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How Highlander Grogg, our top flavor, got started.

If I had a dollar for every person who’s told me Highlander Grogg is their absolute favorite, well… I’d have $7. It’s certainly not because Highlander Grogg isn’t popular amongst the coffee fanatics of the world, but because I’ve only been with Berres Brothers less than a year... 

So, yeah…probably not the best analogy to use… Still, I’ve had plenty of people step closer to me at the store when I run in after work and take an exaggerated inhale trying to figure out what exactly I smell like. Once I mention Berres Brothers I usually get the “Ah, Highlander Grogg! That’s it!”

I’m still trying to decide though if I should take the “You smell delicious…” comment I received as a compliment or not… That was a little creepy, going to be totally honest. 

As with any perfect duo, there’s a reason Berres Brothers and Highlander Grogg are synonymous. I mean, they’ve been together since almost the very beginning! 

One of the things I love about Berres Brothers is the history and the stories that carry on through the years here. Pete was recently telling me the story of how Highlander Grogg originally came to be, and the evolution it’s made since it was first introduced. Listening to him I knew it was just too good not to share. So that’s what I’m doing, sharing it with you! Enjoy! (If this were a soap opera this is where the picture would get blurry and there would be harp music playing. But since it’s not, just make-believe…)

A long, long, long, long, looong time ago…okay, not that long, it was back in 1993, there was a coffee roaster from up-state New York who approached Pete and asked him if he’d ever tried a flavor called Mississippi Mud. Pete told him that he hadn’t, so this roaster sent him a sample to, well, sample. Pete said the aroma was so strong that you could smell it through the packaging when it was delivered, but he tried it and instantly loved it. They decided to make it their featured Holiday flavor for the 1993 holiday season, and it became a customer favorite immediately. Pete said people would come into the factory outlet and ask for more of it, so they kept it.

As the years went on the flavoring company that created Mississippi Mud was bought out. The new company decided to change the name to Highlander Grogg. Berres Brothers stuck with it because it was still their most popular flavor. During this time no other coffee company or roaster in the area had a flavor like it. But fast forward all these years and now there are several versions and variations out there. (Ours is still the best though. Yes, I said it.)

Several years ago, Pete was not happy with how the Highlander Grogg flavoring had changed from what it used to be, the signature flavor just wasn’t there he said. As luck would have it, when he was attending a coffee show, another coffee flavoring company came up to him and told him that two of the flavorologists who developed Mississippi Mud at the original flavor company now worked for them. Since Pete wanted to capture that original Mississippi Mud flavor again, he sent Berres Brothers’ production manager down to St. Louis (under the cover of nightfall, and in a heavy disguise so as not to alert our enemies- I mean our coffee producing peers) to work closely with their team to sample what is now our patented version of Highlander Grogg. 

Even though we have gone back to our Mississippi Mud flavor roots, we decided to keep our Highlander Grogg mascot, who is a Scottish Highlander Cow, because Pete in a kilt probably wouldn’t be the best thing to grace grocery store shelves with, and you can’t really have a mud puddle be your mascot. So, the cow it was. 

There have certainly been tweaks and changes along the way, but Highlander Grogg still embodies what the core of Berres Brothers has been since the beginning: great coffee, with great flavor, created by people who truly love what they do and strive to offer our loyal drinkers the absolute best we can provide them.


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