The name is a symbolic nod to their slogan, “Drink wise” – a belief that even those who like to party should be able to take pride in what they put in their bodies. “People want to have a cocktail, but still want to feel good about the ingredients that they’re having,” said Maria. “We fresh-brew the tea. We use whole, real ingredients. The sugars are from cane sugar or organic agave or real fruit juice – something that your body knows how to process.”
After all, as Maria pointed out, it was high time the mixer industry caught up with shift toward premium spirits. “People are entertaining at home and want to have that craft cocktail experience… So you buy high-end vodka, but you’re still pouring cranberry juice, or a cocktail mixer with high fructose corn syrup or color dye,” she said. “We saw a huge gap there.” Factor in a booming wellness industry surrounding drinks as well as food (think $12 green juice and fancy single-origin coffee), and they had all the proof they needed that these products would find their audience.
Five years and a second line of canned beer-tea blends later, it’s clear that they were right. Owl’s Brew, once limited to specialty natural markets on the coasts, can now be found at major retailers nationwide.
Business wins notwithstanding, the most gratifying piece for the founders has been hearing how a drink can mean so much more. “One woman emailed us and said, ‘I just want you to know that you’ve changed my life! I never liked beer before, and I can finally have a beer with my husband at night,’” said Maria. “She felt like she was part of the moment now, with something she actually enjoyed. Another lady was like, ‘I love your products so much I shower with it every night. It’s my new shower beer.’ Stuff like that makes you feel really good about what you’re doing.”