Ugly: A premium vodka made from imperfect apples

Karen Pham

Karen Pham


Ugly, an Australian-made vodka brand, was launched with the goal of tackling food wastage issues one bottle at a time and supporting Aussies produce farmers.

After visiting some farms and observing that up to 40 per cent of the fruit was unsellable due to aesthetics, Danny Grant, discovered a new production process and founded Ugly with his friend Mike Christidis.

“There has been plenty of trial & error as no one has tried making traditional vodka from Australian ugly apples before,” explained Grant.

“The starch extracted from apples is akin to potatoes in regular vodka. And thankfully for our soon-to-be customers, it’s not to the detriment of the quality of taste, it’s still a premium, delicious-tasting product.”

Ugly: A premium vodka made from imperfect apples
Founders of Ugly Vodka, Danny Grant and Mike Christidis

Farmers throw away a lot of “ugly” apples which end up in landfills every day, resulting in increased CO2 emissions. The vodka brand makes use of unwanted apples by distilling them five times for a smooth, crisp taste.

With the apple collected from Goulburn Valley and then distilled into vodka in Melbourne, Ugly Vodka’s product is 100 per cent Australian-made, and there will be no apple taste in the completed product. 

Untitled Group, the masterminds behind Ugly Vodka, Beyond the Valley, Pitch Music & Arts and Grapevine Gathering, and 80 proof Liquor, has also been a leader in the pre-made cocktail and shot space.

“At Untitled, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of Australian culture through our unparalleled connection to young people via our festivals and events,” said Mike Christidis from Untitled Group.

“We are always striving to implement more sustainable practices across all arms of our business, so when the idea of Ugly Vodka came up, it was a no-brainer. I look forward to music fans all across the country being able to enjoy a drink, while making a positive impact.” 

The company plans to measure its environmental impact by tracking the number of apples they save from going to waste. Their initial goal is to prevent 20 tonnes of the first batch of apples from ending up in a landfill.

Karen Pham

Karen Pham

Karen Pham is a marketing and branding enthusiast with a major in legal English. Based in Ho Chi Minh City, she is a contributor to Viable.Earth.

1 comment


Subscribe – it's free