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.”
“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
“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.”
“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.”
ADVICE TO ENTREPRENEURS FROM THE MAN GOING FOR A THREE-PEAT
“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.
“Funny thing: the beverage business was never something we thought of getting into…”
Marlena: “Michele, Nina’s Mom had her own recipes that she created in her kitchen and everyone who ever tried them told her that she should produce them so that people everywhere could buy and enjoy them.”
Nina: “My Mom is a breast cancer survivor, and during her rehabilitation we would create our own dessert liqueurs in our kitchen as just something fun that we could do together, mainly to get her mind off of her tough recovery process.”
“The announcement of the launch of Rivulet, the brand new pecan-based artisan liqueur created by Louisville native James Marshall, culminated in a photo opportunity of Marshall placing the secret recipe in a safe deposit box at Stock Yards Bank and Trust.”
What’s not being kept under lock and key is the broad and rapid expansion of Louisville’s local beverage market in directions that are taking it on detours from the bourbon trail.
With the installation of the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience distillery and educational attraction on Main Street last year and forward motion on Angel’s Envy’s efforts to headquarter downtown, the growth of Kentucky’s signature spirit certainly isn’t slowing down. But as new names go up on the side of buildings and new stills, grains and other elements come together inside, it’s more than apparent that resources and willpower are being put into play to expand the locally-made options available behind the bar.
“Americans seem to be busier than ever. The average work day is 8.6 hours, according to Rochester, N.Y.-based Harris Interactive, and 39 percent of Americans between the ages of 19 and 36 report that they do not have enough leisure time, according to Chicago-based Mintel.”
Under these conditions, 23 percent of American adults cite a lack of energy as the main reason for their lack of productivity at work, according to a Harris Interactive poll conducted in June 2013 on behalf of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Red Bull North America Inc. For an energy boost to get them through the day, consumers often turn to beverages, including water, coffee and energy drinks, according to Red Bull’s August 2013 “Getting Energized on the Job” infographic. Ingredients in energy beverages, in particular, can help consumers boost concentration and battle workplace fatigue, it states.”
“Almost every consumer is seeking an energy boost in their daily drink intake due to busy lifestyles,” says Catherine Barry, director of marketing for the National Honey Board, Firestone, Colo. “Consumers are seeking a more nutritious day-to-day way to combat fatigue.”
“In the 1920s in Louisville, getting moonshine often meant trudging through the woods to the local still. It was highly illegal, and yet also a part of everyday life for many.”
A new moonshine distillery, which plans to open in the fall, will make it a lot easier for current Louisvillians to get their ‘shine. Derby City Shine is not only going to make moonshine available to all, it will educate about what moonshine is and how it evolved with an interactive museum and tour highlighting Kentucky’s moonshining history.