SAINT JOHN– A New Brunswick entrepreneur looking to bring the craft beer experience to the wine industry will soon see his products on the shelves of New Brunswick liquor stores.
Henry Yates is the founder of Enso Beverage Company, a company that will regularly offer different kinds of wines from around the world and sell them in 250 ml cans at the liquor store. Yates told Huddle that ANBL plans to place an order with the company this month.
“The intention is that they’re going to place an order with us and then it will be our job to fulfill that order,” says Yates.
“I’m still not sure exactly how many stores we’re going to be in . . . but we’ll be in the main stores anyway.”
An ANBL spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday that an order with Enso is currently in the works. An exact date when the product will be on shelves has yet to be determined.
Much like the way many people go into the liquor store and grab new beers from craft breweries to try, Yates wants people to be able to do the same thing with wine.
“What we want to create is a bit of a treasure hunt for customers, so when they come into the liquor store, they can take away multiple cans of wine because they are smaller 250 ml cans. What we want them to be able to do is take some red, take some white, take some from France, take some from Italy and all over the place in a variety pack,” Yates told Huddle in an interview last August.
“To create more of that vibe that the craft beer has, but with wine, because right now that’s the problem. A 750 ml bottle is just not something you’re going to buy four or five of to take with you for an evening, but people will take a smaller-sized can with them.”
Enso’s wine is sourced and bought in bulk from different online wine markets. It also uses a local mobile canning company to package its beverages. Its first releases will be its “Warrior Chardonnay,” “#Bliss Pino Grigio”; “#Retreat Pinot Noir” and the “Laughing Buddha Cabernet Sauvignon.”
Enso has spent the last several months doing taste tests and special orders to individuals and restaurants, a practice Yates has put aside for now as the company gears up to make its retail debut. Once they meet the supply for ANBL, they plan to expand out of the province.
“The next thing is we want to make sure that we have the right amount of product for New Brunswick and make sure we are satisfying the needs here,” he says. “Then our next goal will be to expand to other markets.”