SweetWater Brewing Company, Georgia’s largest craft brewery made changes over the past few years. After the laws in Georgia changed to allow for the direct sale of beer to customers, the brewery ripped out their current taproom and added an in-house restaurant.
Additionally, SweetWater all-stars 420 Extra Pale Ale and IPA were joined by massively successful “420 Strain” series of beers filled with marijuana flavored organic terpenes. The 420 Strain “G13” IPA jumped to SweetWater’s second best-selling beer in their year-round lineup.
2020 at SweetWater is already revealing even more additions to the brewery operations, most notably a distillery. According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, SweetWater has acquired a distillery license with the state of Georgia. Currently, the brewery is located across the street from another distillery, American Spirit Whiskey on Ottley Drive.
At least two other breweries in Georgia hold distilling licenses, including Dry County Brewing in Kennesaw, and Wild Leap Brewing in LaGrange.
Also this month, SweetWater will be debuting fruited, terpene heavy hard seltzers. The marijuana-themed series of releases inspired by legacy weed strains have been extremely successful for the brewery, and with massive growth in the hard seltzer category, the brewery is marrying the two into one new product line.
Test batches of “Hydroponics” Terpene Infused Hard & Heady Seltzer have been available on tap in the brewery’s taproom over the past few weeks. Flavors include Black Cherry, Forbidden Fruit, and Lime Haze. The seltzers are 5% alcohol by volume – no confirmation of the calorie content. Category leaders White Claw and Truly are around 100 calories per serving.
SweetWater Hydroponics Hard Seltzer will be available in both cans and draft by the end of January.
Artwork subject to change.
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.
Boston Beer Company’s Truly Hard Seltzer debuted in 2016 and has been on fire ever since. The flavored seltzers are one of the top 3 selling brands in the category in America. Building off that success, Boston Beer has announced their next creation in an already explosive category – Truly Lemonade.
Keeping with Truly’s “healthier” approach, Truly’s new Lemonade and family of flavors boast 100 calorie, 1 gram of sugar, and 5% alcohol by volume.
According to Casey O’Neill, Senior Manager of Product Development at Boston Beer says the Lemonade series has more flavor than the traditional hard seltzer.
“It really is the best of both worlds and brings together flavor and refreshment in a way that nothing else in the category does right now. Drinkers will have to taste it to believe it, but we’re confident they’ll love Truly Lemonade as much as we do.”
Truly Lemonade is available in Original Lemonade, Black Cherry Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, and Mango Lemonade in 12oz/12ct variety packs, 16 & 24-ounce single-serve cans, nationally starting in January.
Style: Hard Seltzer/Hard Lemonade Hybrid
Availability: 12oz, 16oz, 24oz Cans. Nationally
Debut: January 2020
You’ve seen it in every gas station in America. You know it’s there. You might have been dared to drink it before. We’re talking about Four Loko – the company with a storied past.
The over the top flavored alcoholic beverages once contained caffeine, which ultimately got the product banned. The owners of Four Loko – Phusion Projects of Chicago, Illinois reintroduced Four Loko without caffeine agents in 2010.
Now the company’s flavor lineup of Sour Raz, Fruit Punch and Frost might be home to the most alcoholic hard seltzer out there, Four Loko Sour Seltzer (with a hit of Blue Razz).
Subtitled the “strongest seltzer in the universe” Four Loko could actually claim that title. Seltzer market leaders Truly and White Claw strengths hover around 5% alcohol by volume.
This week, Pabst Blue Ribbon unveiled a stronger 8% hard seltzer in four states. Four Loko would be the most over the top in hard seltzer market that is turning into a bit of a phenomenon.
Is Four Loko serious? It looks that way.
Emails to Phusion Projects were not returned.
Hard Seltzers ran so we could fly pic.twitter.com/g5ilBIyhl4
— Four Loko (@fourloko) August 13, 2019