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, spirits went through a striking resurrection: Hendrick’s triggered a Gin movement by adding cucumber and Bulgarian rose to the recipe. Whiskey got so popular that distillers struggle in meeting the growing demand for long-aged kinds. But since these liquors 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: 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. It is his mission to reestablish Aquavit on the drinking menu beyond holiday and digestive routines.
Refurbishment of the Aquavit Reputation
On a bike ride home Frederick wondered, 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 to demonstrate, how much joy the spirit can actually provide. The key is a distilling process with high-quality ingredients and true craftsmanship. Norwegian caraway seeds build the core flavor of VI.ER AKVAVIT. Coupled with handpicked wild plants, berries and herbs each batch gets a unique character. Unlike the frozen state in which it is commonly served, it unfolds its true taste profile on room temperature. So how does a proper Aquavit moment look like? According to Frederick it is “when you are calming down in front of a fire place, 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, 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 decided to join the Accelerace family and the Scale-up Denmark program: “I was ready for taking the next step. And this here really helps me in validating and figuring out what the next step is – really giving me the right tools to get up to the next level.” He also appreciates the structured hands-on approach of the program, that complements his intuitive way of working and getting in touch with other talented entrepreneurs.
VI.ER AKVAVIT as a category trailblazer
On an entrepreneurial journey, there are many milestones to reach: Bottling the first batch, selling the first Aquavit to a complete stranger, getting listed in the first cocktail bar. In the last years, VI.ER AKVAVIT slowly made an appearance in several drinking menus and shops all over in Denmark. And just recently it made it in the spirit selection of the 3-star Michelin Restaurant Geranium. Of course this is a great validation for Frederick: “For me this is just as much about raising awareness on an entire category. What I want to see is VI.ER AKVAVIT being a trailblazer, and then more people following and more cool brands popping up. We can help lifting it together. We really can make something cool happen within the Nordic region.”
But the Nordics are just the beginning – Frederick is ready to take over the spirit world.
Find out more about the VI.ER AKVAVIT cosmos here: http://vierakvavit.com/