AVL Beer Week 2019: Ben Colvin crafts a beverage company that’s socially and health conscious

ALTERNATIVE SIPS: With his Devil's Foot Beverage Co., Ben Colvin brews healthy craft sodas that can be enjoyed on their own or as unique cocktail mixers. Photo by Stephan Pruitt Photography

Ben Colvin is president and co-founder of Devil’s Foot Beverage. Launched in 2017 in Woodfin, the company makes handcrafted soft drinks aimed at two specific niches: a healthier, less-sweetened carbonated beverage for the nonalcoholic drinks market and a high-quality mixer for cocktails. Using what Colvin calls a “farm-to-can approach,” the company sources organic roots and fruits to make its “nonsoda soda.”

Colvin brings a socially conscious work history to his current efforts: For more than 15 years, he was involved in nonprofit organizations’ conservation efforts in the U.S., Peru and Uganda. Even in his work at for-profit companies, he gravitated toward businesses that did good by supporting nonprofits.

Devil’s Foot was successful right from its start. In the company’s first year in business, more than 100,000 cans rolled off the production line. Nearly all of the company’s drinks are put into cans. “We don’t want to compete with beer from our brewery friends’ valuable tap lines,” he says.

But Devil’s Foot beverages — there are six varieties, with more on the way — are sometimes put into kegs as well. “We keg some of our styles for specialty orders,” Colvin says. “Mostly for expecting couples who want something special and nonalcoholic.”

While Devil’s Foot’s ginger beer, lemonade, limeade and other flavors are found in many area restaurants and bars, the company is in the retail game as well. “We have expanded into many regional accounts and into the Triangle and Charlotte markets,” Colvin says. “In March 2019, we entered 21 Earth Fare stores. Retail is growing fast.”

But first and foremost, Colvin emphasizes the responsible nature of his business. “We aim for happier people and healthier communities,” he says.

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About Bill Kopp
Author, music journalist, historian, collector, and musician. His first book, "Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon," published by Rowman & Littlefield, is available now. Follow me @the_musoscribe

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