Summer is fading fast — but Sail Away Coffee Coffee Co. is ensuring New Yorkers don’t fade with it. The favorite Long Island coffee brand has is putting a caffeinated twist on the hard seltzer trend. Sail Away launched a hard seltzer + cold brew infusion last month, and each 12 oz. can contains a healthy amount of fizz and as much caffeine as half of a cup of coffee.
“I always wanted to do something alcohol and coffee-based,” said Chris Vetter, founder of Sail Away Coffee Co. “It was something I felt had never been done before.”
So, he did it. There are four flavors to choose from. The ocean berry tastes like a blueberry muffin mixed with coffee. Keeping with the breakfast menu, the mimosa mixes two favorite brunch beverages, mimosas and coffee, for a taste Vetter thinks will be customers’ favorite. The piña colada is ideal for end-of-summer beach days, and the original is timeless. It’s a touch sweet but not at all fruity.
As delicious as the sippers may be to the tastebuds, something else drove Vetter’s decision to launch the product.
“It all comes down to the gut,” he said. “Is it going to be cool? Will it resonate?”
Vetter’s gut hasn’t failed him yet. He launched the brand in 2015, becoming an overnight sensation with his creamy, silky nitro brews. You can now find Sail Away coffees in more than 750 retail locations, plus New York City and Long Island restaurants.
Vetter has blended creativity with connection, something that’s been even more important during the pandemic. In late March 2020, North Fork Doughnut Company and Sail Away Coffee teamed up to deliver coffee and doughnuts to Long Island and New York City doorsteps. It was an absolute hit. They delivered about 4,000 doughnuts to more than 500 locations in the first week alone.
“We were blanketing Long Island every weekend going door-to-door,” Vetter recalled. “It created a strong bond with our consumer base. They were getting it at a time…when everything was closed down. The fact we were able to deliver them with…comfort food during a difficult time was great.”
The promotion has since ended, but Vetter hasn’t ruled out getting back together with NoFoDoCo as the temperatures dip. Anything is on the table — especially growth.
“I want to scale [Sail Away] and go national with it,” he said. “I think everyone around the country needs a taste and to have it. I feel like we’re just getting started.”