It was almost two years ago that we were on a hike in the Austrian Alps. If you can picture the Sound of Music, you’re on the right track. As we reached the summit, the trees parted, and we could see a hut in the distance. Exiting the hut was a young farmer, who offered us a cold glass filled to the brim with a beverage I hadn’t seen before. It looked a bit like Gatorade, but as I chugged it, I realized it was something completely different. Something much, much more refreshing.

It was pure, fresh whey. Straight from the cheese she had just made, straight from the milk of the cows that were grazing in the distance. It was the most crushable, thirst quenching drink I had ever had. That’s when I finally understood why Michael, my crazy, Austrian partner, had been incessantly talking about his favorite Austrian whey drink ever since he moved to the U.S.

Back home in Massachusetts, we continued to search for this “fresh whey,” but we couldn’t find it anywhere.

No, it’s not that whey; “whey protein.” Fresh whey is not a powder, or a smoothie, or drink meant for body-builders, but rather a natural and refreshing liquid co-product of cheese and yogurt making. In the Alps, they drink it not just because it’s thirst-quenching, but also because it is naturally packed with electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, and lactic acid, which is great for that gut. The Austrians aren’t the only ones with their wits about them, though, fresh whey is beloved in many other countries, like Switzerland, Iceland, Iran, and India. In fact, even Hippocrates, the founder of medicine, used whey to cure illnesses and prevent disease. In the US, however, the most prolific cheese producer in the world, we treat it as a waste product. Every pound of cheese yields NINE pounds of fresh whey. New England alone produces about 3.1 million gallons of whey from cheese every year. Yikes.

KUHL LLC, the makers of Superfrau, was established in Boston, Massachusetts to reduce waste in our food supply by upcycling fresh, surplus whey generated by local cheese and yogurt makers into a delicious, gut-healthful beverage. You no longer need to drink something thick or chalky to get the great benefits of milk, or something vinegary to be good to your gut. Just #drinkyourwhey.