By: Kendall Louis
| by Alexandra Plancarte |
“We wanted to create a butter that tasted really good,” founder of Banner Butter, Drew McBath, says. “It wasn’t optimized for shelf life; it wasn’t optimized for cost, but it is optimized for taste and texture.”
As it turns out, good business has followed good taste, as Banner Butter recently debuted at Central Market stores throughout Texas.
Drew McBath and his wife Elizabeth started churning their creation in 2014. Drew, a TCU alum, got his MBA from UT and worked in government under Governors Richards and Bush before moving into the food space. Elizabeth, a Furman University grad, runs Banner Butter’s PR and out-of-state demos while also working as a federal prosecutor.
With their artisan recipe, Banner Butter brings back traditions that were lost in other butters. The McBaths say the key to their recipe is that the butter is cultured, meaning the cream ripens for many hours, allowing good bacteria to form. The bacteria take the milk and sugars and sour them over time. After it sours, the butter is churned to taste. The cultured process brings in “naturally those sour, wonderful buttery tones and undertones,” Drew said.
Most importantly, the butter is churned in small batches, which enables the McBaths to adjust for the perfect seasoning, temperatures and acidity. The process takes 20 times longer to make than industrial scale butters, but it brings out the most of the butter taste.
The cream used in Banner Butter is sourced from Georgia farmers’ grass-fed cows, bringing healthy benefits to the consumer by increasing omega-3 fatty acids, conjugated linoleic acids, beta-carotene and vitamin E.
Drew recommends customers do simple things with the butters, where the butter will be forward in the dish. It’s designed to complement even the simplest of dishes. He says that’s where the butter will shine.
“The cinnamon cardamom butter is very nice with roasted salmon,” Drew said. “It’s super easy and it has a sugary taste; it distributes the flavor a lot.”
Banner Butter debuts different flavors throughout the year based on what’s in season, including flavors like roasted garlic with basil and parsley plus balsamic fig and caramelized onion. This winter’s flavor is dark chocolate, made with chunks of coconut throughout. A decadent flavor, it can be spread on waffles, pancakes, biscuits and even steak. Just add a scoop of dark chocolate butter over the cooked steak. “It’s fantastic,” Drew says.
The McBaths think Banner Butter can help people stop thinking of butter as a commodity. “[The butter] is something that could be beautiful and really add to our culinary lives,” Drew says. “It’s a wonderful thing, and if it is made well, then it changes the way you cook.”
Banner Butter can be purchased online or in select retailers across Texas, including Central Market locations in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio and Plano. Prices range from $6.49 for individual butters to $115 for seasonal subscriptions.
By: Kendall Louis