We LOVE coffee here at the Giannuzzi Group. Cold, hot, blended, you name it. Our latest office favorite, however, is nitro brew.
Packed with just a bit more caffeine than your average cup of joe – nitro brew coffee is best when served fresh out of the tap, not on ice! The nitrogen added (more on that later) produces a creamy, stout-like effect that will have black coffee drinkers falling in love.
We got to chat with RISE Brewing Co. founder, Melissa Kalimov, about how she found herself in the coffee brewing business and what makes RISE nitro brew coffee so special. ☕❤
What is RISE and how does it differentiate from other cold brew coffee brands on the market?
The cold brew coffee space is buzzing right now, and we’ve tried to set ourselves apart in a few ways. First (in our admittedly biased opinion!) our award-winning Original Black coffee is delicious. It is rich, chocolatey, and smooth (and — organic!), and has built a very fun fan base for us. After launching our signature cold brew in kegs, we turned our attention to innovative flavors and techniques.
RISE now produces the country’s only shelf-stable, widget-can nitro cold brew, which delivers a superior cascade, taste, flavor possibilities and distribution logistics. Our creative flavors include our citrus line (Lemonade + Nitro Cold Brew Coffee and Blood Orange + Nitro Cold Brew Coffee) that are tea-like and refreshing. And — we are now working on a soon-to-launch line of unique non-dairy and dairy lattes.
Finally, our brand vibe is energetic, fun, approachable, and friendly. We love what we’re doing — and hope you’ll love it too!!
What is nitro brew coffee? Is it different than regular cold brew coffee?
Nitro cold brew coffee is cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen to give it a rich, creamy head, similar to nitro draft beer like Guinness. It creates a latte like experience without needing calories, fat, sugar or any additives. It is not only yummy — but also adds a super fun, experiential aspect to drinking coffee.
What made you decide you wanted to be in the coffee brewing business?
As our website says: We love coffee – the way it energizes us, makes us feel connected and fuels our minds. Tired of an average cup of joe, we began the search for something more. We started cold brewing in our New York City apartments.
How did you come up with the unique flavors that RISE offers consumers? Which flavor of RISE nitro brew coffee is your favorite?
Since we own our own brewery in Stamford, CT, we are able to experiment more freely than some of our competition. During the summer, our team was looking for the energy of our cold brew but wanted something that was a bit brighter and more chug-able. Our co-founders and flavor savants Jarrett and Grant suggested mixing our coffee with Lemonade. We tried the result that day and the rest is history. My personal favorite is our blood orange — but I think it’s going to change to one of our yet to launch lattes — keep checking the shop page on our website to and expect to see it live by early August!
What are your goals for impacting the beverage industry with RISE?
To us, drinks are more than just a source of hydration or nutrition. We think every time a can pops, there’s an opportunity to create a special, delicious and energizing moment — and we hope that our line of nitro products delivers across the board. We want people to #RethinkEnergy, to #risewithRISE and to make beverages exciting.
Do you have any advice for women entrepreneurs looking to get into the food and beverage space?
Starting a company is tough! For anyone! But it is also wildly rewarding.
It is hard. Expect it to be hard. Expect to work hard. Also — expect and demand fun as well (it’s necessary to have both!)
Ask for help when you need it, give help when someone else needs it…
For women — I suppose I just assume that we all deserve to be in the room and in the conversation. I know what I want to do, I know why I’m there, I know what I want to tell both investors and customers — and that is most of the battle for anyone in the workplace. I have noticed that F&B tends to be male-dominated today, but I honestly expect it to change — because why wouldn’t it?
Ask for help when you need it, give help when someone else needs it, lead by example — put in the effort, and don’t be intimidated.
Where can people purchase RISE coffee?
As of this year, you can buy direct from us online!! I’m SO excited about this — and the ability to have a direct relationship with our customers. Check us out on www.risebrewingco.com
Beyond that, our focus is the tri-state area (NY, CT, NJ) and the Pacific Northwest (OR, WA, Western Canada). We have a strong and growing retail presence at both independents and chains such as Whole Foods, Forager’s, Safeway/Albertsons, and Fairway.
We also love the office space (and the rabid fandom of our office fans!!) and serve accounts including Facebook, CAA, sweetgreen, WME, ESPN, Palantir, Apple, Lyft, Gap, and the NBA. We have also expanded in e-commerce beyond our website with partners like Jet.com, FreshDirect, FoodKick, and Amazon.
And if they wanted to get some RISE nitro brew on tap?
They can visit our website and reach out. They are also welcome to email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org! We LOVE setting up RISE on tap — and bringing joy to office coffee culture — and the general caffeinated life.
Anything else you want to let people know about when it comes to getting into the world of coffee/becoming a coffee connoisseurs?
The code “FuelYourMindwithRISE” will get you 15% off your first order of RISE on our website — check it out!! 🙂