By Katy Rogers
Beverage enthusiasts gathered at Night Shift Brewery in Everett last week to celebrate “The Summer of Real” with America’s one and only fresh squeezed carbonated beverage company, Spindrift – a Charlestown original.
Night Shift hosted Bill Creelman, founder of Spindrift, the non-alcoholic fresh fruit beverage company that humbly began in a home kitchen in Charlestown.
Creelman began experimenting with fresh fruit in seltzer water in 2009 while trying to kick his addiction to commercial brand soda.
“I had an advanced Diet Coke problem, and at the same time I had a bunch of young kids, and I was kind of questioning my soda dependency and began playing around my kitchen right in Charlestown,” he said. “I realized that when you add freshly squeezed fruit to sparkling water, it’s out of this world.”
By 2010, Creelman established his own unique brand of carbonated beverages: Spindrift.
In the meantime, Night Shift Brewing in Everett was beginning at almost the same time in 2012, and had a similar goal of using fresh and real ingredients to create their craft beers.
“We were less than a mile from one another, and there aren’t a lot of beverage companies in Boston, so the ones that are here kind of lean on each other for bottle sourcing, can sourcing, and ingredient references,” said Creelman. “[Night Shift Brewing] were really pushing the boundaries of where you can go with beer in terms of barrel aging and using fresh ingredients, so we were really doing a lot of the same things and seeing how far we could go.”
Since establishing the Spindrift brand, Creelman said the company moved to Waltham about two years ago, but were in Charlestown “for the entire founding and growth [of Spindrift]. We ultimately just grew out of our space, so that’s why we moved out,” he said.
Spindrift’s core flavors include orange mango, blackberry, lemon, and grapefruit. The company has since expanded to Vermont cranberry and fresh watermelon, and they’re always experimenting with new fresh fruit flavor combinations. All of their products use real, fresh ingredients from farmers around the United States. No artificial sugar is necessary, Creelman explains, since “using real ingredients as a base brings so much flavor and dimension to the product, that you don’t really need anything else to add to it.”
It was obvious by the line waiting outside the door at Night Shift Brewing when the venue reached full capacity early on in the evening, on July 13, that both Spindrift and Night Shift Brewing have tapped into something that really resonates with their loyal customers. Along with Night Shift’s usual array of craft beers, Spindrift provided complimentary samples of their products at their squeeze station throughout the event, where visitors were welcome to add a variety of fresh fruit to their Spindrift Seltzer.
The brand has come a long way from a Charlestown kitchen since 2010, now selling locally at the Whole Foods and Sorelle’s in Charlestown, and on a larger scale, well-known stores such as Trader Joe’s, Target, and Costco.
The company produces more than one million cases of Spindrift Seltzer per year.
“We’re just getting started really; this trend that we’re seeing in this long term decline in soda isn’t going anywhere and we believe that we have a really important role to fill in offering an alternative for that carbonated drinker,” Creelman said. “If you want a product that fits more of a healthy lifestyle, we believe we can be a great fit for you. We’ve bringing real ingredients, squeezed ingredients, to a category that’s never seen it before.”
Spindrift was excited for the celebration with Night Shift Brewing and were proud of how far each of their brands has come since their early beginnings in the Town.
“Five years ago, you wouldn’t have found the two products [that use real ingredients] and we believe that’s celebration worthy,” Creelman said. “We’re celebrating the roots of this brand, but most importantly, we’re celebrating real ingredients. We’re so grateful to this area for the inspiration and resources they’ve provided for us. We’re excited to be out here, and excited about the legacy and future of the brand.”
1. Spindrift founder Bill Creelman and Night Shift Brewing’s Co-Founder Michael Oxton behind the scenes at Night Shift Brewing in Everett on Wednesday evening, July 13. Trying to kick his addiction to Diet Coke, Creelman began experimenting with homemade seltzer water in his Charlestown kitchen about seven years ago. Now, his company produces more than one million cases of the beverage, which is sold at many major retail outlets and locally too.