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‘World’s first’ protein-boosted alcoholic drink launches on the market

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3 min read
AUTHOR: Molly Long
Three cans of BUILD on a rainbow background surrounded by coconut chips and pineapple chunks

California-based hard beverage start-up Pulp Culture has launched what it is calling the world’s first protein-enriched alcoholic drink.

BUILD is the result of a partnership between Pulp Culture and The Every Company, a San Franciscan business which specialises in animal-free protein ingredients.

The drink is part of the brand’s ‘hyper functional’ Pulp Culture+ line, which features drinks that contain a range of functional ingredients beyond protein, like probiotics which are beneficial to gut health, and adaptogens that help your body respond to stress and anxiety.

Both companies use fermentation to create their products. Pulp Culture utilises spontaneous fermentation to brew its fruit juice-based drinks, a process which is led by whatever organisms happen to be in the air or on the fruit being fermented, rather than a specific microbe. Meanwhile The Every Company uses microbial fermentation to produce real animal proteins without animals.

Alongside the protein and fermented fruit juice, BUILD also contains Cordyceps – a ‘super’ mushroom strain commonly taken by athletes because of its potential anti-inflammatory properties and links to boosted exercise performance.

“BUILD is something that I’ve wished existed for years: highly bioavailable, nature-equivalent and quality animal protein – without the animal – in a wild-fermented, naturally alcoholic, zero-sugar probiotic beverage with botanical adaptogens,” said Brendan Brazier, Pulp Culture Co-Founder.

Boosting the nutrient profile of alcoholic drinks is a growing trend within the beverage industry. Earlier this year, Singapore start-up Probicient launched what it claims is the world’s first probiotic beer.

While it had been a goal for Pulp Culture to produce a protein-rich alcoholic drink for some time, the start-up struggled to find a protein ingredient that was adequately soluble, and had a neutral taste profile.

“Combining the best of both of our worlds laid the foundation for a beverage that initially seemed impossible to make – yet here it is, thanks to the transformational quality of animal-free Every Protein, and our own signature wild ferments – now made more awesome still thanks to this boost from the drink tech space,” said Mark McTavish, fellow Co-Founder of Pulp Culture.

Arturo Elizondo, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Every Company, said: “We’re incredibly excited to partner with Pulp Culture, a brand that continues to push boundaries to create new offerings for a cult following of beverage enthusiasts.

“This is a watershed moment for The Every Company, as we bring our novel animal-free animal protein to better-bev-alc to deliver the bullseye of what today’s consumers want. Move over superfoods: super bevs have arrived.”

BUILD is available to purchase from the Pulp Culture website.

Consumers are increasingly looking to include functional ingredients in their diet. Find out how experts predict this trend will develop in this upcoming Trend Panel:

Trends panel: functional foods in 2023

Thursday 15 December 2022 | 14:30 – 16:00 GMT 
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