Fort Worth Distiller Turns Black-Eyed Peas Into Vodka

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Trey Nickels went from black-eyed pea farmer to vodka distiller, turning the crop into liquor inside an old Fort Worth fire house. (Published Tuesday, Jun 10, 2014)

    After years of struggling to make a profit farming his black-eyed peas, Trey Nickels decided to try something new, turning the dinner plate staple into vodka.

    "They're starchy. So I thought 'heck let's make 'em into vodka,'" said Nickels.

    Nickels sold his stake in the family farm 600 miles west of Fort Worth, and Treymark Vodka was born.

    "It just hit me, how long can I do this for? I'm putting all this money in, but I get paid maybe once a year, very little of course," said Nickels.

    Since the New year, he's raced to build a one-of-a-kind distillery inside an old Fort Worth city fire station.

    "So you can see my 22-foot vodka column, it comes up through the old fire pole area right here," he said.

    Nickels now has his distiller's license and is churning out gallons of vodka that he says, "has a nutty taste to it, also scents of apple pie."

    The question is, will it be the next big thing?

    "It reminds of when we have black-eyed peas and cabbage on New Year's day of course," said distillery consultant Sherman Owen.

    Nickels is keeping his new venture in the family, he works alongside his mother Deborah and buys the peas from his brother who is still farming in Muleshoe.

    More: TreyMark Black-Eyed Vodka