Written on February 25, 2015.

So you have a fabulous idea for a tasty new beverage. You’ve talked to your friends and they think it would be fantastic if your drink idea could be developed into an actual product, because they’re sure that your fizzy concoction would fly off the store shelves. Well, we’ve got some good news for you. Having a great idea for a new drink is the first and most important step toward launching your own beverage brand. Now comes the hard part, actually developing the brand. This is a time-consuming process that has a lot of moving parts. You’ll need to consider financing, formulation, ingredient sourcing, package design, distribution, and more.

Have we scared you off yet? Hopefully not, because we have more good news. We can help get you started with our in-house expertise and, of course, our tried and true process.

Step 1: Collaborate and Perfect Your Idea

This is where you’ll meet with your project leader and discuss your vision for your new beverage brand. Once we get a bead on the flavor you’re shooting for, we’ll send our team of beverage architects to the lab to get started on the initial formulation. Then, we’ll bring you in for a tasting. More likely than not, you’ll want to tweak the taste so we’ll send our team back to the drawing board for some flavor revisions. We’ll repeat this process until you’re completely satisfied.

Oh, and a quick note – this is your idea, not ours. We’ll treat it with the utmost confidentiality.

Step 2: Work out a Plan

Now that your beverage formulation is done, we’ll get to work on getting you ready for production. But first, we’re going to ship you 100 units of your new formula so you can take them to investor meetings, introduce your drink idea to distributors, and get some feedback from friends, family, and neighbors.

Meanwhile, our trusty engineers will scale-up your final beverage formulation for production. This is where we take the measurements from grams and milliliters to pounds and gallons. While we’re at it, we’re going to make sure we’re meeting every regulatory requirement there is to meet. Fun stuff!

Step 3: Working out Logistics

Okay, we have a formula and it’s scaled for production. We’re almost there. Now we’re going to help you find a beverage manufacturer that’s a perfect fit for your needs and we’re going to source the ingredients you’ll need for ongoing production. We’ll also plan to be at your first production run to ensure all the wrinkles are ironed out.

Step 4: Protect the Quality

Before your product hits the market, we need to make sure that it has a shelf-life and we need to determine what that shelf-life is. How long does the color, taste, and aroma hold up over time. This is a time-consuming and intensive process, but we have to make sure your product holds up under many different conditions. Our scientists live for this step.

Step 5: Share Your Dream

Formulation? Check. Production-ready? Check. Quality assured? Double-check. It’s now time to roll out your new beverage brand and let the public taste your dreams. And, if you should ever need anything else from us, we’ll be here for you! Now that’s how to start a beverage company.

Learn how we helped Ozark Mountain Bottleworks overcome their beverage formulation challenge.


Written on January 5, 2015.

Dave Dafoe

The new year is often a time of great evolution. In a city like Louisville, change seems to be the name of the game, year on year. Neighborhoods are revitalized, new businesses thrive, old enterprises innovate and communities come together.

Louisville isn’t perfect, no place is, but there are a whole host of people and organizations in this city striving to make a difference. For the first cover story of the new-look Voice-Tribune, we’ve selected a handful of groups and individuals who have been creating positive change in Louisville for the past few years, and are working harder than ever to spur even greater progress in 2015. We’ve chosen to focus on food, community, technology and the arts. This is not a comprehensive list, merely a sampling of the thousands of Louisvillians who help catalyze change in this city, creating one of the most fun, vibrant and diverse towns in America. Keep reading

Written on January 2, 2015.

Consumers may mark the passing of 2014 with a midnight glass of bubbly, but odds are they’ll begin and end the evening with cocktails boasting a burst of cinnamon, a dash of ginger or a hint of mint. Flavored spirits grew more popular this year, and the trend is set to continue growing in 2015 with the rise of more artisan and small-batch products.

Cinnamon has been a particularly popular flavor for whiskey and other spirits this year, but ginger has been on the rise and next year is likely to bring even more ginger-flavored spirits and ready-to-drink cocktails.

