By: Mark Antonation | Westword
Cindy and Kyle Pressman moved to Colorado from California to launch a line of bottled vegetable and fruit superfood shots, but their minds soon turned to other beverages. The two consider themselves light social drinkers; Kyle was happy sipping whiskey and other spirits, but Cindy lamented how quickly her favorite white wines went bad after opening a bottle for just a glass or two and was bored with vodka sodas. So after much research and experimentation, they came up with Atost, which they call an American aperitivo that’s “like a spirit for wine drinkers.”
Kyle says he and Cindy both liked the idea of the French aperitif (or aperitivo, to Italians), many of which are simply poured over ice for a pre-dinner refresher. They decided to come up with their own blend of botanicals that would suit American tastes, since many European aperitifs tend to favor bitterness as the main component. While working on ideas, they met Chad Yakobson, founder of Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project. They thought his expertise on brewing and combining unusual flavors would be a great fit for Atost, so they asked if he wanted to be a part of it. “We pitched him the idea, and he was on board,” Cindy says.
Atost is more than just infused alcohol, so the Pressmans wanted an expert in fermenting and blending to get the right balance of booziness and flavor. “Chad has been an incredible mentor in fermentation, and we’ve been learning from the whole team at Crooked Stave,” Kyle adds.