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Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by JackHorzempa, Jul 7, 2021.
Definitely agree on that point. It will be interesting as to where this trend leads.
Yeah, but Ciders have their own shelf space. However, all the "craft" Hard Seltzers are on the same shelves as beer. That's a problem!
I've tried one from Oskar Blues and hated it. And I don't plan on trying anymore. I definitely won't be buying any. Every time I browse through Untitled Art. selection, I have to double check, to make sure it doesn't say "Seltzer". The cans look exactly the same as their beer.
Thanks, I did that realize that. Still there is useful and interesting information there.
This could explain why your distributor didn’t have it…Molson Coors is already killing their hard seltzer line.
Same here. My local tap rooms are doing great now that the pandemic is over, and I can find all the same beers I used to love and then some on my local shelves.
Has anyone noticed seltzers tangibly impacting their craft beer purchases? Is there some brand you can’t find now that you could previously?
Not in Cincinnati. My import go-tos still have Tilquin, Aventinus, et al on the shelf, beside a slew of good domestic craft.
@jasonmason -- even sooner than I predicted.
Yeah, seeing a close relative drink Bud or Bud Light is depressing
Which craft beer do you want to compete in this seltzer category?
Right, it depends where you do your beer shopping at. At most grocery stores (where I don't buy beer at to begin with) I see more and more seltzers. But at my local beer stores around Columbus where I usually buy beers at I still see and buy just as many craft beers as I have before. At least around here it hasn't affected my craft beer purchases at all.
Paul Simon summed it up over 50 years ago: “Architects may come and architects may go and never change a point of view.” Same goes for beer and malt beverages.
Ale was once a popular American drink but by the time P. Ballantine closed its doors in 1971, ale was only a tiny spec on the American beer market. Ale has, of course, been revived with the craft beer movement.
Let’s review the innovations in the beer/malt beverage market since the early 1960’s:
Super Premium Beer
Sub Premium Beer
Extra Light Beer
Low Carb Beer
Black & Tan
Low Alcohol Beer
Non Alcohol Beer
Flavored Malt Beverages
Hard Lemonade (not a malt beverage)
00 Alcohol Beer
Alcoholic Seltzer (not a malt beverage)
There may be more beer styles. Point is, with the exceptions of Light Beer, Sub Premium Beers (think Busch), and Low Carb Beer (think Michelob Ultra), most brewing fads have been just that, here today, forgotten tomorrow. A few of these live on as niche products but when was the last time you drank a Dry Beer? The beer drinkers’ jury is still out on the more recent innovations such as FMBs, Teas, Lemonade and 00 Beers, but sales numbers are encouraging.
Which brings us to Seltzer. It’s the latest innovation brewers have devised to sell beer. Whether it lasts or not, that is for the beer buying public to determine. So far Seltzer is selling better than most any other beer innovation in the last 60 years. Last year Seltzer sales increased by 9,000,000 barrels! Craft sales decreased by over 2 million barrels, but many craft brewers introduced Alcoholic Seltzers which indicates that actual craft beer sales may have decreased even more. The big brewers/importers took quite a hit (except Constellation) in 2020, so American Light Lager sales may be even weaker than the large brewers/importers numbers indicate.
So, consider Alcoholic Seltzers as just another bump in the road of the American beer market, time will tell. But remember, any brewer who wishes to remain competitive in the regional/national beer market will produce a Seltzer because it could be “the next big thing.”
My local craft brewery is Green Cheek owned by head brewer Evan Price formerly of Noble Ale Works and they make very high quality beer...and a delicious lavender lemonade seltzer made with edible lavender.
Having read through this entire thread I'm surprised to not see a single mention of hard kambucha. Here in SoCal hard kambucha seems to be gaining share quickly, and at least in my anecdotal experience at the expense of hard seltzer. 0 carbs and 0 sugar. Sierra Nevada just launched their own line of hard kambucha Strainge Beast.
Seems like those products have been doing fine for over a decade now. Its not like any single alcoholic beverage is going to rise up and overshadow all others as the sole beverage of choice. As long as we've got a functioning social structure we will likely have a wide diversity of alcohol delivery platforms, each with varying degrees of uptake in various regions.
I've been tempted to try the seltzers more than once. I should just pull the trigger since everything else they produce is great.
I have a feeling kombucha is the one that will stay and seltzer will eventually be made up almost entirely of the larger brands at distro while all the others shrink to taprooms and/or disappear entirely. There's more current and potential flavor variety in kombucha than seltzers, just in added flavors as well as levels of tartness, etc. It used to be almost exclusively the health conscious crowd but more and more people from all kinds of demos are trying and main-ing kombucha. It'll be interesting to see how things shape up.
Kombucha's been around for thousands of years. It's not going anywhere. I drink it every week, but I haven't tried any "Hard" Kombucha. Even though all Kombucha contains alcohol.
I probably should have clarified I meant that alcoholic kombucha will have more staying power than seltzers in terms of diversity of options. Apologies.
Have you not tried it because it's not easily available in your area or for other reasons?
Wall Street's Credit Suisse is predicting seltzers could reach 10% of the entire alcoholic beverage market by 2025 (and as a result are giving upgrading the prospects of the Boston Beer Co.)
The Truly frozen pops are really good and beat the Lime A Rita stuff IMO, even though the LAR has more alcohol (8% vs 5%).
I like Kambucha but don't love it and need to be in the mood so for me the hard ones are not something I drink frequently.
I'm 66 and drink 1-2 flavored seltzer waters a day. The 12oz can is handy for me to carry while hiking my normal, daily 7+ miles. I think the last time I had a hard seltzer was a Zima years ago and it didn't appeal to me. I've not had any modern hard seltzers but I suppose I should try one to re-investigate the medium. I've liked carbonated beverages my whole life for refreshment but figure the flavored seltzers are better for me than diet sodas, which I still have a couple times a week. For alcohol enjoyment, it's craft beer that gets me where I live.
