It’s almost March, which means retailers across the country are preparing to hit the reset button and stock their shelves with new drinks for spring.
As a beverage industry reporter, I love searching for intriguing libations inside the coolers at my local liquor and grocery stores.
These days, however, I’m spending more time scanning the internet for new products instead of walking the beverage aisles.
While I’m still constantly on the lookout for the latest craft beers, canned cocktails, CBD drinks, and other liquid refreshments, lately it’s been hard seltzers that have dominated my feed.
So, in the interest of keeping you informed about the latest booze-infused bubbly waters, here are seven that recently hit my radar.
New Belgium’s Fruit Smash Hard Seltzer
New Belgium Brewing’s Fruit Smash Hard Seltzer
New Belgium’s foray into the ultra-crowded hard seltzer segment, which last year was worth $4.1 billion, is finally here.
First revealed last September, Fruit Smash is a whimsical brand of 100-calorie, gluten-free hard seltzers that check-in at 4.7% ABV and are made with real juice.
The brand comes in three flavors — Tropical Punch, Berry Blast, and Pink Lemonade — and 12-packs are selling for $18.69 on Drizly.
Tropical Punch features a skateboarding dinosaur, while a rollerblading cockatoo glides across cans of Pink Lemonade.
The brand’s tagline? “Say bye to your basic seltzer.”
SLO Brew’s Cali-Squeeze Hard Seltzer
SLO Brew’s “Cali-Squeeze” Hard Seltzer
California-based SLO Brew will launch its gluten-free “Cali-Squeeze” hard seltzer on March 1, 2021.
Unlike most other hard seltzer products on the market, this offering is slightly more alcoholic (6% ABV) and is made with real fruit, which gives it color.
Flavors include Lemonade, Blood Orange, Mango, and P.O.G. (Passionfruit, Orange, Guava). Variety 12-packs sell for $19.99.
Braxton Brewing Company’s VIVE Tropical Punch Hard Seltzer
Braxton Brewing Company’s VIVE Fruit Punch Hard Seltzer
After winning the internet last August by releasing a pumpkin spice version of their VIVE hard seltzer brand, you’d think mad scientists at Braxton Brewing would have stepped off the gas pedal.
Starting next month, the Kentucky-based craft brewery will release four new “Punch” offerings, including Original Punch, Southern Punch, Sunrise Punch and Tropical Punch.
All four of the new flavors contain 100 calories and come in at 5% ABV. Variety 12-packs will hit major chains like Kroger KR -0.6%, Meijer, Walmart WMT -1.5% and Target TGT -0.9% throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana with a suggested retail price of $15.99.
Cape May Brewing’s Craft Hard Seltzer
Cape May Hard Seltzer
New Jersey’s Cape May Brewing is getting into the game with the launch of its 97-calorie line of “craft” hard seltzers.
Available in variety 12-packs, the craft brewery’s new hard seltzers come in Grapefruit, Black Cherry, Watermelon and Mango flavors. They will be sold throughout New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and Delaware beginning March 1, 2021.
The 4.5% ABV hard seltzers, which Cape May says are “ridiculously refreshing,” are made with cane sugar and fresh fruit juice.
New Realm Brewing’s AlphaWater Hard Seltzer
New Realm Brewing’s AlphaWater
In all of my years of writing about beer, never did I think legendary brewmaster Mitch Steele would be out here hawking hard seltzer.
But it’s 2021, and craft breweries have got to give the people what they want: low-calorie boozy water.
Georgia’s New Realm Brewing is releasing four flavors of hard seltzer — Acai & Blueberry, Lime & Cucumber, Black Cherry, and Citrus Punch — after more than a year of trials inside their tasting room.
Called AlphaWater, the new line clocks in at 4.5% ABV, contains 90 calories, and will be available in Georgia and Virginia starting March 2, 2021.
Molson Coors’ new Vizzy Hard Seltzer flavors
Molson Coors TAP -3%
If hard seltzer with vitamin C is your thing, look no further than Vizzy.
The Molson Coors-owned brand, which was the No. 5 hard seltzer in 2020, has four new flavors on the way.
A variety pack containing Papaya Passionfruit, Blackberry Lemon, Watermelon Strawberry and Raspberry Tangerine flavors, will begin hitting retailers nationwide on March 1, 2021.
Like the original Vizzy flavors, these new offerings contain 100 calories, 1 gram of sugar and check in at 5% ABV.
Molson Coors will also launch Vizzy Lemonade Hard Seltzer in April.
The new Bud Light Seltzer “Out of Office” variety pack
Bud Light Seltzer’s Limited Edition “Out of Office” Flavors
At this point, every Bud Light package should include some sort of guide to help drinkers know just how many line extensions Anheuser-Busch has created for its flagship brand. There’s Bud Light, Bud Light Platinum, Bud Light Peels, Bud Light Chelada, Bud Light Seltzer, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, and now a Bud Light Seltzer “Out of Office” variety pack.
At first glance, the four new “limited edition” flavors — Watermelon Mojito, Classic Margarita, Mango Mai Tai and Strawberry Daiquiri — feel like they were borrowed from the formulators of the “Ritas” franchise, which actually dropped a Bud Light call out in 2019 and was down more than 20% in 2020.
Regardless, these new Bud Light Hard Seltzer flavors still contain 100 calories and clock in at 5% ABV.
I’m also obligated to tell you that A-B is offering people cold hard cash to take time off from work and, well, drink. You can learn more about the contest, which begins on March 5, on the Bud Light website.
Bonus: According to 405 Magazine senior editor Greg Horton, fast food chain Sonic and Oklahoma’s Coop Ale Works are collaborating on a new line of seltzers due out in May.
I am a business writer covering emerging products, trends, and M&A in the U.S. beer and beverage industries. I previously spent nearly a decade as the driving force