“It fits in well with that savory-sweet spice trend, so if you’re going to mix it in anything else, it will provide those notes to the finished product,” said Kirsten Wemer, lab manager at Flavorman in Louisville, Ky. Her company works with clients to create new beverage recipes. “Ginger is the next cinnamon.”
Keep reading

Written on December 31, 2014.

Production coordinator Evan Floyd, right, and distillery assistant Tyler Gomez add a measured ingredient into a client’s alcoholic beverage at Flavorman’s lab.

Louisville’s Flavorman made its name as a beverage-creation consultant developing recipes for sodas, energy drinks, blended whiskeys and flavored vodkas.

As craft distilleries pop up and bourbon’s popularity grows, the mix is changing on the alcohol side of its business with newer takes on old spirits like gin, brandy and a different power drink — flavored moonshine.

As a result, Flavorman is seeing a new era of innovation, one of its chief beverage officials said.
Keep reading

Written on October 31, 2014.

A “beverage architect” who designs flavored moonshine, energy drinks and vitamin shots for a living, Cory Pierce was so taken with a co-worker’s recent Halloween cocktail that he re-created the potion back in his laboratory.

That’s how Amaretto Disaronno, The Kraken Black Spiced Rum, Kroger brand apple cider and dry ice ended up on a lab bench Monday at Flavorman, the Louisville beverage development company on Eighth Street downtown.

The resulting “Haunted Cider,” warms the throat on the way down, soothed by the sweetness of apple, almond and vanilla notes.

“It is potent,” Pierce cautioned about the concoction he drank bottled on ice this month at a housewarming party in St. Matthews. “The spices wake you up and it is good served hot or cold. It was a big hit.”

Keep reading

Written on October 23, 2014.

David Dafoe

“If you check out this week’s episode of “Shark Tank” on ABC, you’ll spot a company with Louisville ties, called BeatBox Beverages.”

BeatBox was started by a group of business students from the University of Texas at Austin. The company makes flavored wine that comes in a box shaped like a 1980s-style boom box.

Each five-liter box contains 34, five-ounce servings and comes in flavors including cranberry limeade, sweet tea, razzberry lemonade and box a’rita

Keep reading

Written on October 22, 2014.

David Dafoe

“It’s a big month for Louisville beverage developer David Dafoe.”

His downtown business, Flavorman, 809 S. Eighth St., has been highlighted in Fortune Magazine as one of the 100 fastest-growing urban businesses in America. And Friday, a product his company helped develop will be featured on the ABC television show “Shark Tank.”

Keep reading

Written on October 22, 2014.

Ozark Mountain Lemonade

“The beverage industry is a cut-throat industry that we take head-on every day. We never expected to be in this type of business, but now we love it.”

Tina: “This recipe started in our kitchen as a wine spritzer. Our children always wanted to try it because it was pretty and pink. On a trip to the ‘happiest place on earth’, we decided that this was something that is unique to the market and started brainstorming. Ozark Mountain Bottleworks was born.”

Marlena: “The project was to match Tina’s home recipe of lemonade. The original recipe included lemon juice, but since we needed to develop a soda that could be produced commercially, we had to remove the juice portion and replace it with flavor. It is not always easy to recreate the mouth feel and taste that juice incorporates.”

Keep reading

Written on October 21, 2014.

Crispin Cider


“Small companies need big personalities.”

Well, “big,” is a bit of an understatement. More like loud, in volume and presence. The guy who’s going to walk into a room, any room, and turn it upside down. How do we know? We’ve been working with him for 12 years. Joe Heron is bold, bracingly candid, sometimes coarse, and remarkably generous.

Keep reading

Written on October 13, 2014.


40,000 Flavors
1950's Flavorman
2013 Inc.redible Award Clip
The Development Process
Dumante's Story
Moonshine University and Flavorman on Discovery Channel's Moonshiners
Flavorman on Bizarre Foods' Top 5
Moon U's Colin Blake Demonstrates Making a Fall Cocktail
Watch more