Norwhey Brewing is a startup in New York’s Fingers Lakes region that produces “better for you” hard seltzer using acid whey, a prolific and nutritious byproduct of Greek yogurt production.
Norwhey CEO Sam Alcaine, a researcher and assistant professor at Cornell University, and business partner Trystan Sandvoss needed capital to scale up their fermentation process and produce enough hard seltzer to demonstrate viability to co-manufacturers and retailers.
Norwhey entered the 2020 FuzeHub Commercialization Competition and won $50,000. The company used the money to do scale-up trials with Meier’s Creek Brewing in Cazenovia. Once the fermentation process proved successful, the funds supported the canning and labeling of three flavors of Norwhey Nordic Seltzer.
“Without that FuzeHub prize, we would not have been able to line up those dominoes and have them fall into place.”
The samples created with Meier’s Creek were presented to retailers, and Wegmans agreed to carry Norwhey Brewing’s products in 46 of its stores in Western NY. This opened the door for an agreement with a large beverage distributor, which has placed Norwhey Nordic Seltzer in more than 20 other locations.