Meet our partner, Chad Yakobson
From sours to aperitivos, Chad has continually been on the cutting edge of fermentation and craft beverage production. His latest project won't disappoint.
About Chad Yakobson
The founder of Crooked Stave in Denver Colorado, Chad is a pioneer in the world of sour beers and wild fermentations.
Previous to starting Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project, Chad Yakobson wrote his Master’s thesis on Brettanomyces yeast species and their use in the brewing industry. Wanting to spread the wealth of knowledge, Chad published his research as an open-source website, aimed at providing a greater understanding of Brettanomyces yeasts in the brewing industry. Through focusing on strain specific fermentations, with identification of the major compounds produced during pure culture anaerobic fermentation in wort, the application of these yeasts in the brewing industry has proliferated.
What interested Chad in Aperitivos?
Chad's experience with aperitifs was mainly from the connoisseur's side. He's been infatuated with them for years, amassing a collection upwards of 50+ aperitifs at home. A few friends of his in Oregon make Chinato and Vermouth so he had some insight into the processes, but it wasn't something he learned much about when studying Viticulture and Enology in New Zealand. Chad adds, "while aperitifs are mainly recognized in the US through various circles for their use in cocktails, they truly are amazing on their own and that is how the best should be enjoyed!" One of his favorite experiences with aperitifs was in New York at Amor y Amargo. While visiting with Sother Teague, he asked him his favorite way to enjoy aperitifs. Sother looked at Chad and said plain-as-day, "On their own, neat, just as they were intended." He made the point that aperitifs, digestives, and vermouths were all made to-be-drank neat as a stand-alone drink. None of those companies set out saying to themselves, "we'd really like to make a nice product that is blended with someone else's product." Chad says "that always stood out to me and kept me diving deeper into the aperitif category."
What has atost been up to that you’re excited about?
"It’s a great question and perfect timing really, as we are set to launch our first ever limited edition flavor here in the coming days. Kyle and Cindy have created an amazing lineup of aperitivos that include Roots, Bloom, and Citrus available year-round, but this new flavor is something else. It’s called Woods, and it drinks like a light whiskey. Kyle has been working on this for quite some time, in fact one of the first things he did when moving into the new winery is start aging a batch of our base liquid in Laws Whiskey barrels. Over the months we’ve seen a beautiful transformation in colors, aroma, and flavor – all creating a truly one of a kind aperitivo."
In Chad's words,
"Kyle and Cindy are true entrepreneurs, it's a blessing and a curse. Seeing their passion, drive, and courage is remarkable and I want to help them grow and successfully navigate the business landscape while hopefully avoiding many of the pitfalls that business owners get trapped in. Many of the mistakes that are made along the way are avoidable and seeing as I've already made most of those mistakes in the various companies I've owned, I'd like to be there for them and help them through to truly live out their vision. It's exciting partnering with Cindy and Kyle and being a part of the atōst team from the beginning. The start-up and early phases are some of the most exciting times and they get looked back on with fond memories. I look forward to where atōst is going and being a part of that story, while hopefully turning more than a few heads along the way. There is only a handful of companies in the United States making aperitifs or aperitivos and I believe this is an unexplored segment of the alcohol and beverage industry. It feels like the sky is the limit right now!"
More about atost
A spirit for the wine lover
The atost story starts in the Pressman's home: Cindy was a white wine drinker while Kyle enjoyed a nice spirit on rocks. After opening and not finishing one too many bottles of wine, the couple started exploring the world of aperitifs as a way to find a drink in the middle they could both enjoy. While falling in love with the culture and tradition of the European aperitif, they weren't fond of the liquid itself due to its intense bitterness and loads of sugar. atost was created to appeal to the modern drinker, blending the luxury of a fine wine with the quality of a craft spirit.
atost is the first ever line of American Aperitivos. We put the title American in front of our liquid due to our clear differences with European Liqueur. atost is much less bitter than traditional apertifis while containing a fraction of the sugar and putting forward more trendy and approachable flavors and ingredients. We make our base white wine in our Golden, CO facility while controlling all extractions in house utilizing Sonoma grape spirit. The freshness of our ingredients and liquid shine through on each sip.
Raise a glass
The name atost celebrates the timeless tradition of raising a glass, whether during a major celebration or a random Tuesday. We all have so much to be thankful for and giving thanks is a special tradition in our household. Our mission is to bring people together, and nothing does so better than a well crafted drink while being surrounded by those you love.