FAIRFIELD, Vt. (WCAX) - Most Vermonters have enjoyed the taste of maple, whether it be with syrup, a maple creemee or maple candy. But what about a maple beverage?
“We exist to create beautiful, nonalcoholic beverages,” said co-founder Roger Branon Rodriguez. “You know, as you get older, your relationship with alcohol changes over time. But you still kind of miss the ritual of you know, popping open a bottle of beer after being on the slopes all day or opening a glass of wine, nice bottle. And that was really kind of missing back a couple years ago.”
Sacré is a nonalcoholic, fermented and bourbon barrel-aged maple beverage, an experiment that began in 2018 to provide the look and feel of a liquor without the alcohol content.
It’s the brainchild of married business partners Roger and Justin Branon Rodriguez.
Justin’s mom, Cecile Branon of Branon Family Maple Orchards, had taken maple vinegar and aged it in barrels, but Justin and Roger felt like, with a little oomph, it could be taken to a whole new level.
“At the time we had just been to a wedding, it was one of Justin’s cousins. And so we had all this coffee around, they own this great coffee shop. So we had all this coffee and I was like, what about coffee? Put it together and it was kind of like a happy accident,” Roger said.
With the seeds planted, Sacré caught the attention of business innovators in London.
“When they tried Sacré, the owner of the company stood up and said who is this? Who made this? And it was kind of a showstopper,” said Roger.
It won them a prize in a contest they didn’t even enter, consultation and help with building their complex flavor profile.
“One, it’s made from Vermont maple syrup and fermented maple syrup, but we’re also a beverage that can be drank by itself. There’s no mixing required, you can just chill, shake and pour and you are set,” said Justin.
Now they’ve been featured in Rachael Ray and, most recently, the New York Times.
Though they wouldn’t share their production process with me, this funky drink is spreading like wildfire, and it began in Vermont.
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