Two Cathedral Prep graduates are moving forward with a company they started working on while in college during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It's a beverage business, with a unique twist, and it even captured the attention of Late Night Talk Show host Jimmy Fallon.

It's alcohol and protein in a can.

"You need to make sure you get your protein content somehow," said Clark,  I mean you don't want to drink on an empty stomach, so there you go."

Mitch Clark always knew he wanted to start a business, so did his high school classmate from Cathedral Prep, Josh Kurczewski.

But a spiked protein beverage was not in the plans, until the pandemic forced the then students home from college. 

"The earliest days of this were in my parents house in Millcreek," said Clark. "We would buy ingredients from the grocery store, wine and spirits store, do a lot of DIY stuff and that's how it started"

Eventually, their time and efforts produced recipes to make Protochol: protein and alcohol.

Flavors range from Pina Colada, and strawberry and orange Creamsicle. They worked with a lab to turn the idea into an approvable formula

"In the early days it was just brute forcing our way around talking to every single retailer," said Clark. 

Now a distributor helps get the product into stores

Protochol can be found in about 50 different locations in the Erie area, and owners at the 9th and State Beer store have the option of selling it in a single can or in a four liter.

It's 8% alcohol and 11% protein.

"So the protein comes from Whey protein islet powder. It's very unique, it's the only alcoholic beverage that contains that to our knowledge," said Clark. "The alcohol that's in it is the same things that's in most hard setlzers."

Clark says the malt-free product is getting the attention of retailers from several other states. Even late night talk show host Jimmy Fallon recognized it.

"That's right protein and beer. I give it one week until this drink is elected mayor of the Jersey shore. Just one week," said Fallon. 

When is the best time to drink it? The creators said before a work out and before a night out.

Turning these now college graduates, into very busy entrepreneurs, as they work to build this beverage business. What's ahead?

Clark said, newer versions of the flavors that have fewer calories and a lower alcohol percentage. A fourth flavor is also in the works.

The owners may have an Instagram contest for its naming, when they figure out what that new flavor will be.