Beer has always faced competition to occupy your glass. Wine and spirits have long been the main competitor and in recent years we have seen the growth of the cider industry take a large foothold as people look for gluten free alternatives while making more informed dietary choices.
In the last few years, a fierce new competitor has come into play, taking a large chunk out of beer’s market space. Hard Seltzer has seen a meteoric rise in popularity in the last few years and brewers have certainly been paying attention. Coast to coast brewers are adding these fizzy hard seltzers to their roster of beer.
For the most part, they are designed to be highly drinkable. Typically based with a neutral spirit like vodka that does not present too much flavour or aroma outside of a subtle ethanol note. Typically quite fizzy with a generous amount of carbon dioxide and flavoured with a fruit, Hard Seltzers are usually something citrusy and refreshing. Hard Seltzers lend themselves to drinking in the summer heat, as they are thirst quenching and refreshing.
The first local brewery to add a Hard Seltzer to their portfolio was PEI Brewing Company with the latest addition to the Colliding Tides family. Launched late in the winter 2020, the Colliding Tides Hard Seltzer pours crystal clear with ample amounts of bubbles present in the glass. The vodka used in the blend is present yet not overpowering, and the citrus profile is bright and snappy. Much like the other members of the Colliding Tides family, the Hard Seltzer is a great summer beverage which tastes exponentially better near the shore.
The next Island brewery to roll out a Hard Seltzer was Upstreet. Not ones to be outdone, Upstreet launched the Rewind brand of hard Seltzers with three different flavours, Raspberry Lemon Zest, Key Lime Sea Salt and Blood Orange Grapefruit. All of the flavours have big aroma and flavour, and each looks their part in appearance with unique colours and a touch of haziness. Sharp branding and a variety pack offering four of each flavour has allowed Rewind Hard Seltzers to make their presence felt in a short time.
Off Island brands can also be found at your local PEI Liquor Store. White Claw, the brand that blew up the Seltzer category in the United States has made its way up North, variety packs and six packs of mango flavour are available on PEI. Nova Scotia’s Blue Lobster, which has been a market favourite, is still so for people looking for an alternative to beer or wine. If you are looking for an alternative to beer (I am not sure why you would want to do that, beer is great!) be sure to check out the fizzy offerings our local brewers are producing.