In 2019, White Claw (which by then had been around for three years) became the drink of summer. Es and other hard selters like Bon & Viv, Truly, and deals from Bud Light and Corona grew in popularity by combining vice with wellness – yes, those drinks were alcoholic, but also gluten-free, with low ABV and low levels. Calorie. You’d think the pandemic would thwart this trend. People drink more Retail sale of liquor has surpassed pre-pandemic levels and wellness just doesn’t seem to be the main concern when faced with the despair of another day indoors while waiting to be eligible for the vaccine.
It turns out that none of this is up to the tough Seltzer juggernaut. Both Topo Chico (now Coca-Cola owned) and Spindrift are releasing Hard Seltzer lines, and next month Cincinnati will be hosting the first ever Hard Selters Festival. Hard Selters could even be that The next in homebrewing. It’s here to stay
Topo Chico Hard Seltzer will debut in the US later this month and will be available in four flavors: Tangy Lemon Lime, Exotic Pineple, Strawberry Guava, and Tropical Mango. Spindrift too starts Spindrift Spiked in ril, in the flavors Mango, Lime, Pineple and Half & Half. Both brands have a reputation for being the Selters’ Cadillacs. Topo Chico has long been coveted by seltzer heads, and Spindrift deserves die-hard fans in the great seltzer war of 2019.
Up until now it has mostly been Hard Seltzer’s problem that you can get drunk with as little „stuff” as possible. It wasn’t about taste, it was about drinkability. However, as more and more brands hit the market, especially independent brands and those whose „soft seltzer” are considered to be more luxurious, the idea is introduced that hard seltzer is not just a tasteless remedy for alcohol. Differentiation and taste could be an aspect of why one chooses one brand over the other, how drinkers treat beer or wine. Perhaps there is even a future in which Hard Seltzer will find a home at the dining table instead of the pool.
It’s not that it’s a bad thing that Hard Seltzer is generally available to anyone who wants it. And it is likely that after this peak it will stop living in the „trending” area and just be one more option in the corner store after the market is fully saturated. Which can’t come soon enough because I’m ready for the next big thing: