A long way from ‘Crunk’

Ep. 5: Michael Considine’s unusual path to starting NORKA Beverage

For the last couple of years, Michael Considine has been the man behind reviving the NORKA brand. An Akron native, Considine spent five years in the production and planning of energy drinks, becoming familiar with the beverage industry and specifically the efforts necessary for the revival of a brand. His professional background and a chance encounter with an old NORKA advertisement, allowed Considine the chance to add to Akron’s unique culture by returning to lost nostalgia. Considine’s love of his hometown and his understanding of the subculture of craft soda culminated in his decision to create a cane sugar-based, all natural soda that he believes worthy of the brand’s place in Akron history. His goal was to pay tribute to the city as well as create a “better for you” soda for its citizens.

Considine’s process to recreate each of NORKA’s original flavors, Root Beer, Ginger Ale, Orange and Strawberry-Cherry, required six months of development until they were perfected. For Akron-specific marketing inspiration, he looked to another Akron brand, Thirsty Dog Brewing Company. The months-long labor resulted in the carefully crafted flavors that, though different than the long-lost original recipes, will honor the NORKA brand and make Considine, a self-described Ginger Ale man, proud.

If you see Michael Considine in the wild, he’ll almost always look just like this: smiling, dressed in NORKA gear and ready to serve a couple cold NORKAs.

Despite the early success of the NORKA revival, Considine isn’t relaxing yet. He has expectations for the brand which he describes as “for and by Akron.” He hopes to open a brewery which would enable NORKA to create jobs in addition to pride in Akron. His wish is for the brand to support the city that inspired it. Considine’s love of Akron derived from the sense of community he witnessed as a lifelong Akronite. The revival of the NORKA brand is not just about the consumer trends or the growth of craft beverages; it is about bringing back something once lost to Akron, a city made up of his family and friends, and using the past to pave the way for the future. To Considine, “home is Akron and always will be Akron.”

To learn more about NORKA Beverage, visit their website at norkabeverage.com or find them on Facebook at facebook.com/NORKABeverage

This podcast is part of The Devil Strip’s reporting on small business ownership and entrepreneurship, which has been made possible with support from The Fund for Our Economic Future and the Burton D. Morgan Foundation.

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.