Hard seltzers have been having another good year.
After White Claw’s blockbuster year in 2019, when hard seltzer sales surpassed $1.3 billion, the industry is on track to double sales again this year to more than $2.5 billion. (This is up from a mere $487 million 2018.)
With that kind of money on the table, Texas brands have quickly joined the canned cocktail/hard seltzer market, starting with Mighty Swell in 2016. In recent years, established booze brands, including Austin Eastciders and Deep Ellum, have also released spiked seltzers.
In 2019, two Austin-based sparkling alcoholic beverage companies launched: Canteen Spirits, a vodka soda that comes in several fruity flavors, and Ranch Rider Spirits, a canned cocktail made with tequila or vodka that comes in three flavors and recently expanded to stores statewide .
This summer, another Austin-based brand has jumped in the fray.
Blue Norther (drinkbluenorther.com), named after the fast-moving cold fronts that often blow through Texas, launched in June two flavors, Wild Blackberry and Agave Lime.
It’s a venture from father-son duo Austin T. and Austin M. Pittman, who respectively worked in healthcare and technology before creating a Texas-centric booze brand.
Each 5% ABV hard seltzer is made with fruit juice, agave, sparkling water and a gluten-free alcoholic base. You can find six-packs ($9.99) at local retailers, including H-E-B, Bread Basket, Royal Blue Grocery and Wheatsville Food Co-Op.
"The response so far has been incredible, both to the drink and to our team – this community has been so supportive during a tough time for new businesses," said the younger Pittman, "I think we’ve got exactly the right product for the right place, at the right time, to create something truly special." You can find out more about the brand at drinkbluenorther.com.