Hard seltzer might mean you can have your cake and eat it, too — it's essentially boozy sparkling water, so we can get a little buzz and very few calories when we drink it.
Because of that appeal, it's on the rise, with some of the biggest beverage companies in the world, including Anheuser-Busch and Diageo, producing their versions of the multimillion dollar drink. Now, a major craft brewery brand with a facility in Austin is joining the fray. Oskar Blues will release "the first national craft hard seltzer with Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water" next year, according to a news release.
Wild Basin will be packaged in colorful cans and feature pure, clean water from a Colorado river called the St. Vrain. The 100-calorie, 5 percent ABV line of hard seltzers comes in four flavors: Classic Lime, Cucumber Peach, Melon Basil and Lemon Agave Hibiscus. Each of the gluten-free options also has zero grams of sugar and one gram of carbs.
With its low nutritional impact, Wild Basin is is going to be desirable for "active lifestyle consumers who value the outdoors, socializing with friends and healthier living. From outdoor yoga to rooftop happy hours, Wild Basin will provide drinkers with a tasty alternative to wine and spirits," according to the release.
And it'll even benefit a good cause: Oskar Blues will donate $1 from every case sold to its nonprofit partner, the Can'd Aid Foundation, which, among other charitable initiatives, donates cans of water to areas experiencing natural disasters (Austin received more than 26,000 cans during the boil water notice in late October).
Oskar Blues is betting on the explosive success of the hard seltzer category — and on the fact that not many other craft brands have dived into it.
“Wild Basin is unique in that it challenges some existing category conventions,” Oskar Blues CMO Patrick Daugherty said in the release. “Our goal is to introduce something that can help grow the category and give drinkers a true craft option in hard seltzer.”
Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water launches first in January in two of Oskar Blues' home markets: Colorado and North Carolina. But don't worry, Austin is getting the hard seltzer next year as well. Shortly after the initial release in those states, the hard seltzer expands to other "key markets" and, ultimately, nationwide. Oskar Blues opened its Austin facility in the latter half of 2016.