Highlights & Takeaways
Magic Number progressed into cold brew coffee after making the ginger beer
Mixing caffeine + cannabis = hippie speedball
Episode 81 Transcript
Brendan Hanson: Welcome back to another episode of the Drips and Draughts podcast. Got a good show for you today. We’re joined by Dan Pilver again. His company, Drink Magic Number, is the company that joined us back on episode 79. They are the ones that make a THC-infused ginger beer. We actually have him back today because they’re adding to their product line. They’re adding a cannabis cold brew to their product line. So I thought it would be fun to have Dan back on the show and talk about the new product. If you’re looking for the first episode of Dan’s show, you can find that at dripsanddraughts.com/79.
I think in the show, at some point, I mentioned that it’s episode 78 but we actually released another show for episode 78 because that fell on international coffee day. So anyways, if you’re looking for part one of Dan’s show where we talk about his ginger beers, you can find that at dripsanddraughts.com/79. Today’s episode, 81, you can find by going to dripsanddraughts.com/81.
And, of course, you can always find our episodes on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play Music, or use your own podcast player. I’m using Overcast now because, thanks to Apple, their new IOS 11 update– not a big fan of the new podcast app, so switched on over to Overcast. If you’re looking for a new one, I suggest you do the same.
Another quick note, if you didn’t check out last week’s episode, we were joined by Mike Brown, the CEO of Death Wish Coffee, to talk about the recent nitro coffee recall. That was apparently a good episode because we got a lot of you reaching out to us asking about the retour process that Mike mentioned. I had questions myself, so I started looking into it. We actually lined-up a food scientist to be on an episode with us in the coming weeks here. So we got a food scientist on the show, and we will discuss the retour process and how to keep your cold brew safe.
All right, guys, that’s it for the intro. Let’s get into today’s episode with Dan Pilver from Magic Number.
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Brendan: All right. You’re listening to the Drips and Draughts podcast. Once again, we’re joined by Dan Pilver for Magic Number. How are you doing, Dan?
Dan Pilver: Great. Thanks for having me.
Brendan: Yes. Thanks for being back. Dan joined us back on episode 78 where we talked about his company, Magic Number, and their– what is it? Cannabis-infused ginger beers, right?
Dan: Cannabis-infused beverages and ginger beer is one of them.
Brendan: That episode, we focused on ginger beer. Today, we’re going to talk about coffee, cannabis-infused coffee, in addition to the ginger beer line, I guess. What made you guys want to add THC to coffee or cold brew coffee?
Dan: I’m a huge coffee fan, and I love the feeling of the two combined. I know some people refer to that cannabis as the hippie speedball. You’ve got your energy, you got your up from the coffee and the caffeine, but you’ve also got that laid-back, mellow feeling from the cannabis. I think it’s just a great combination. The two of them go really well together, I think.
Brendan: Very interesting. I was going to ask, don’t they– maybe not offset, but aren’t they fighting one another? You got the caffeine that’s just trying to get you going and then THC is, as far as I know, is trying to mellow you out. They’re not battling? It’s something that you’re looking for?
Dan: Yes [laugh]. I really enjoy it. I feel like you’ve got the energy and the attitude, I would say. It’s what the two give you. It just makes you– I feel like relaxed and happy but also full of energy at the same time. In the beverages– the coffee’s too, the effects last a few hours. If I’m looking to do something active, I think it’s just a great combination.
Brendan: Got it. What was the evolution with making your coffee drinks after the ginger beer?
Dan: We originally tried adding a sweetened condensed milk to make a Thai iced coffee but found out that it was a little bit more complicated than just adding dairy to a beverage and bubbling it. We ended up going to taking the dairy away and just– we tried a whole bunch of different coffee varieties going to the stores. One of our friends is a roaster here in Bend, Oregon as well. That’s Chris Musson with Bonsai Beans. We started talking to him as well. He was really interested in helping us make a cannabis-infused coffee as well, and so we started trying a bunch of his coffee beans that he was roasting as well.
Works out the bean that we wanted. That was the first part of it. The second, part two, was do we want to sweeten it? How much do we want to sweeten it? What does that look like as well? We do add a tiny bit of sugar to our cold brewed coffees. There’s nine grams per bottle, which is about par with a diet soda. Something to that effect.
Brendan: Okay. Got it.
