As part of the cold brew beverage craze that is sweeping through Southern California and parts of the Northeast, Grady’s Cold Brew has been one of the clear stand-outs in the rapidly growing movement. Co-founders Grady Laird and Dave Sands, Grady’s Cold Brew is a New Orleans-style iced coffee concentrate brewed and hand-bottled in Brooklyn, New York. The coffee is produced on an individual batch basis, in which a blend of roasted coffee and chicory is soaked in water overnight, and the grounds removed through a two-step filtration process. The remaining liquid is a concentrate that can be mixed with milk or water and served hot or cold.
Lauded as a darling of the local food movement, Grady’s has attracted a significant amount of national and local media attention, with write-ups about the coffee in consumer magazines including GQ and Bon Appetit, and coverage on ABC’s Good Morning America. It’s not just consumer publications that have been impressed by the brand. At BevNET Live Summer 2012, Grady’s won over a judges’ panel comprised of four beverage industry veterans to win the show’s New Beverage Showdown competition, taking home $10,000 in cash and prizes.
In this video segment filmed at Grady’s Cold Brew headquarters in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, BevNET founder and CEO John Craven sits down with Laird to discuss a range of topics, including the growth of cold brew beverages, and how having a home base in New York’s most eclectic borough is deeply tied to its success. Laird also addresses rapid crowding within the cold brew coffee category, and the importance of differentiation and education as a way to stand out among similarly branded products.