Tau Chapter Welcomes Tito Beveridge ’81 as Guest Speaker 
Tito has a clearcut message for anyone pursuing their dream: “You’re not a loser until you quit.” Tito Beveridge is the creator and master distiller of Tito’s Handmade Vodka — now the largest liquor brand in the United States. Speaking to a packed house of Tau Chapter actives and pledges at the Kappa Sig Lodge on October 12, he recounted his many career pursuits and setbacks before discovering his talent for making vodka.
His journey included pre-med studies at Vanderbilt, roughnecking on oil rigs, earning geology and geophysics degrees from UT, starting an oil company, and running 300-man seismic crews in Venezuela and Columbia. He returned to Texas and started a drilling company in Houston, but quickly tired of “chasing the buck” and moved back to Austin, first working for the Environmental Protection Agency and then as a residential mortgage broker. 

Working in the mortgage business, he started making flavored vodka to give as Christmas presents to his friends. Enthusiastic responses from both friends and strangers who tasted his customized drink prompted him to take the leap from amateur to pro as a vodka maker. 

Potential investors, however, expressed doubt that he could get permits or a distributor, leaving him to go it alone. Their negativity didn’t stop him. He used his personal savings and 19 credit cards to put himself in business. 
He crafted a 16-gallon production still and went to work as a one-man production, sales, and marketing force. Then a pivotal moment came with an invitation to the World Spirits Competition. Too busy to attend himself, he sent a couple of bottles as entries. Not only did Tito’s vodka win first place, but it also won the double gold medal -- the unanimous choice among the judges -- beating out 72 other vodkas from around the world. 

"Keep reinventing yourself until you get it right," he told his audience. "If you make a wrong decision, then make a different one."

Tito offered some personal advice as well. "The most important decision you'll ever make is choosing the person you'll spend your life with," he said. "Choose someone who believes in you, someone who sees the glass as half full rather than half empty. It will make you or break you."
Tito’s Handmade Vodka is now sold in 156 countries around the world. Tito was chosen Kappa Sigma International Man of the Year in 2017, honored not only for building a world-class vodka brand, but also for his humanitarian spirit and community support, including the Tito's Handmade Vodka for Dog People initiative to support animal welfare causes. 

Tito lives in Austin with his wife, Lori. They have three children. 
From left: Grand Procurator Harper Deloach '19, Grand Treasurer Ethan Craft '18, Hagen McMahon '67, Tito Beveridge '81, Tau Trustee Committee Chairman Bill Zwiener '73, Grand Master Jared Jong '18, and Academic Chair Tiernan Schindel '18