Dan: We also had a lot of taste test with friends. We’d have friends come over to try the different coffee beans and the different sweetness levels as well.
Brendan: So you guys did a whole panel trying to get to dialed in on the right mix?
Dan: Exactly. And there’s a lot of fun too to have friends and family and everybody come over to the house and like, “Hey, we’re doing a coffee taste testing. Come on over this Saturday in the morning, and we’re just going to try a whole bunch of them and see what you think.” It helps get some consensus and get everybody’s favorite.
Brendan: Yes absolutely. Well, cool. With the coffee line, that’s in development or is that out right now?
Dan: It is pretty much out. The rules are complicated and always changing. It was out about a year ago. We had our cold brewed coffees available in three milligrams of THC and 10 milligrams. We ran out of time with a rule change before we were able to release our 25-milligram coffee, but we do think that’s probably going to be a pretty good seller. Right now, we are just finishing production. Actually, we bottled our first batch of 10-milligram coffees today. Expect that to be in dispensaries, at least in Bend, at the end of this week and then other parts of Oregon by the end of next week. So we’ll hopefully be in Portland and some of the other cities in Oregon by the end of next week with our coffees as well.
Brendan: Okay. Interesting. Your coffees are going to follow the same magic numbers as the ginger beer do; the three, the 10, and eventually the 25?
Dan: Exactly. You have 25 milligrams exactly per bottle.
Brendan: Nice. So when would somebody drink a cannabis-infused coffee? Is it a morning drink? Is it, “Hey, I’m getting ready for work,” or [laughs] what’s–?
Dan: For me, not usually before work or it wouldn’t be I got multiple jobs. But if I was painting all day, yes, that’s a great thing for me to do. If I was going to be doing yard work all day or gardening all day, cannabis coffee is perfect. But for me, I guess, yes, that’s a perfect way to use it. But also, for me, if I’m going skiing for the day or anything active for at least a good chunk of the day. If I’m going to go surfing, kayaking, hiking, anything where I’m going to be active, biking, for a good chunk of the day, I really enjoy the coffees for that. I think it’s great.
Because they do last longer. If I’m going to be out skiing for the day, a cannabis-infused coffee will last me a good chunk of the day at the mountain. Then actually where we live in Bend, we live 30 minutes from the ski resort and it takes 30 minutes for the beverages to kick in. It’s perfect. I could have in the way up to the mountain and as I get to the ski lift I’m like, “Oh, I’m just starting to feel it and I’m perfect.” It’s the perfect day for me, I think.
The other times I really like them as well is I guess anytime you want that energy and that attitude or feeling with the two, but if I’m going out to a concert and I want to go dancing all evening or something like that, or going to a show, I love it. You got your energy there to play on the dance floor, and dance, and listen to music, and just have a great time. I would say anything you want to be active or moving and have a few hours that you want to have that feeling for.
Brendan: Okay. In our prior episode that we recorded, we talked about your process for making ginger beer. Are you guys there doing a cold brew for this coffee?
Dan: Exactly, yes.
Brendan: Do you mind talking about your process for that a little bit? In ratios, in steeping times; that’s something that we always get asked and everybody seems to do it a little bit differently.
Dan: Exactly. Yes, that’s a great question. Our coffee is from Bodhi Leaf Coffee Traders, we use their Guatemala Antigua Hunapu coffee, and that is roasted by Bonsai Beans locally here.
Dan: We steep for about 14 hours, is generally our steeping time, and our ratio– I’m trying to think of what that is when we make the syrup or the extract.
Brendan: You guys doing pretty large batches of that?
Dan: Yes. We just made 120 gallons of cold-brewed coffee that we bottled today, which is about 1,200 bottles. I’m trying to think about what the ratio is. I can look it up as we chat.
Brendan: Or we can always add it into the show notes later. That’s not a problem.
Dan: Yes, perfect, perfect, okay.
Brendan: But you’re brewing it for about 14 hours?
Dan: Yes, give or take. We’re not super dead on to the minute and everything, and then we start that filtering process.
Brendan: Okay, same process that you’re using with your ginger beer? You’re pumping it into a bright tank and doing the mixing in one of those vessels?
Dan: Exactly. We pump it over, we filter it, pump it over to a bright tank and then put it under nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide. You do need that air to kind of force things through or to push the beverage into the bottler. Plus, nitrogen is inert and it doesn’t affect the flavor of the beverage as well.
