The Journey from Club Maté to Maté Plus

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Mate Plus Yerba Mate canned cocktail

The Journey from Club Maté+ to Maté Plus: Struggles of Small Business Branding

We are thrilled to announce the renaming of our beloved Club Maté+ vodka cocktail! After a year of deliberation, soul-searching, calling friends and crying we finally landed on the new name for our super beloved Yerba Mate beverage. Introducing the freshly minted and invigorating Maté Plus. While this change might seem small, it represents a significant step in our journey, one that we’d love to share with you. Read on to discover the story behind this transition and how you can help us make Maté Plus the best it can be.

Confluence Club  Mate canned beverage

The Story Behind Club Maté+

Our delicious vodka cocktail, now formerly known as Club Maté+, combines the stimulating flavors of Yerba Mate, lemon, and cherry. This unique blend is unlike anything else out there. But why change a name that so many of you already love? Let's dive into the backstory.

Although Yerba Mate is a South American caffeine plant, the inspiration for our drink originates from Germany. One of Confluence's owners, Pheelan, spent a transformative period in Berlin during the early 2010s, soaking up the city's unique and vibrant culture. Berlin's modern identity was shaped by the rebellious, anti-establishment artists and punk rockers who flocked there in the 90s, creating a haven for misfits, free thinkers, and lovers of life.

Berlin’s legendary music and party scene had a profound impact on Pheelan, inspiring a lifelong connection to the city’s dynamic spirit. During her time in Berlin, Pheelan discovered ‘Club Mate’, a non-alcoholic energy drink beloved in bars and clubs across Germany. This potent blend of high caffeine and Yerba Mate, despite its strong flavor, became a staple in Berlin’s techno and hacker scenes.

When Pheelan and Ross opened Confluence Distilling, making a Club Mate - esque beverage was high on their wish list of products to launch. Anything to stop Pheelan's cravings of that bizarre Berlin energy drink. The story gets even better when fate brought them together with the awesome folks at Highline Brewing, who were already deep into the yerba mate brewing scene. With shared passions and a thirst for party, it didn’t take long for this dynamic duo to team up and create the ultimate fusion beverage: Club Maté+. It's a drink born from cravings, nostalgia, creativity, and a touch of serendipity, destined to refresh and energize any party.

The Need for a New Name

As our company grows, so do our ambitions. Our dream is to expand Confluence Distilling and its products across North America, which is where we hit a snag. The German ‘Club Mate’ brand, though not trademarked in Canada, holds a trademark in the United States. To avoid potential legal issues and ensure smooth expansion, we needed a new name for our popular cocktail.

The process to give Club Maté+ a new name began in 2023. Our team spent months brain storming up ideas that would reflect and emphasize the drink brand we were creating. We wanted a name that tied together the Berlin experience, love of dance music and the deliciously unique South American Yerba Mate.

Your Voice, Our Decision

We turned to you, our loyal customers, to help us brainstorm. Through a poll in our newsletter, fans scored various new name ideas: Tanz, Vox Pop, WAV, Ohm, T-Haus, and Club Casa. Club Casa and T-Haus tied for the most 5-point votes, with Club Casa also scoring the highest overall points. Tanz came in second, and WAV had the most middling scores. Vox Pop garnered the most comments, showing it sparked curiosity and conversation.

However, a deeper legal dive into the top names revealed potential trademark issues, bringing us back to square one. Frustration mounted as we sought a name that resonated with our brand and satisfied everyone involved.

A Simple Solution

After almost a full year of hair pulling, drinking, and sweat, blood and tears, we finally had our lightbulb moment during one of our brainstorming sessions. 

Someone half-jokingly suggested, "Why don't we just keep the Mate and turn the '+' into 'Plus'?" The knee-jerk reaction was to laugh off the suggestion. Such a simple solution wasn't a serious one... but as our brains whirred and the creative juices flowed, the idea clicked. It was a simple yet effective solution that maintained the essence of our original name and avoided any legal hurdles. As we mulled it over, the idea grew into a vision, and we got that excited feeling of potential greatness!

Thus, Maté Plus was born.

Join Us in Celebrating Maté Plus

We are excited to embrace this new name and continue sharing our unique, flavorful vodka cocktail with you. Your input has been invaluable throughout this process, and we hope you love Maté Plus as much as we do.

I don't feel like the few sentences that make up this blog quite translate the amount of mental stress load that came with rebranding this product. Club Maté+ will always hold a dear place in our hearts, but we look forward to the growth that Maté Plus will provide.

In an amazing stroke of luck, we are launching our new Maté Plus labels along side one of Calgary's greatest music festivals: SLED ISLAND. Maté Plus will be the official festival cocktail of 2024!

Stay tuned for more updates and thank you for being a part of our journey. Cheers to new beginnings with Maté Plus!

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