This is a different kind of post. It is both opinion and news. Most often, I focus on the latter and not the former, and even more rarely blend the two. The news is that Reuben’s Brews and Sumerian Brewing have both introduced lines of hard seltzer. The opinion is, that’s news. (Pictured above: Fruit Fizz Hard Seltzer, by Reuben’s Brews. Read more about it below.)
I appreciate the fact that regular readers of the Washington Beer Blog are so singularly interested in beer. I am very aware that some members of my audience are not pleased when I deviate from that tight focus and talk about anything else, like hard seltzer. If that’s you, then you may want to turn the page.
Shoot the Messenger
This isn’t an apology, but an explanation. The Washington Beer Blog reports news from the beer industry and most often the craft beer segment of the industry. When a craft brewery announces that it has expanded its offerings to include seltzer, it is beer industry news. So shoot the messenger (that’s me) and not the message, because…
When a brewery so popular as Reuben’s Brews, Sumerian Brewing, or No-Li Brewhouse introduces a line of hard seltzer, it is news. When the owner of a brewery like Half Lion Brewing tells me that its line of hard seltzer has been an important contributor to the continued health of the business, it is welcome news.
The truth is, there is a lot of hard seltzer news I do not report. I am selective about what I share; for example, the two bits of seltzer news I share below seem particularly relevant to local beer lovers.
We All Have Opinions
Though you may personally think that hard seltzer is an abomination, there are other beer enthusiasts who believe hazy IPA is an offensive gimmick. Those people would prefer me not to mention hazy IPA on the Washington Beer Blog. Personally, I don’t understand the growing popularity of pastry stout. The point being, whatever you think about seltzer, it is just your opinion.
I actually applaud breweries that have taken advantage of the seltzer craze. I think it is a smart business move. If it helps them forge ahead successfully and produce the kinds of beverages that I love, then I am all for it. To me, hard seltzer is no different than pastry stout. It does not stop being news just because I don’t like it.
Like craft beer producers, hard seltzer producers are licensed by the State of Washington as microbreweries. So too are kombucha producers. A license to brew one of those beverages is a license to brew any or all of those beverages.
It’s What They Do
How popular is hard seltzer? It is the fastest-growing segment of the alcohol drinks industry. In 2020, a year marred by you-know-what, the size of the hard seltzer industry was $1.8 billion. Industry experts and prognosticators say that from 2016 to 2021, the growth is projected to average a whopping 128 percent per year.
Yes, you may find hard seltzer unpleasant or offensive, but there are a lot of people who drink it and I do not begrudge a brewery for providing people with a beverage they enjoy. Uh, that’s what breweries do, right?
So take it out on me. Get mad at me for dipping my toe in seltzer, tell me to shut up if you want, but don’t hold it against craft breweries that expand their offerings to include the fizzy stuff.
And Now, The News
I recently received news of two local breweries that have expanded their offerings to include seltzer.
Squeeze Premium Hard Seltzer – Sumerian Brewing. “Sumerian Brewing Co., is pleased to announce that they have just launched Squeeze Hard Seltzer as the newest member of their beverage portfolio,” said an announcement from the company. “Squeeze Premium Hard Seltzer comes in three delicious flavors: Tropical Fusion, Blueberry Rhubarb and Watermelon Kiwi. It is a 100% natural, gluten free only 100 calories and 1g carbs. All three flavors are now on tap at Sumerian Brewing Co. and will be available soon in cans to the marketplace.”
Squeeze Hard Selzer was launched in April 2021 by Mark Ihrig and his wife Holly, the couple that owns Sumerian Brewing. This is the latest addition to their beverage portfolio, which includes Cellars Wine Club, Sumerian Brewing and KLEER CBD Water.
Fruit Fizz Hard Seltzer – Reuben’s Brews. ‘Fruitfizz is made by real brewers using real fruit and real brewing processes,” said the announcement from Reuben’s Brews. “With just 100 calories, 0 carbs, and 0 added sugar, the 5% ABV gluten-free beverage is the best tasting, most refreshing hard seltzer the team at Reuben’s can brew. Simply put, it’s REAL GOOD. And because 1% of all Fruitfizz sales directly funds the Reuben’s Brews Foundation, drinking Fruitfizz also does REAL GOOD in the local community. That adds up to a lot of positive vibes for the summer ahead.”
Fruitfizz is available now in a mixed 12-pack of three flavors as well as 6-packs of Grapefruit. Fruitfizz Grapefruit is brewed with fresh grapefruit zest for an experience of bright and pure grapefruit tartness. Fruitfizz Lemon & Lime is crafted with lemon and lime zest and is the pure and crisp. And Fruitfizz Orange Zest uses only fresh orange zest for a bright, citrusy punch of flavor.
“Innovation is the heart of our brewery, and Fruitfizz is the result of a lot of experimentation and exploration by our brewing team,” said Adam Robbings, Co-Founder of Reuben’s Brews. “There’s a lot of Hard Seltzer in the market today, but with Fruitfizz we believe you’ll taste the same balance and drinkability that’s the hallmark of everything we brew at Reuben’s.”
To do some REAL GOOD in the community, as PNW locals do, 1% of the proceeds from Fruitfizz will help fund the Reuben’s Brews Foundation. Led by Reuben’s Co-Founder Grace Robbings, the non-profit arm of Reuben’s supports the work of several community partners in education, environment, arts, human rights, animal rights, health, and social justice.
“Fruitfizz is a great example of our mission to ‘Pour Delight’ for our community,” said Grace Robbings. “And as the Foundation has proven, pouring delight can extend beyond what’s poured in the pint glass. The funds generated by Fruitfizz will be a huge boost for the work the Foundation is doing in the PNW and beyond.”
Fruitfizz is now available at retail around the Seattle area and on-tap at the Reuben’s Brews Taproom in Ballard. As spring turns into summer, odds are the Mariners will fade, but with the arrival of Fruitfizz the summer is looking REAL GOOD. For more information check out http://www.fruitfizz.com and visit https://reubensbrews.com/beer-finder/ to find it near you.