Hi, hello, and welcome to the fourth edition of TapRm’s podcast and explainer series, “WTF Am I Drinking?” Each episode, we chat with one of our favorite brands and brewers to dig into a beer style, an ingredient, a brewing process, or really any topic that helps all of us beverage lovers at any level of knowledge develop both a better understanding and a better appreciation of the drink at hand. So far, we’ve learned about the piquette spritz with Ditto, we dove deep on kveik yeast with Oslo Brewing Company, and we discussed the fascinating world of delicious non-alcoholic beer with Athletic Brewing Company.
We’re so excited to be chatting about boozy tea with Owl’s Brew for this episode. We had lots of questions, like how in fact does a tea get boozy? Why is tea such an incredible base for a delightful cocktail, from flavors and aromas to creating a truly clean beverage? What, for that matter, is a truly clean beverage? Founders Jennie Ripps and Maria Littlefield gave us all the answers and so much more, from their unique journey (and passion for tea) that led to Owl’s Brew to the incredible and inspiring work that they do to make space at the table for women in the beverage alcohol industry.
This was such a fun, and frankly inspiring, conversation. We start out by learning about what dedicated tea experts and lovers Jennie and Maria are--before Owl’s Brew, they had a tea company and supplied some of New York’s hottest destinations with their tea. Along the way, they began experimenting with adding tea to cocktails, realizing that the incredible botanical, fruity, herbal, and spiced flavors and aromas of tea would seriously upgrade the imbibing experience. The public agreed, and Jennie and Maria also started creating tea cocktails for popular bars and restaurants as well as events.
The unlimited potential of tea cocktails and how people love them, plus the idea that they could create ready-to-drink cocktails truly clean, with absolutely no artificial ingredients, inspired Jennie and Maria to form Owl’s Brew. They walk us through, by the way, the ins and outs of how “natural ingredients” doesn’t have to actually mean there’s no artificial ingredients in something you see on a store shelf, and how Owl’s Brew prioritizes making their drinks literally and fully natural. Tea and fresh fruit juices provide all the flavor one could ever want here.
As they built Owl’s Brew, Jennie and Maria were struck by truly how few women they encountered in the beverage alcohol industry, especially in leadership. It inspired their Wise Women Collective and their many initiatives, events, activities, and charity and education partners geared toward making more space at the table for women.
There’s so much in this conversation we just loved learning about, and we just know you will, too. Get into it and listen here. It’s best paired with an Owl’s Brew tea, which you can find here. Plus, you can learn even more about Owl’s Brew and get updates on their initiatives and events we discuss here at their website and Instagram.