Sparkling wine was yesterday, today is the easy-going, light alternative to beer Hard Seltzer!
When the new type of alcoholic soft drinks was born in 2013, the world was not yet ready for such an innovation: Spiked Seltzer only found acceptance among friends of alcoholic beverages years later. In the meantime, Hard Seltzer, sometimes also called Spiked Seltzer or Spiked Water, has developed from a marginal phenomenon into a real trend. Numerous breweries have jumped on the bandwagon and have expanded their repertoire of craft beers to include a selection of sparkling refreshments.
The invention of the hard seltzer is attributed to the American Coors Brewing Company: The brewery is headquartered in the city of Golden in Colorado and in 1993 brought a drink onto the market that was previously unavailable. Under the name Zima Clearmalt, Coors sold a transparent drink with a fruity citrus taste and a slight alcohol content of 4 to 5 percent. The idea behind the planned coup was to create an alternative to beer. The 90s were a crazy time and many trends these days cause head shakes and questioning looks. This also applies to the short-term hype of transparent drinks. As part of this movement, Coors Brewing launched Zima, a beer-like drink for those who don't really like beer. The transparent, citrus-scented brew was actually made from beer: In an elaborate process, practically all of the components were removed from a light beer using activated carbon. The taste and color were filtered out and citrus flavors added to the clear, neutral product.
Due to its rather moderate taste, Zima could not maintain the initial success and disappeared from the scene. It was not until 2013 that someone ventured into the project again: In a garage in Westport, America, brewer Nick Shields and his friend Dave Holmes developed the Hard Seltzer genre. Under the name Spiked Seltzer, the two sophisticated Americans bring four different variations of the alcoholic mineral water onto the market. The great success did not materialize at first, but in 2018 the numbers suddenly jumped. It doesn't take long for the first competing companies to spring up: White Claw Hard Seltzer, Bud Light Seltzer, Truly Seltzer, Corona Hard Seltzer and Smirnoff's Spiked Sparkling Seltzer are just a few of the names that Hard Seltzer brought to everyone's lips.
But what is actually behind the hip name?
Hard Seltzer is a drink made from carbonated mineral water and alcohol. A touch of fruit usually provides the taste, making the Spiked Water the perfect summer pleasure. Hard Seltzer is low in calories, fresh and with an average alcohol content of 5% it is wonderfully suitable as a lively accompaniment to lunch, as an aperitif for dinner or as a light treat for in between.
Many manufacturers of the new beverage trend have set a 100 calorie limit per consumption unit and are pursuing the goal of keeping the carbohydrate content as low as possible. In addition, many brands of Sparked Seltzer are gluten-free. These efforts make the Hard Seltzer the ideal drink for those who want to enjoy with a light conscience.
What makes the Hard Seltzer attractive for breweries is the specific production of the drink. In contrast to conventional alcoholic mixed drinks, the Spiked Seltzer is actually made in a brewing process. Alcohol is obtained from water and malt or cane sugar using yeast. Fruit aromas are only added afterwards, but there are also Spiked Seltzers that get by without the addition of flavor.
Like a number of other ingenious inventions, the Hard Seltzer also originated in the USA. The alcohol it contains is usually made by fermenting cane sugar. Often, however, malted barley is also used, which is probably the reason for many breweries to include Hard Selter in their range. One of our favorites in the brand new Hard Seltzer category is Fizzy Fuss from Sakiškių alus and Tanker . For their tempting red composition, the brewers from Lithuania have teamed up with their Estonian friends from Tanker. The result of their extremely successful cooperation is an explosive Hard Seltzer, which convinces with the beguiling aroma of currants and a surprising note of beetroot.
But other breweries have already started producing this trendy drink: The Hawaiian brewery Kona, for example, impresses with its Kona Spiked Island Seltzers range.
Lively, bubbly, fruity and simply different - Hard Seltzer has what it takes to be a summer hit!