Colorado’s Great Divide Brewing Co. is expanding its business model this week to include hard seltzer. Introducing Whitewater Craft Hard Seltzer.
It’s no secret that hard seltzer continues its sales domination into 2020. As major brewing companies jump in the game, America’s craft breweries continue to expand the portfolio. Great Divide has decided it was time.
Within the week, 12 packs of Whitewater will start hitting shelves everywhere Great Divide is sold. Initially, four flavors are available at launch – Mango + Ginger, Pomegranate + Lime, Ruby Red Grapefruit, and Wild Berry.
After months of in-house ingredient mixology, Great Divide Innovation brewer and team found the perfect blend of crispness and fruit.
“The timeline to dial in the production side of Whitewater, from fermentation through flavorings, was a meticulous process that our teams deliberated over. With it being such a neutral product like a pilsner, there is nothing to mask any unwanted flavors and no room for error. The end result speaks for itself: an incredibly clean and smooth beverage with potent, natural flavors shining,” says Rau.
Great Divide Whitewater Craft Hard Seltzer will be available year-round in 12-ounce cans. Additionally, Mango + Ginger in 19.2 ounces in late March.
Style: Hard Seltzer (w/ various fruit flavors)
Availability: 12oz Cans, 19.2oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round.
Debut: Late March 2020
This week, Paso Robles, California based Firestone Walker Brewing Company has released three new IPAs, including a new edition of Luponic Distortion.
The first two IPAs – El Dorado, and Motueka, were both born in Firestone Walker’s Propagator pilot brewery in Marina Del Ray. Both pilot beers are simply named for the spotlighted hop in each IPA.
- El Dorado IPA – West Coast IPA with a next-generation hop variety from the Pacific Northwest that offers soft stone fruit flavors with notes of tropical melon and pear. (5.6% ABV)
- Motueka IPA – Hazy IPA with a New Zealand-grown hop that delivers punchy flavors of tropical fruit, white grape, and lemon zest. (5.6% ABV)
The latest Luponic Distortion IPA is the 15th entry in the ongoing series. This edition features emerging hops hand-selected by Firestone Brewmaster Matt Brynildson. Per Brynildson, Luponic Distortion #15 “offers explosive fruit flavors of kiwi, lychee, and feijoa.”
Pay attention, because where to find these IPAs gets a little complicated (and we are pretty sure this is correct):
Motueka IPA is available exclusively in Firestone Walkers ‘Crafted Thru Hops’ mixed CAN packs, alongside Mind Haze, and Union Jack.
El Dorado IPA can be found in the ‘Craft Thru Hops’ mixed BOTTLE packs, with Easy Jack IPA, Luponic #15, and Union Jack.
Luponic Distortion #15 is available in 12-ounce cans, 12-ounce bottles, and draft for a limited time.
Hops: Varied By Beer
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Limited Time Release.
Debut: Late February 2020
Atlanta’s Monday Night Brewing is officially in the hard seltzer game as of this week, with the launch of Narwater Hard Seltzer.
The creation is pretty self-explanatory. The “spiked” carbonated hard water comes in an array of fruited additions. The case of Monday Night’s Narwater Craft Hard Seltzer, the launch brings three – Mango Guava!, Grapefruit Pineapple! and Blueberry Raspberry! Each 12-ounce serving is 95 calories, 2 grams of sugar, 4.7% alcohol by volume, and gluten-free.
We are assuming the “Narwater” name is a play on Narwhal, a horned sea creature that Monday Night has doted on in the past. (Like Bryan Adams and Dinosaurs.)
Each seltzer is made with real fruit, using natural fermentation, not ethanol diluted with water.
Narwater Craft Selter is available in 12-ounce cans and draft year-round starting late February 2020.
Style: Hard Seltzer
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Year-Round
Distribution: GA, AL, TN
Debut: Late February 2020
Bell’s Brewery’s Two Hearted Ale is known epically as one of the best (if not the best) India pale ale in America. Double Two Hearted Ale, which is is basically Two Hearted turned into the hoppy Incredible Hulk, was bottled last year and brewery fans couldn’t’ get enough. Then it was revealed that the “Hearted Ale” series had a lesser-known, lovable lighter side – Light Hearted Ale.
The 110 calorie, 8.7 carb, 3.7% alcohol by volume “light” ale has been a Bell’s General Store exclusive release, showing up on social media as early as last summer.
Gearing up for a wide-scale release, Bell’s has overhauled Light Hearted’s artwork. This lighter approach to one of America’s most popular India pale ales utilizes two hops – Centennial and Galaxy.
