- Husband and wife entrepreneurs Adam and Amanda Kroener want to redefine the category of hard seltzer.
- “We have a mission to go from bar to bar, backyard to backyard and consumer to consumer to convince people to try Carbliss,” says Adam.
Carbliss is a drink-ready, low ABV canned vodka cocktail available in black raspberry, cranberry, lemonade and lemon lime flavors, and it made its debut in Madison, WI in 2019. The idea for their canned cocktail which is only 100 calories a can and 5 percent ABV – came when they visited friends in Elkhart Lake, WI and they tried a hard seltzer at their friends’ urging.
“Honestly, we were not impressed with the taste, and we had just started on a low-carbohydrate, low-calorie diet, and we wanted a pleasant drink that suited our diet,” says Amanda. “We decided to experiment with vodka and different varieties at home, and we found the perfect combination of health and taste. Carbliss was born. ”
On their two-year journey, Carbliss is now distributed to retailers in eight states besides Wisconsin – Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, New Jersey and Tennessee, and the main way they promote their drink is through tasting and sampling.
“At a recent Milwaukee stop in Seltzerland, which is a national tournament competition and sampling, participants rated Carbliss as the best canned cocktail, and it was also rated as the best on-site experience at the Milwaukee event,” says Adam, adding that they went up against some of the biggest brands in the industry.
The name Carbliss, he says, not only refers to guilt-free guilt when drinking the beverage, but “it subtly alludes to the importance carbon dioxide attitude plays in our taste profile.”
“For us, it all goes back to taste and flavor,” Amanda says. “In addition to being zero sugar, zero carbohydrates and gluten-free, one of our most important competitive advantages is our lower carbon dioxide content. Having fewer bubbles was a strategic decision and it helps us pack more flavor into every single can. ”
When Carbliss first debuted on shelves in 2019, it was sold out. “Our best sampling to date was March 19, 2021 in Plymouth’s Piggly Wiggly,” says Adam. “We had an offer that if people bought four 4-packs, they would receive a set of free glasses from Carbliss. We got people to drive from more than 50 miles to the event, and in two hours we sold 144 4-packs. ”
“Six days later, Amanda gave birth to the latest addition to our family,” he adds.
Keto supporters, gluten-free supporters and calorie counters are some of their targeted consumers. “But the only thing we had never anticipated was the absolute love for Carbliss from those who have diabetes,” says Amanda. “In Wisconsin, we have a lot of Harley fans. While I was doing a sampling event on the spot, I had a guy with a Harley jacket, big beard, six feet four inches or so, giving me a giant bear hug in the middle of the bar because we were creating something he could drink , which ‘actually tastes good.’ “
Their latest flavor, passionfruit, hits just the right shelves, and later this year, Carbliss will have e-commerce offerings that will expand its availability to the rest of the United States. Since Carbliss is literally a parent and pop company, the husband and wife duo wear many hats. “Being an entrepreneur means doing it all and making it happen with anything,” Amanda says.
Their children have also become involved in the business as their 15-year-old daughter created the original can design, and their 3-year-olds favorite weekend activity helps them “count the cans, name colors and flavors, and rebuild our refrigerator so the labels face perfectly,” Says Amanda.