How We Launched A Viral Pickle Juice To Cure Our Hangovers
Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?
Hello, my name is Harris Derner and I am the co-founder of Brine Brothers, an All-Natural Premium Brine company. I started Brine Brothers in 2016 with my friend of 25+ years, Michael Belicose. Our current products are all-natural, drinkable pickle brines; ‘Darn Good Dill’ – the classic for pickle lovers and ‘Chili Cherry Fire’ – for those who like it hot. Pickle ‘brine’ (also referred to as pickle ‘juice’) is the liquid solution that transforms cucumbers into pickles.
What makes us unique and distinguishes us from thousands of pickle companies is that we do NOT sell pickles…..just the Brine. Our product is the only all-natural pickle juice on the market. We designed our 750ml bottles to fit specifically with a shot pour making it very easy and clean to serve. Most people think they can drink the leftover juice in pickle jars, but what they don’t know is that brine is not meant for drinking. It contains a lot of preservatives and chemicals to keep the pickles fresh and can be dangerous to consume.
Our customers at home as well as bars and restaurants use our brines for Pickle Back shots, Martini Mixers, Bloody Marys, Cramp Relief, Hangover Cure, and creating their own fun pickled food creations (pickle back chicken wings).
Our company was recently featured on Barstool Sports Big Brain entrepreneur contest and won an investment from Barstool and Jon Taffer. We are currently generating over $10,000/month and are determined to make Brine Brothers a million-dollar beverage company.
See the episode here.
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What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
In 2015, when I figured out Pickle Juice was curing my hangovers, I looked everywhere to find a drinkable pickle brine, but it did not exist.
It took me a couple months to realize that pickle juice was the main reason I was not getting a hangover. When I went out and took over 3 pickle back shots, the next morning I felt great.
We invested a total of $11,000 in 2016 and had a business valuation of $200,000 3 years later.
This led me to drinking the leftover juice in pickle jars before I went to sleep after a long night out. After chugging countless pickle jars, throwing out pickles, and straining all the seeds, I searched for a drinkable pickle juice and to my amazement I couldn’t find anything.
I talked to Mike (who had just got his MBA from Haas School of Business at Cal Berkeley) about the possible endeavor and then we were on a mission to take every pickle back shot in NYC.
Fortunately, we didn’t have to go to 10,000 bars to realize they had the same problem as us. Every single bar we went to used the same unsanitary pickle juice in a plastic quart that they would usually grab off the floor. We knew we had something with our idea.
Brine Brothers started as a passion project but we always knew it was bound to catch fire.
Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.
Bringing our concept to reality was much harder than we anticipated. Neither of us had a background in the food/beverage industry but it was very helpful that we had a clear idea of the result we wanted to achieve.
After researching our market, educating ourselves on the industry, and putting together a strong business plan, we were able to face our challenges.