If anyone had a good year in 2020, it was Hard Seltzer makers. In the past year alone, the thirst-quenching, low calorie drink category added a staggering $2.8 billion to the beer market, according to Anna Nadasdy, Director of Customer Success at Fintech, in a recent Brewers Association collab hour.
Many of the country’s top-rated beer makers hopped aboard the Hard Seltzer train last year too, creating their own, genuinely craft takes on the style. Mass-produced Seltzers had become rather one-note, but this shift brought a wave of creativity to the scene. Even ‘strictly independent craft beer’ online retailers like Tavour got in on the excitement.
Tavour works with over 600+ independent craft breweries, and they offered their first assortments of Seltzers in 2020. Since last July, the company has offered 66 unique craft Seltzers across 11 brands, and counting!
And this summer, there’s a new kind of Hard Seltzer on beer drinkers’ lips — both figuratively and quite literally. They’re called Hard Seltzer Smoothies, or “Smoothie Seltzers.”
They drink like legit fruit smoothies because brewers use such extreme amounts of real fruit purée to make them. Brewing Hard Seltzers with loads of fruit is relatively uncharted territory, but experts in the experimental, like Smooj and Lua Brewing, are leading the way. These breweries are the first official Smoothie Seltzer makers available in up to 25 states through Tavour.
Smooj pioneered this trendy new Seltzer style in March 2020 under the label Troobado, the Smoothie Seltzer-focused arm of Michigan’s HOMES Brewery. Today, the Smooj brand ranks as one of the top 5 highest rated breweries in the world on the popular beer rating site, Untappd!
The Smooj brewers craft their creamy, cocktail-inspired Seltzers with 100% real fruit, unlike big name Seltzer makers like White Claw and Truly, who tend to use artificial flavoring. The result of all that real fruit is a drink that’s incredibly smooth and bold in flavor, with hardly any hint of alcohol, despite the 5% ABV in each 12oz can. It’s practically engineered for drinkers to savor while soaking up some summer sun.
According to Smooj’s Marketing Director, Alissa Kline, the drink “is super summer-friendly: fruit-packed, portable, and fun. It’s just the type of new and exciting option folks are looking for coming out of the pandemic.”
Tavour is the only retailer outside of Michigan and Pennsylvania right now where beer drinkers and Seltzer lovers can sample the unique deliciousness of Smooj. So far, their members have tasted the most popular of Smooj’s offerings: Piña Colada and Strawberry Banana, with more flavor options available on the app later this year. Which will be a godsend for thirsty fans — Tavour confirmed they get messages on social media asking for more Smooj almost daily!
Another breakout Smoothie Seltzer maker causing a stir on Tavour is Lua Brewing with their Smush Seltzers.
Much like Smooj, the brewers at Lua make their Smushes with only real fruit — no artificial flavors or extracts. With regard to their thickness, bold flavor, and shocking drinkability, Lua’s Smoothie Seltzers put them ahead of the pack in their home state of Iowa. In the coming weeks, Tavour’s members will gain access to their Smush – Piña Colada and Smush – Triple Berry.
While Smooj Seltzers come in slim cans, perfect for one person to sip alone, Lua packages their Smushes in extra-large 750ml cans. Still just 5% alcohol by volume, they’re made for sharing — designed for any beer drinker planning a summer tasting party or camping trip with friends. And, because these heavily fruited Seltzer sensations are now available outside of Iowa through Tavour, fans in up to 25 states can enjoy them, too.
Better yet, both Smooj and Smush are surprisingly consumer-friendly! Smooj Seltzers are all completely dairy-free and gluten-free, while Lua’s Smush Seltzers are all dairy-free and gluten-reduced (although not 100% gluten-free).
It would be naive to think that Smoothie Seltzers are just some passing fad — after all, so many people dismissed traditional Hard Seltzers as a flash in the pan a couple years ago, and look how that turned out! The way Alissa Kline at Smooj sees things, “After a few years of light and clear seltzers, we believe flavor is in and here to stay.”
Since these up-and-coming beverages rarely leave their respective regions, the best place for craft fans who are curious about experiencing this trendy summer style is on Tavour.