Dan: We were hoping that the nitrogen would actually go into the bottle and diffuse into the coffee so that it could be like a nitro-coffee, but that is not the case. But it does keep the air out, does keep the oxygen out and keeps that coffee fresher longer.
Brendan: Keeps the flavor there.
Brendan: Good. Good. Cool. You mentioned drinking these before a day of yard work or when you’re getting out and being active. What are the best ways to consume it? Just straight out of the bottle? Over ice cream? Do you have any favorites?
Dan: That’s a great question too. I feel like generally, I’m a little bit on the lazy side, and so I just crack a bottle open-
Brendan: Crack the bottle.
Dan: -crack a bottle open and then just start drinking it. But if I was at home and had a minute or two. I like a little bit of cream in my coffee. I just enjoy that flavor. I guess I’m a dairy fan, sweetened condensed milk too, I love the Thai iced coffee. I know one of my good friends who loves our coffee. He loves it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it. I was like, “I guess that’s kind of similar to throwing some dairy in too.” You can have it any way you like it. You could add alcohol to it if you wanted to ass well. You could do anything with it.
It does a hint of sugar in it, we’ve got nine grams per bottle, and that’s just– it is a little bit trickier to add sugar to a cold beverage, it wants to precipitate out, so we added just a hint of sugar in there. I don’t think you’d really notice it, that sweetness in there, but it just takes a little bit of the edge off of the coffee, a tiny bit.
Brendan: Got it. Right on. It sounds fun.
Dan: Yes, I think it’s a great time. I always am excited about those days. We’re like, “Hey, we’re going to Crossmere skiing, or biking, or kayaking all day.” That’s my go-to beverage. There’s a whitewater surf park here in town, in Bend, and if I’m going to go down and surf for a while, a 10-milligram coffee is my ticket. It’s a great time.
Brendan: [chuckles] Nice, cool. Moving on into just maybe your business in general. Due to the all the laws, I know you’ve mentioned law changes, you’ve had products on the market than off the market due to just, I guess, legal restrictions. What’s your target market look like? I guess because of that– without the laws, if it was just free, what would your target market look like them?
Dan: Great question. Our target market really is anybody who appreciates a good quality beverage. It doesn’t matter their age, but somebody who does enjoy the finer things. Right now, I would say if you’re looking at beverage world in general, but also if you’re looking at the cannabis beverage world as well, it seems like you’ve got two different kind of beverages. You’ve got your really quality craft beverages with an amazing flavor or you have beverages that might be a little bit stronger in THC that might not taste very good. I think of or compare those to your top shelf alcohol versus your bottom shelf alcohol.
Brendan: Like the malt liquors that you see in the beer.
Dan: Exactly. It’s like, “I’m not– yes, if you want a Northwest IPA versus a malt liquor, you know those are just different people and different markets and have their different idea of things.” So our idea is you’re going to enjoy the whole beverage, you’re going want it, you’re going to want to have another one, not you going to take a quick sip with your nose plugged and then try to have a chaser to get it down.
That being said, there are two that, as far as the market goes, the biggest or fastest growing demographic is actually senior citizens for cannabis in general. So that’s definitely a big part of our demographic; people who have aches and pains, having a hard time sleeping, all of those things are also– cannabis is super fun, I enjoy it a lot of times recreationally or just a feeling that I get, or just that relaxation, I guess, if you relax, you can call that a medical benefit, I guess, if you want versus [inaudible 00:16:54] or something like that.
But it’s also a great for upset stomachs, for pain, for sleep. There is a lot of other uses too that I think there’re folks that are senior and a little bit older generation are just starting to find out about and a great alternative to prescription medication as well. But really, anybody who enjoys craft beverages or high-quality beverages.
Brendan: Yes, I got to say looking at some of the pictures on your Instagram page, the ginger press, you guys are using solid raw products and making a true craft beverage out of this. So yes, I got to say it looks good and I think it would be fun to try [chuckles].
Dan: I think you should try some. We’ll have to get you up here.
Brendan: I have to come visit [laughs]
Dan: Yes, exactly. Come do a field trip, exactly. Knowing that was what a big thing too we did try using other things in inferior quality products and stuffs like that, and we just could not get behind that. We just wanted the best flavor and the best quality ingredients that you could get, and that was big point of our beverages as well.
