to-ceiling stills and, for however long you discuss the meaning of ‘handcrafted’, the final definition would never encompass the growing size of this operation. 

Tito has his work cut out – but in the meantime it’s all hands to the handcrafted pump.