During a date-night in 2015 at a bowling alley with limited beer selection, Aimee and I had the idea to try to flavor the beer with Crystal Light. When that failed we went on try Mio water flavoring. Another fail. At the moment we assumed there was a product on the market to flavor beer, we weren’t looking to create or invent anything. We exhausted many hours scouring the Internet in attempts to locate it. Nope! It did not exist anywhere, we couldn’t believe it!
It became my hobby-turned-obsession to figure out how to flavor a mainstream beer to taste better. For the rest of the year I purchased hundreds of flavorings from grocery stores, breweries, and online. These ingredients included liquid flavorings, dry seasonings, granulated extracts, candy oils, etc. Every night we would sit down with measuring spoons, food syringes, a few different main-stream beers, and start taste tests. We’ve made Bud Light taste like Pepto-Bismol, Busch taste like cough syrup. The worst attempt tasted like fish oil! We tracked countless horrible combinations.
Then a little bit of luck and having spent thousands on ingredients… we finally stumbled upon the right combination to make regular lager beer taste like a sweet berry-flavor. A few weeks later we found another combination that tasted great. After some time spent fine-tuning the recipe, we decided we might have something others would be interested in. With the recipes in place I then went to get legal and FDA guidance since this was my first food/beverage venture and having a huge learning curve to climb. Next came finding a blending house to make the product, then a co-packer and packaging company.
March 2, 2016, I rolled out the first public tasting of Envies Flavor Shot by way of the Southeastern Petro-Food Marketing Expo in Myrtle Beach, SC. Citrus Peel was the only flavor ready in time for the show, but the amount of positive feedback was incredible. We went on to have the other flavors packaged, holdings tastings at the Spirit Show in Charlotte, NC; SurfEXPO in Orlando, FL; and NACS in Atlanta, GA. Again, overwhelmingly positive feedback from those tastings.
During the course of these shows is when fans of the product came back to us and suggested we need to try it wine or liquor. To our surprise, Envies worked great in every adult beverage we mixed it with. What, at the time, we had dubbed Envies Beer Flavoring was then renamed to Envies Flavor Shot. Packaging designs were thrown out the window and remade to match the new-found use of Envies. We were later shown that Envies also goes well with sparkling water (S. Pellegrino) and ginger ale/ginger beer for a virgin cocktail.
A little segue though part of the backstory, December 2016, Aimee and I sold our 4 year-old monogram jewelry start-up to focus all energy on Envies Flavor Shot. The jewelry company had reached $1M in revenue with over 2,000 retailers carrying our products at the point of selling the business.
Coming full circle, at the 2017 Southeastern Petro-Food Marketing Expo we came prepared to take orders and take orders we did! Envies Flavor Shot will be available in over 30 stores in South Carolina and North Carolina in the coming months with some distribution contracts in discussion.
Terry Peterson, CEO