Brendan: That’s awesome.
Dan: There’s just cane sugar there is no high [unintelligible 00:18:12] or any of those kind of things, no preservatives, so it’s just quality and craft is the core of our beliefs.
Brendan: Great. so if am looking to purchase some magic number beverages, what does this look like to a consumer? What’s the price point? You guys sell bottles individually, by the case, six packs, four packs, like a lot of craft breweries do now? What’s all that look like?
Dan: So we really sell them individually at dispensaries. The ginger beers for the 3 milligram, 10 milligram and 25 milligrams, are $5, $7, and $9 per bottle. Then for coffees, the three milligram is six, six bucks, the 10 milligram is eight, and the 25 milligram is $10. We were selling with a four-pack option before October 1st of last year and we thought that was just a great way like the craft brewing industry and it’s a great way to go, but now they’ve changed the limit. Now is a six-pack. So now we do have a six pack option, but you can mix and match your bottles in the six pack as well.
Brendan: Oh, nice.
Dan: You don’t have to buy a six-pack, you can buy individual bottles and just make a six-pack together.
Brendan: Two three’s, two 10s, two 25s?
Dan: Exactly, yes, mix and match.
Brendan: I like that one. I can walk into a brewery or somewhere and mix and match, make my own six pack.
Dan: Exactly. Yes and we are hoping to be in stores in Bend or the dispensaries in Bend, Organ by Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week. We’ll start making our first deliveries from the last year and then next week we’ll be heading over to Portland, Oregon, and then Eugene and Corvallis as well. We’ll also start expanding into some of the other cities around Oregon in the next month, year as well.
Brendan: All right. And for those in the Oregon area, this week, they were recording as the week of the September 25th. This episode will probably air in early October, so it should be likely available on the shelves.
Dan: We should be on shelves in most places– all the bigger cities in Oregon. Were not on Salem yet, but we’ll see if we are by then. So we’re getting close.
Brendan: Cool. And, yes, you’ll have to keep me updated when this episode launches. We can always add links and stuff to the show notes.
Dan: Oh perfect.
Brendan: Yes, let’s stay in touch regarding that.
Brendan: Oh, cool, I think the last for the business to discuss here is your guys branding. I love you labels, I like how you guys number the bottle tops, now that I know what the mg system is. I think you guys did a great job branding there and as I was scrolling down your website, I noticed your email address firstname.lastname@example.org, I think was that pretty great.
Dan: [laughs] Yes, thanks. We’ve been really lucky, I have to give a shutout really to our graphic design. They’re friends of ours really great folks, and that’s Astir Agency here in Bend. We struggled with it for a while. I have no business doing graphic design and Alex and I were, one of business partners, we were trying to create our own graphics and coming with our ideas but then our good friends at Astir really took the rains on that.
If you look at our logo, it’s a peacock, which has some magic symbolism for some cultures and at some points in time, but also another more subtle thing to is that the five leaves of the peacock resembles those of the cannabis plants. If you look at our beverages as well, there’s nothing in there that says no cannabis besides the warning the state makes us put on there. There’s no chintzy cannabis graphics or get stoned or whatever stuff on there.
Our idea is too keep everything pretty classy on our beverage and not be in your face. I don’t think you’d really know unless you knew our beverage and our branding that somebody was having a cannabis beverage. That’s another part of our education too is just, I think, beverages are a lot more acceptable for folks if you’re sitting around a campfire or at a cookout. Everybody know beverages, everybody has beverages all the time in their hand, which are pretty easy introduction.
“I think people know that I drink alcohol all the time. I’ll try one of those. It’s in a bottle. It looks just like just my beer.” I think it’s a pretty easy or non-threatening thing, you’re not blowing smoke around or any of that kind of stuff. I feel like people have a little easier time with it than, I think, also too if someone realizes like, “Oh, you’re having a cannabis beverage,” and they may have been against cannabis at one point in time then they realize you’re not doing anything crazy, you’re not trying to, whatever, rob me or create violent acts at our cookout. I think there’s a lot of misconceptions and propaganda out there still that are incorrect but there’s a lot emotions around cannabis itself.
Brendan: Sure and it’s definitely becoming more widely accepted obviously. Bottle, like you said, your not blowing smoke in anybody’s face or– you can just have one and enjoy it yourself.
Dan: Exactly put a koozie on it and just-
Brendan: [chuckles] There you go.
Dan: -go about your business.
Brendan: You know what? I’m looking at your website now. I think this has changed since I looked at it last. As I scroll down, the bottles spins now. This is a great site.
Dan: That was just released today, I believe.
Brendan: There you go.
Dan: I wasn’t sure if it was live, now I guess it is.
Brendan: If you’re listening to this show, go check out this website drinkmagicnumber.com. You guys have great branding, I see the peacock that you’re talking about and all your bottles, different color. Great site as you scroll down this thing.
Dan: Thank you, we’re pretty excited that just getting released today. You can see the idea and then we also have the coffee on there as well if you go down below you can link on to our ginger beer versus our cold brewed coffee.
Brendan: Nice, good stuff. Cool, Dan, I think we’ve covered everything I’ve got here as far as questions. Is there anything else you might want to mention or discuss?
Dan: I think that’s it. Just going back to our education for folks new to the cannabis beverage world or edible. Start low go slow is the idea, and we’re trying to get the word out there with the whole milligram systems. Start with three to five milligrams and wait an hour and see if you want more. Enjoy it with friends or however you like. You don’t have to have them just by themselves, you can add whatever you like to it.
Brendan: Nice, I actually see that on your website as I scroll down. It says start low and slow. You got a little turtle icon here that says, “Start sober low and slow, especially if you’re new to cannabis beverages.” Something that everybody should probably consider if it is their first time with the cannabis.
Brendan: Well, good stuff. If people want to go find you guys, where can they go to do that, online or physical locations?
Dan Yes. We would do have in Canonbury, in Bend, Oregon. Unfortunately, because of the rules and everything, we’re not allowed to give tours. We were hoping we were going to be able to, but at this time were not. But if you do want to come by and say hi, we’ve got some hands there at the moment. We’ll eventually have some more stuff too. But otherwise, keep an eye on our website. We will post all the dispensaries where our beverages are carried as we add them.
Dan: That’s probably the best. And then [unintelligible 00:26:17] is another great resource as well. But right now, our website and also our social media; Instagram, Facebook. I will be posting stuff as we roll our beverages out.
Brendan: All right. That website is drinkmagicnumber.com. Your Instagram tag is?
Dan: It’s Drink Magic Number as well.
Dan: Facebook is as well.
Brendan: All the same.
Dan: All the same.
Brendan: I’ll make sure we put links to this in the show notes.
Dan: Perfect. Thank you.
Brendan: Yes, absolutely. Well cool, Dan. It’s been great having you on. I think I learned a lot. Hopefully, the listeners have as well. Hopefully, laws change in your favor here.
Dan: Yes, I hope so. I can’t wait for the future here. Thank you so much for having us. We really appreciate it. I had a great time.
Brendan: Yes, so did I. Take care.
Dan: Yes, you too. Thanks.
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Commercial: If you’re looking to start your journey with cold brew of draft coffee, check out the Ultimate Guide to Cold Brew Coffee and Serving Coffee on Draft. A free 34-page eBook offered at kegoutlet.com. You can go there through the Drips & Draughts website by going to dripsanddraughts.com/ultimateguide.
Brendan: All right. Another thanks to Dan Pilver from Drink Magic Number. If you’re looking for links or show notes from this episode, you can find those by going to dripsanddraughts.com/81. As I mentioned at the start of the show, Dan was also on episode 79. If you’re looking for that one, dripsanddraughts.com/79. Hey, and we’re always looking for guests to be on the show with us. If you’ve got any interest in being on the show, hop on over to our website and click on the Be a Guest on the Show link. Or hey, maybe you don’t want to be a guest but you have a question. Hop on over to our website, click on Ask a Question and you can record a question right from your web browser.
We try to make it easy like that. We try to cut down on the amount of email that we get. Do us a favor. If you’ve got an idea for a topic or a show, or a guest that you want to see on the show, let us know about it.
All right, last bit of business before I wrap this up. If you’re getting any value from this show, hop on over to iTunes and leave us a quick rate and review. Go follow us on social media. We’re under the handle Drips Draughts. That’s D-R-I-P-S D-R-A-U-G-H-T-S. All right, that’s it for today. Another thanks to Dan Pilver from Magic Number for joining me. I’m Brendan Hanson and we’ll see you again next week on another episode of the Drips & Draughts podcast.
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