My Gustavus: Ben Brueshoff ’05

Posted on May 27th, 2016 by

Ben Brueshoff’s premium pour vodka is made from sugar beets purchased from the nation’s largest farm cooperative in the Red River Valley. It’s distilled in New Richmond, Wis. The company is headquartered in Minneapolis. You can find the vodka in more than 200 liquor stores and restaurants throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. (Photo: Becca Sabot)

(My Gustavus profiles showcase an alum telling his or her Gustavus story.)

“The 9/11 terrorist attacks happened the fall I started, just days after freshman orientation.”

My parents are alums. They met in the Co-Ed laundry room. Growing up I heard stories about Gustavus, and I helped do some of the tornado cleanup when I was a sophomore in high school. All along, I knew Gustavus was the place that I would go.

I saw the 9/11 attacks on the TVs in the student union and thought it was a hoax. Everyone was in disbelief. I went to my first-term seminar class, and our instructor, Roland Thorstenson, helped us process it through an international lens. We just sat and talked about it—what had happened and what it could possibly mean. We were, we realized, very much a part of an increasingly global and intertwined world.

Having that small community and a connection to people is of great value when something like that happens. It turned everybody closer, to people we had only known for a week.

I majored in French and international management. It opened my mind to the great importance of culture, to appreciating differences while finding commonality. On campus I was constantly bouncing around. I was involved in Students in Free Enterprise, investment club, the student activity office tech crew, French club, Gustie Greeters, wind ensemble . . . from an entrepreneurial standpoint, it fostered my creative spirit.

There’s definitely a common element to Gustavus and my business making craft vodka. It’s all about creating a sense of community and celebrating that which drives us. There’s a pioneering spirit that we Gusties all have and share. And making vodka is an inherently social business. In all we do we’re highlighting social experiences—enjoying a drink and a moment with friends and family.

My Gustavus is about being up on the hill, removed from but very much a part of a greater community—a community within a community—a place full of energy and exuberance and creativity.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


Comments are closed.