It seems these days that every month seems to bring with it another “next hot thing” in the alcohol industry. While some seem like a stretch (cannabis infused beer anyone?), there are other offerings that seem to really grab the public’s attention and look like they are here to stay. Hard seltzers seem to solidly fall into the latter category.
Now that full strength beer is available in both convenience and grocery stores, the arrival of this new product is going to be highly accelerated. Part of the reason is that they are red-hot across the country and that means that they will be given ample shelf space in grocery stores, and will quickly trickle over into your neighborhood liquor stores, too.
And that could be a good thing for your health and waistline. More than a quarter of Americans are looking to “consume alcohol beverages made with wellness in mind,” according to a Nielsen data report, which has inspired the creation of a new segment in the alcohol industry called “better-than” drinks. The idea is to turn out low-calorie, high-flavor drinks that offer consumers a way to drink with clearer consciences.
That’s where many brewers are betting on hard seltzers. A fermented beverage, they are gluten-free (no grains used in production), have much lower sugar content than beers (no wicked hangovers), and best of all, are low calorie (no bloated belly). In fact some of them go down so smoothly that it’s hard to believe that there’s even alcohol in them (there is; usually around 5 percent ABV).
While many of the brands you see in coolers are owned by large brewers Bon and Viv Spiked Seltzer (Budweiser), Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water (Molson Coors), Truly (Sam Adams), White Claw (Mikes Hard) and Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer (Smirnoff) there are a few smaller producers getting in on the game. One of the newest entrants into the space is Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water made by Colorado’s own Oskar Blues Brewery.
Made with the same water that they use in their other award winning beers Wild Basin seltzers come in four distinct flavors—Cucumber Peach, Melon Basil, Lemon Agave Hibiscus and Classic Lime. While they sound like they would be to sweet for the average drinker they are not. In fact the flavors are nicely balanced and do not overwhelm the drink. With only one gram of carbs and only 100 calories, they are a refreshing way to unwind after a session at the local crag or a day on the slopes. Toss in a shot of vodka and you have a nice cocktail to start the evening off with.
While hard seltzers don’t offer the wide array of flavors and tastes that you local craft brewery can put in a can, they are a nice way to unwind without worrying about what you might be doing to your diet, or those pesky New Years resolutions.