MEET AMY WALBERG – THE FOUNDER OF PRESS
When life bubbles over,
big ideas bubble up
In 2015, I was at a crossroads. I was a newly single mom doing my best to manage a full-time job in corporate marketing and my 24/7 job as parent to an infant and a lively toddler. Every mom out there understands the demands I was juggling. It was time to make some big changes. During a fateful dinner with an old friend, a new path forward was sparked by a chance comment.
Sipping on sparkling water—a habit
I picked up during my European travels—I spontaneously voiced a thought aloud. “I wish there was a little something in this seltzer,”
With two little ones at home, wine and mixed drinks were no longer in my rotation and beer didn’t pair well with my fettuccine. Hearing myself voice that wish flipped a switch. I was suddenly certain that I couldn’t be the only person looking for a modern option to traditional cocktails. My only food and beverage experience was a summer spent waiting tables, but I knew I could bring my sparkling seltzer vision to life.
I had a mission: to put my new seltzer product into the public’s hands. Specifically, I wanted to create this product for moms like me. Taking inspiration from my favorite pre-kids cocktail of choice, a vodka press, I turned my kitchen into a mixology lab. I tested creative fruit and spice combinations—influenced by my culinary travel adventures—to develop flavor profiles. Then a friend of a friend connected me with a beverage manufacturer. Suddenly, PRESS came to life and I found myself leaving my corporate job behind to bring my product to market.
If the doors are closed, climb through a window
The hard seltzer category didn’t exist when I first began pitching PRESS to distributors and retailers. Previous market attempts to sell hard soda had fizzled out, so I was met with a lot of closed doors. Besides, I’d developed a product with women like me in mind, and the alcohol industry is still a boys’ club in many regards. I was told that there just wasn’t a market for a low ABV (alcohol by volume) beverage geared toward women.
I disagreed, and hit the pavement to prove the naysayers wrong. Yes—I was “that” mom, schlepping through airports chasing my toddler with a baby and a million bags in tow. During my brand presentations, my kids sat in a corner of the conference room with coloring books. In those early days, we sampled PRESS at every store and event that would take us. Tenacity paid off. When people taste PRESS, they get it—and they love it. Today, PRESS is available in all lower 48 states. Along the way, we’ve gathered glowing media accolades, secured shelf space at major retailers, and earned a place among the top 10 brands in the category.
Elevating innovation through flavor and design
When I set out to create PRESS, I had three no-compromise goals. First, my seltzer had to be delicious. Second, the flavor profiles had to be sophisticated. Finally, for my fans committed to responsible sipping, it had to be low ABV.
We use all-natural ingredients so the true essence of the fruits and spices shines through the crisp seltzer bubbles. I create the flavors myself, guided by culinary experiences during my global travels. College ignited my curiosity about the world; throughout my 20s, I saved up a month’s worth of vacation days each year to head out and explore other countries. Those cultural adventures inspired the unique flavor profiles that set PRESS apart. We currently have nine globally influenced flavors, and an exciting list of additional flavor combinations I am eager to share with you.
We sip first with our eyes, so I wanted PRESS to look great. Our can is sleek and sophisticated. It is meant to look as gorgeous on a cocktail cart at a dinner party as it does iced at a backyard barbecue. My design intentionally challenges the stigma around moms drinking, because there’s nothing taboo about enjoying life’s celebratory moments responsibly. PRESS isn’t designed to be hidden.
I may have created PRESS from the perspective of a single mom, but I’ve learned there are lots of PRESS fans who embrace our lower alcohol content options—and they’re not all parents. We drink differently today. Whether we’re relaxing in the backyard or hiking with friends, we want to stay in the moment while we sip and fully enjoy life’s experiences.
Word has spread about our sophisticated seltzers, but we’re still a small shop. I continue to wear a lot of hats and work a few late nights—maybe more than a few! But the overwhelming support of PRESS fans makes my work a joy. I set out to create the elevated alcohol seltzer experience that I longed to have on that fateful dinner meeting years ago. The fact that so many of you enthusiastically embrace the PRESS experience with me makes this journey a delight. Life is meant to be a rich adventure. I’m looking forward to sharing new delicious adventures in flavor with you as the journey continues.