Last May, business partners Emily and Luke spent more than 50 hours in the kitchen, trying to create the best Bloody Mary mix. The two Bloody Mary enthusiasts never had a go-to mix they could get from the grocery store or bar, so they set out to make their own.
The mix also falls in line with Emily’s fitness passion. She has spent the past five years working in the fitness industry, so it was key that the final mix be made with natural ingredients and low in preservatives, sugar and sodium – an alternative for people who embody the clean-eating lifestyle. Emily and Luke had also noticed a trend with Bloody Marys: the “craft” had become a race to create the most outrageous concoction. It wasn’t about the drink itself, but more about making a meal out of it, with bars adding fried chicken, bacon and even sliders into the drinks. You couldn’t just have two or three Bloody Marys anymore when just one made you feel full and bloated.
Instead of going up against the trend of being the biggest and most outrageous Bloody Mary, Emily and Luke wanted to focus on making a great-tasting Bloody Mary that didn’t need a garnish to be great and also didn’t wreak havoc on your body.
In May 2015, they narrowed down the decision to two batches, one was asparagus-brine based, while the other was pickled-jalapeno brine based. In order to pick the winning mix, the two used their friends as (very lucky) guinea pigs. The mixes were brought to every social gathering over the course of the summer. When it came time to consider the feedback they received, there was a clear winner. While their friends and acquaintances loved both mix, there was a big preference toward the jalapeño mix. The concoction carried a spicy kick without the stomach issues that frequently accompany spicy foods.
Their friends loved the jalapeño mix so much that they constantly pressured Emily and Luke to bottle and sell the creation. The two were hesitant and very careful about where to showcase or sell their product. An opportunity to be a part of the three-day Grand Rapids Food and Wine Show came up and the two decided that would be the best place to test their Bloody Mary mix. The response was overwhelming and 17 cases of Brewt’s were sold on Saturday alone. During the three days, four distribution companies approached Emily and Luke to work with them.
The two decided they needed to do some research. After a lot of thought and deep digging, Emily – who splits her time between her homes in Los Angeles and Grand Rapids – quit her full-time personal trainer job to see where Brewt’s could take her. The new career venture took her back and forth between Grand Rapids and Los Angeles, and many other places in between. In February 2016, Brewt’s joined Imperial Beverage in Kalamazoo and have since added over 100 retail locations, hotels and bars that carry Brewt’s. Like the product, Brewt’s name is something that’s close to Emily and Luke’s hearts. The mix was named after Emily’s nine-year- old, four-pound Chihuahua, Brewtus, who she’s had since he was six weeks old. Emily says Brewtus has been with her through good times and bad and has accompanied her during cross-country moves and frequent travel. Emily hopes to take Brewt’s a step further and collaborate with dog shelters across the nation in order to find good homes for homeless pets.
For more information about Brewt’s Bloody Mary Mix and retail locations, please visit: http://www.brewtsmix.com/.