A light IPA Success
As 2020 gets underway, this beer joins the ranks of a growing segment of lighter, lower calorie, lower alcohol by volume creations by craft brewers. The category is growing every month, but much like any India pale ale, the light IPAs are not created equal. Without naming names, some of the releases are either too thin, low flavor, or even worse – tastes like hoppy water. You might be saving the calories but you’ve also thrown flavor out the window. Bell’s solved the calorie over flavor equation, and they did it beautifully.
Light Hearted Ale is born of the same creative expertise that pushed Two Hearted Ale to elite status in American brewing. Centennial and Galaxy hops walk hand in hand through each sip, bolstered by an actual malt backbone (a term brewers hate) that his been missing in a string lactose and adjunct heavy IPAs hitting shelves coast to coast. Those looking to make a more health-conscious beer choice, look no further.
Bell’s Light Hearted Ale will be available year-round in 12-ounce cans and draft starting in late-January
Image: Beer Street Journal
The hard seltzer industry is on fire, and about to get crowded at the top. Bud Light Seltzer launches Monday.
Hard seltzer was the clear winner in the beverage industry last year. The beverage segment, now worth in excess of $1 billion, saw historic and unparalleled growth from coast to coast. While mega-brewery Anheuser Busch already has two seltzers in the market now – Natty Light Hard Seltzer and Bon & Viv, a Bud Light branded hard seltzer headed to market absolutely predictable.
We expected an official release and marketing blitz leading up to summer 2020, but Bud has opted to debut Bud Light Seltzer ahead of the Super Bowl. ABI has already spent millions on 4 minutes of commercials during the game, dedicated to both Bud Light and the new seltzer line as well as Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Pure Gold.
Four flavors will be available on Monday – Black Cherry, Lemon Lime, Strawberry, and Mango. Each can is 100 calories and 5% alcohol by volume, but unlike Truly Hard Seltzer, Bud Light’s release has 2 grams of carbohydrates per serving. All four flavors will be available in 12-ounce cans, in a 12 can variety pack, as well as 25-ounce cans. (Think convenience store purchases.)
The category leaders at the start of 2020 are White Claw, largely own by Mark Anthony Brands, and Truly Hard Seltzer (Boston Beer Company). Pabst Blue Ribbon announced its own seltzer last year at 6% ABV, as well as Four Loko which is a whopping 12% ABV.
The hard seltzer segment grew 210% over the past year, according to Nielsen data. America’s craft brewers are releasing hard seltzers at a brisk pace too, including Avery Brewing, Schlafly Brewing, NoDa Brewing, Sockeye Brewing, and Atlanta’s Scofflaw Brewing.
All four flavors of Bud Light Seltzer should be on shelves nationally by mid-January. Now we wait to see what the Seltzer Knight looks like #FizzyFizzy.
Park City, Utah’s Wasatch Brewery will have a brand new look this November. A full brand refresh debuts after Halloween.
The new-look corresponds with Utah’s change in their (still) antiquated laws surrounding alcohol by volume restrictions. As of November 1st, beer sold and convenience and grocery stores moves from 4% to 5% ABV.
Wasatch branding has moved away from painted can designs in favor of a clean, bold, colorful can design with the Wasatch name as a central focus. Per Scott Doutre, the brewery’s creative director:
“Some elements will feel like familiar reinterpretations of long-standing design icons that have been connected to the Wasatch brand for years. The new packaging is bright and attractive so it will ‘have legs and walk off the shelves’ but still have a strong connection to the brand – irreverent and with attitude.”
Additionally, Wasatch is releasing two new beers alongside the rebrand – Island Hop Tropical IPA (year-round), and Pickup Lime Sour (seasonal).
Wasatch Brewery was started in Park City in 1986 by Greg Schirf. In 2000, Wasatch merged with Squatters Craft Beer, which was founded in Salt Lake City. Their beer lineup is currently available in 20 states.
The latest seasonal from Crux Fermentation Project, Mountain Traffic is now available.
Traffic truly sucks, but we are going to assume this hoppy red ale doesn’t. Per Crux:
After a fun day in the mountains, nothing sounds more satisfying than sharing a refreshing pint. And while that long line of brake lights heading back into town may slow your journey towards fulfillment, this hoppy and malt-forward red ale is well worth the wait – robust and bursting with rich, hop flavors and a balanced malt body this easy-drinking, apres-whatever winter refresher will have you seeing a different shade of red.
Crux Fermentation Project Mountain Traffic is available as a seasonal release in 16-ounce cans and draft.
Style: Red Ale
Availability: 16oz Cans, Draft. Seasonal Release.
Debut: October 2019
7.8% ABV, 50 IBUs
Image: Crux Fermentation Project