Hard Seltzers—essentially fruit- and spice-infused carbonated alcoholic waters—have rapidly become one of the hippest alcoholic drinks in the beverage industry. First developed in 2012 by a brand called SpikedSeltzer, consecutive years of exponential growth including the introduction of goliaths such as White Claw and Truly have brought the widespread popularity to the style. Just recently we’ve seen multiple prominent craft breweries and cideries get into the seltzer game, including a few of Minnesota’s own. I’m calling it now, 2019 is the year of the seltzer.
Brewed much like a beer, but with gluten-free ingredients, hard seltzers have earned popularity amongst not only health-conscious drinkers and those with celiac disease, but also with those who don’t like the bloating effect of malt-based beer or the stronger alcohol-content of wines and spirits. Fermented from natural, simple sugars to a high degree of attenuation, hard seltzers are low-calorie, low-carb/sugar, moderate in strength and naturally gluten-free. Pair these qualities with a refreshingly fruity, dry profile and you have yourself a solid summer sipper. Take a glance at some of our favorites!
Fair State played quite the witty April Fools prank by scheduling the release of their Hard Water Seltzers for April 1st, and then actually following through with it. Inspired by the flavors of their popular Roselle and Läctobäc sours, Fair State’s Hard Water Seltzers are fermented from dextrose and rice syrup and flavored with hibiscus + orange zest, and lemongrass ginger + lemon. Utilizing premium, natural ingredients was an important choice for the brewery to create something delicious and different. Both are dry, slightly mineral with a pop of fruit and spice.
2 Towns Seek Out Seltzers—$9.99/6pk
Oregon’s largest cidery recently decided to enter the seltzer game, differentiating themselves by using sugar sourced from 100% fruit. Having access to all those orchards sure helps! The Key Lime + Mint seltzer features tangy citrus with a touch of cool mint and drinks just like a mojito. The Pineapple + Passion Fruit seltzer is juicy, tropical and way too delicious.
The goliath of our seltzer sales, and for good reason. White Claw basically popularized the hard seltzer category and even has a strong following amongst local craft brewery workers. Not as exotic as Fair State, nor as juicy as Seek Out, White Claw is the great middle ground—quaffing and crisp with a hint of fruit.