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2017-08-03

Something’s coming for your beer

By Bev Barr BCC Editor

SALTEEZ: A revolution in the beer salt industry

SALTEEZ enters the beer-salt market to bring a new way of delivering fresh lime and salt flavor to beer. Founder Johnny Loftis and co-founder Gus Arbelaez developed the product during the past year and are using Kickstarter to raise funds to launch their business and to produce and supply their new product.

Johnny Loftis and Gus Arbelaez grew up together in the Houston area. When these best friends turned 21 and started drinking beer together, they quickly acquired a taste for adding lime and salt to their beers.
“That’s how we like it and that’s how we drink it,” Loftis said. “But you know there would always be a mess to clean up.”
Years passed, and like a lot of regular guys with families and careers, Loftis and Arbelaez continued to watch televised sports together, dressing their beers with lime and salt — and dealing with the mess.
One day about a year ago they were sitting at a bar enjoying perfectly dressed Coronas and they got to talking about the lime-salt-mess quandry.
“We said we really needed to come up with something easier and more convenient than this,” Loftis said.
“To be honest, my family cuts a lot of limes and there is always salt on the bar. It’s a mess. And going to the beach or an outdoor event means taking a knife and salt – a hassle.
"It was time for a change. So we came up with a simple, yet we think innovative solution. That was the birth of the idea.”
Within two days Loftis took to the kitchen and with the help of his wife started playing around with prototypes for a more convenient and less messy way to deliver lime and salt to a beer.
“My wife is a fantastic cook and she’s helped me out a lot,” Loftis said.
What they came up with is something that looks a bit like a stick of gum that clings to the side of a can or bottle. It’s made with natural ingredients: real lime juice and Kosher salt. The basis for the strip is dehydrated fruit puree.
“It’s 100 percent edible,” Loftis said, “although most people will probably lick the salt and lime off while drinking their beer and then just throw it away.
“We kept trying it out whenever we (Loftis and Arbelaez) got together to drink beer and watch sports — which is really often,” Loftis said. “We live less than a mile away from each other and our families are friends — we each have three kids. We kept making little changes to it — perfecting the shape, getting it to look better, getting it to taste better.”
After more brainstorming about business names and marketing possibilities, the friends decided on a business name: SALTEEZTM They are working with an attorney to manage some legal details, including filing a patent for the salt and lime to-go strips for beer.
“We finally reached a point when we realized it was time to market the product for mass production,” Loftis said. “We were using it regularly and we tested it with our customer base. They loved it.”
SALTEEZ launched a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $10,000. The campaign will end Aug. 18.
So far, the campaign has 73 backers who have pledged about 30 percent of the total goal.
A generous Kickstarter reward program has been designed to get as many pledges as necessary to raise enough startup capital to launch the SALTEEZ product.
Find SALTEEZ on Facebook or visit the Kickstarter website to learn more about the SALTEEZ campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jloftis/salteez-salt-and-lime-to-go-strips-for-your-beer .