Santa Rosa's Advanced Beverage Technologies wins North Bay Maker Award for 'best manufacturing process innovation'

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Advanced Beverage Technologies (ABT), formed in 2017, is a service company using non-traditional methods in a traditional market by developing new wine and spirit options for those who want lower alcohol by volume (ABV).

Products include wine-based non-alcoholic sparkling sangria soft drinks, low-alcohol lifestyle wines, and a premium grape vodka that includes the essence of white wine delivering the flavor, aroma and taste of the varietal it is made from.

ABT ( a holding company that includes 27-year-old ConeTech, Inc. (

ABT also developed a lower proof bourbon. The result was affordable and available bulk bourbon, rye and, soon, American Single Malt. In addition, it produced a unique Catch 2X2 bourbon whiskey, distilled and aged in Indiana and re-distilled and re-aged by ABT’s SpiriTech in Santa Rosa with 44 percent ABV, reproducing effects of a four-year aging cycle in six months, the company stated.

“The shift toward low alcohol or no alcohol beverages has spiked since 2015 and is a rapidly growing category globally,” said Debbie Novograd, deputy CEO and vice president of business development. “One of our missions is to create and innovate around this demand.”

She said ABT helped initiate a co-development project to create a quality lower alcohol, lifestyle wine produced by Truett Hurst and backed by Weight Watchers. This wine is for consumers looking for a full-flavor beverage with a third of the alcohol and calories.

Using ConeTech’s method, flavors are extracted, alcohol content is reduced and flavors are returned, leading to a lower alcohol wine. Deploying this technique, A Marlborough New Zealand sauvignon blanc and California rosé wines under the CENSE brand launched in October 2017, with 9.6 percent ABV (white) and 9 percent (red) - over 50,000 cases sold in nine months.

Five years ago, ConeTech began working with a South African distiller to develop GoLo technology, a proprietary technology that delivers quality equal to the Spinning Cone Column, but offers other efficiencies and benefits to multiple beverage industries.

“Our challenge is to discover what else we can do for flavor and alcohol management,” said Larry Wu, vice president of innovation and R&D. “We have made heavy R&D investments that have led to new market development paths for adult soft drinks, spirits, low and now alcohol wines, and equipment leasing. We are now turning our attention to low or no alcohol craft beer.”

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