The San Diegans: John Huber, Tristen Cross and Stone Brewing co-founder, Greg Koch
The Goods: Small-batch, creative nutbutters
The Shop: Nutista is based in Carlsbad, but you can find the butters online at nutista.com
Local Carlsbad nutbutter company, Nutista recently celebrated their first anniversary and they’ve got a lot to celebrate.
Nutista was founded in 2017 by John Huber, Tristen Cross and Stone Brewing co-founder, Greg Koch, after the trio saw a need for an alternative to commodity nutbutters.
“Our goal is to make nutbutter much more accessible, fun and delicious,” Cross explained. “So we make innovative, nutritious flavors that have culinary flair and are super clean. They’re crafted from the very best ingredients we can find.”
Nutistas products contain no added cane sugar or palm oil and are made using a traditional stone-ground method. “We do things the hard way, but the right way,” Huber said. “Stone-grinding is a time-consuming process, but it delivers a flavor and texture that comes roaring through when you taste it. You can’t get that quality with conventional modern-day methods.”
If you’re familiar with Stone Brewing Co’s independent and innovation stance in the craft beer industry, it’ll come as no surprise to discover Greg Koch’s involvement. Koch partnered with Cross and Huber to do for mass-market nut butter, what Stone did for “fizzy yellow beer”. Koch is a longtime advocate of healthy eating and natural foods, so he felt that his partnership with Cross and Huber was a no brainer.
“I look at nutbutter with a craft brewer mentality,” Koch said. “We’re making things ourselves and creating new versions that never existed. And we’re doing it with carefully chosen ingredients, creativity, rigid adherence to quality, and a vigorous pursuit of incredible flavor.”
Today, the company has two new employees and increased their initial capacity by nearly 400%. They started with two 40-pound capacity machines and traded those in for a new pair of 150-pound capacity stone grinders. They’ve expanded from three to four year-round flavors and have launched a line of collaborative nutbutters with Stone Brewing Co. including flavors like Tangerine Express IPA, W00T Stout, Totalitarian Imperial Russian Stout, and more in the works.
“The Nutista / Stone Brewing nutbutters helped us create buzz and enabled us to connect with craft beer and Stone fans—an audience we couldn’t have reached otherwise,” Cross said.
Their year-round line includes The Mountie, made with raw cashews, sprouted almonds, dry roasted peanuts, maple granules, raw pecans, and Himalayan sea salt; The Nut Job made with raw cashews, sprouted almonds, dry roasted peanuts, raw pecans and Himalayan sea salt; and my personal favorite, The Monkey King. This classic flavor combo is made with real bananas and dry roasted Valencia peanuts. It reminds me of my grandmother’s nutty banana bread. It has the perfect amount of banana (and I mean REAL banana) and creamy-nuttiness from peanuts.
New, experimental flavors are always in the works, like the Pina Colada that features raw coconut, pineapple, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove.
These are not the grocery store PBs you grew up with.