Was att a friends house a couple weeks ago and they've gotten really into the hard booch. I tried one (I think it was Booch Craft) and was very.pleasantly surprised. I've enjoyed lots.of kombuchas and used to make our own and agree.that the ability to produce an all natural product that easily incorporates all sorts of flavors including herbs/spices as well as fruits and can produce varying levels of tartness has a lot of potential. I could see revisiting hard booch waaaay before I considered trying out a hard seltzer.
It's available, but I always choose to buy beer instead.
I’ve tried the Seltzer craze and shopped the flavors and brands, but honestly, I think they have a terrible aftertaste.
I have noticed the craft beer section at local big box grocery stores have shrunk while the hard seltzer's have grown considerably. FWIW, Mas Agave's seltzer's make great mixers with a shot of tequila added for good measure...
Well (kidding aside)... craft brewers have pushed the merging of dessert and beer to a point where it feels like a key component of their category... and people on BA have embraced it. The second most highly rated beer here has marshmallow in its name, and there's a thread right below this one promoting a craft beer/frozen dessert mashup product.
What's striking about the marketing of that "icicle" product, is how it's like layers of an onion piled on... with each layer making the previous layer lose its real meaning. It's "Bud Light" (but it isn't) "Seltzer" (but it isn't) ice pops. "Bud Light Seltzer" never made literal sense beyond being a brand extension, and this product takes it an amazing step further. I saw a review of these that referred to "Bud Light" as the company... which is telling considering how far removed these ice pops are from Bud Light. Next summer we should see Bud Light Seltzer Frozen Icicle Energy Drinks (no need to even freeze them).
Great point. "Bud Light" has effectively become the brand, not a specific beverage. Really weird to see.
I've tried ruminating on how the buyer of a product like this does the mental gymnastics of the branding here...but then realized I was overthinking it. They're buying alcoholic popsicles with familiar branding. That's it; there is nothing deeper going on here.
In all fairness to AB on the BA side here - IMO this is no worse a transgression that the 'popsicle/fruited slushy' trend in craft beer. Both are just cold, sweet, alcohol-delivery products for consumers who are not interested in drinking (traditional) beer.
This is how I feel about this seltzer fad...
Yeah, but what's interesting is how that's now the case for "Bud Light Seltzer," and how quickly the word seltzer has become disassociated in meaning with actual seltzer since becoming a popular thing for alcohol. Craft brewers are producing packaged "hard seltzer smoothies." Would anyone have used the word seltzer to sell a fruit smoothie previously? People on BA talk about if something is really an IPA, or really a beer (despite the label on the packaging), but it took a longer time to get to that point. It feels like the foundation has been laid with things like that, and this morph-ability can now work at an accelerated pace.
White Claw sucks, but so does La Croix as well. I believe the appeal of La Croix among the yoga ladies is a diet beverage that’s supposedly (and likely) healthier than diet soda. It’s fizzy with a little flavor making it more fun than water.
Smooj is delicious but I honestly don’t know how a “smoothie seltzer” is even defined anymore. In many ways beer drinkers just want to drink child-like beverages. (As evidenced by all the ads and products I see on a daily basis).
I really noticed this yesterday when I stopped at a place I haven't been to in quite some time that was once known for having a great craft beer selection. Some observations:
Hard Seltzer and the like have a large space now.
Many craft beer breweries just aren't being carried anymore e.g. I saw nothing from Great Lakes and no shelf tags for them even (and this place used to turn over their products quickly).
Tons of IPAs and this whacky beer and that whacky beer but many of the IPAs were old.
Prices for said novelty beers were quite expensive.
I ended up with a cheap macro because I just wanted a nice Lager beer that tastes like beer but a little disappointed, as I would have preferred a nice craft Lager.
And you get used to this stuff to the point that the regular sugary stuff is too much. I had a Coke recently for first time in a long time and I almost died (and I am only half joking here, my system was like WTF is this crap?!?).
Just to be clear that is a segment of the craft beer drinking market. The folks who like beers brewed with pastry ingredients, marshmallows, etc. It seems to be mostly younger folks but I lack market data here.
In contrast I prefer to drink beer that tastes more like beer.
Ironically you and I posted similar comments at the same time.
Have you visited Von C yet? I was there this past weekend I had:
Vienna Lager (served via a side-pull tap/faucet)
I enjoyed every one of those beers.
It's been mentioned numerous times how today's younger drinkers want beer that reminds them of the juice boxes they drank as kids. The ones buying Bud Light seltzer pops are also chasing childhood memories.
And the kids these days are spoiled with all of their flavor choices. When I was a kid we only had four flavors to pick from: orange, grape, cherry and blue.
I’d be willing to bet that most of the people active on this site prefer beer that tastes like beer.
I’m not referring to them or you in this case.
Great minds think alike Not yet but this is good to hear and I definitely need to check them out one day.
Goes to show how many people are sick and tired of IPA's and how many people don't like beer, or just looking for something a bit refreshing.
Has anyone noticed the spike in hard ciders and mead's as well?
I'll take a cider b4 an IPA or seltzer any day!
Even without data, this is obvious to anyone who has been in the craft beer more than a year or two just by looking at the cold box section of any grocery store.
Seltzer is big $$. And not going away any time soon.
I dont know many non craft beer drinkers so I dont have a large sample size, but I know three people that drink seltzers. one substituted most of their craft beer for seltzers due to lower calories, one substituted all day ipa for seltzers and the last substituted ciders for seltzers but that might just be a summer thing.
My opinion is it's a wide mix and hard seltzers are grabbing sales from both craft and non-craft.