31 May VI.ER AKVAVIT reinvents the Aquavit drinking experience
Frederick-Sebastian Krause, founder of VI.ER AKVAVIT about his mission on reviving the Aquavit drinking culture and how Accelerace helped him in his journey of being a sole founder.
What’s going on in the World of Spirits?
In recent years, some spirits went through a striking resurrection: Hendrick’s triggered a Gin movement by adding cucumber and Bulgarian rose to the recipe, demonstrating a whole new layer of taste complexity. Whiskey got so popular that distillers struggle in meeting the growing demand for long-aged kinds. But since Gin, Whiskey, Rum and Vodka are now firmly established in our drinking portfolio, time is right to rediscover and appreciate something new: Aquavit – the spirit that most truly reflects the Nordic heritage. Luckily, a bold pioneer is on it, making it his mission to reestablish it on the drinking menu beyond holiday and digestive routines. Frederick-Sebastian Krause, founder of VI.ER AKVAVIT joined the Accelerace and Scale-up Denmark program in Winter 2017 and reinvents the category with his Aquavit varieties.
Refurbishment of the Aquavit Reputation
On a bike ride home Frederick started wondering, why the victory march of some old-fashioned spirit categories hasn’t reached Aquavit yet. What is it, that causes its bad dusty reputation and how can the status quo be challenged? Three months later his decision stand firm: He quit his job and set out to demonstrate, how much of a different experience the spirit can provide if it is distilled with high-quality ingredients and true craftsmanship. While Norwegian caraway seeds build the core flavor of VI.ER AKVAVIT, handpicked wild plants, berries and herbs shape the unique character of each batch. This makes it an outstanding drink that unfolds its true taste profile on room temperature – unlike the frozen state in which it is commonly served. So how does a proper Aquavit moment look like? According to Frederick it could be “when you are calming down in front of a fire place like a grandpa, instead of a gin with tonic or in a Negroni. Or you can use it on the rocks by itself, whenever.”
The perks of being a sole founder
Even though Frederick gets great support by many people throughout the production process, the whole brand VI.ER AKVAVIT is mainly a one-man-show. “Being a sole founder, you are just a lot alone with everything. You don’t have anybody to ping-pong with. You just fall down a lot. So, it’s nice to have somebody that helps you, to get up.” That is one of the reasons, Frederick chose to join the Accelerace family and the Scale-up Denmark program. “I was ready for taking the next step. And this here really helped me in validating and figuring out what the next step is going to be – really giving me the right tools to get up to the next level.”, he says. He appreciates the structured hands-on approach of the program, that complements his intuitive way of working and finds it inspiring to get in touch with other talented entrepreneurs in the program.
VI.ER AKVAVIT as a category trailblazer
With all the setbacks in mind, one has to walk through as an entrepreneur, there are many milestones to reach: Bottling the first batch, selling his first Aquavit to a complete stranger, getting listed in the first cocktail bar. In the last years, his Aquavit slowly made an appearance in several drinking menus and shops all over in Denmark. Just recently his Aquavit made it in the selection of the 3-star Michelin Restaurant Geranium, which is a great validation for him. “For me this is just as much about raising awareness on an entire category. What I would really like to see is VI.ER AKVAVIT being a trailblazer, and then more people wanting to follow and more cool brands popping up. We can help lifting it together. We really could make something cool happen within the Nordic region.” But the Nordics are just the beginning – Frederick is ready to take over the spirit world.