PAXTON, Ill. (WAND) - Founded by three farm brothers in Paxton, Illinois Silver Tree Beer & Spirits started as a hobby, now it's grown into a business that's stocking the shelves of liquor stores.
Dallas, Will and Clayton Glazik grew up on their family farm just outside Paxton. They are fifth generation farmers, their mother's family came over from Ireland in 1869. After moving over to the U.S. they decided to settle in Paxton and they've farmed the ground ever since.
"Paxton has always been home ground for us," said Dallas.
After the brothers graduated college they brainstormed ways they could continue to the agriculture lifestyle, as well as continue advancing the farm.
"We originally wanted to become a brewery, but there's a lot of craft breweries out there and so we didn't want to become saturated in the market and we enjoy spirits so we decided to go to the distillery route," Dallas explained.
Dallas said their farm already sold grains to an organic brewery in Alton, so they wanted to continue that organic spirits route.
"The whole idea for us to get started on this vodka actually came from the idea from the farm. Since we are farmers, turned distillers."
The process to start their own distillery started in 2017. Dallas said they use organic grains from the farm to create a unique vodka called, Down East.
"The original farmstead is on the west side of the farm, so every time my grandpa would say he's going to the field he would say he's going down east," Dallas explained. "So that's how we came up with the name for our Down East Vodka."
Started on family land and family support, Down East Vodka has symbolism within its logo. The Celtic Tree of Life logo ties back to the farm. Dallas said everything is connected within the branches and what they send out still comes to the roots. Even though Glazik is a Polish last name, Dallas explained the family is mostly Irish decent, so there are three Irish knots inside the tree, those three standing for the three brothers who started the company, but also, the three knots stand for mother. Which is where their Irish blood comes from.
"We are really hand growing this from the ground up so we put the seed into the ground, we put the cork on the bottle. It's not just handcrafted, it's hand grown."
Each bottle says grains grown in Paxton, Illinois and has hand-written batch number and bottle on it. Dallas said it's been a dream in the making and it's hard to believe the past three years have led up to their product being sold in over 150 locations throughout Illinois.
"(We) went from home brewing in the garage, to now with our contract we are pumping out five hundred gallons of vodka."
In addition, Dallas said their vodka is a great way to put Paxton on the map, since each bottle has the name on it.
"We are just trying to do our best by putting it (Paxton) on the map," he said. "We're not just outside of Champaign, we're a town ourselves."
The farm not only serves as organic for their spirits, but Dallas explained they have a 5 year crop rotation. Considered sequestration carbon, so they will pull it from the atmosphere and pack it back into the ground for the next crop rotation. In addition to, to separate each field, Dallas said they have pollinator patches.
Down East is sold at Paxton Variety Liquors and Benny's. For more information about the family and their products, click here.