Stone Brewing is proud to announce the upcoming release of Buenavida Hard Seltzer, a hard seltzer that’s… better.
Acknowledging that Stone, of all craft breweries, releasing a seltzer sounds like a prank, the company assures readers that this announcement is being delivered with festive intention.
Buenavida Hard Seltzer is the result of the company’s internal challenge put forth from their talented brewing team who asked of themselves “Can we make a hard seltzer, and can we make it actually taste… good?” It is fair to say that throughout the ranks of the team at Stone, there was a fair amount of skepticism.
“I admit that I was on the leading edge of that skepticism,” said Stone Co-Founder Greg Koch. “My intermittent interactions with the world of hard seltzers had left me… and I’m working hard to be kind here… nonplussed. The category as a whole confused me, and I struggled to see why we would want to play in a space that seemed to overtly espouse a philosophy of mediocrity.”
However, the one thing that Greg and the leadership team at Stone did fully embrace was an environment of free-spirited innovation that didn’t allow the low expectations of pre-conceived notions to drive the bus. So, when the brewing team said “We want to see if we can come up with a hard seltzer, and make it great,” they were told that they were more than welcome to give it a go, but to expect that it’d possibly never see the light of day. ‘Good’ wasn’t going to cut it. ‘Really good…for a hard seltzer’ wouldn’t make the grade either. It’d have to be a result that was worth celebrating.
Buenavida Hard Seltzer is brewed with high quality cane sugar and natural flavors, and the brand will be the first hard seltzer to go to market exclusively in glass. Twelve-packs of custom molded glass bottles will hit stores as early as July in Southern California. National distribution may follow in January 2022, providing Stone is able to keep up with SoCal consumer demand. But beginning immediately, visitors to Stone’s locations can enjoy all four flavors on draft. This includes Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens locations in both Escondido and Liberty Station, Stone Brewing Napa, and all Stone Brewing Tap Rooms.
Buenavida Hard Seltzer will launch in four stunning and festive flavors:
Buenavida Hard Seltzer – Mango
Buenavida Hard Seltzer – Black Cherry
Buenavida Hard Seltzer – Mandarin
Buenavida Hard Seltzer – Watermelon & Lime
It is well known that Koch has not held back in his mockery of hard seltzers. As recently as a year ago he clearly stated on Instagram that he is more of an IPA guy. So, when asked about Stone’s newest release, he replied, “Surprisingly, perhaps more to me than anyone, I’m fine with it even though I know that I’m likely to get merciless sh*t over us releasing a hard seltzer… and perhaps deservedly so with all the fun I’ve poked at the category! There’s no question that IPAs, sours, saisons, porters and pale ales are more my jam, so you’re prolly not going to see me being a big hard seltzer consumer. However, what our brewers delivered gives new meaning to the category and I’m all in on raising that bar.”
There may also be people that feel that Stone Brewing’s new CEO Maria Stipp is the one to blame, or credit, for the new hard seltzer. “I’ll take it!” laughed Stipp. “Whether your point of view on this announcement is one of trepidation, or excitement, know that you can only bring forth excellence like Buenavida via a team effort. Greg, and I and the entire team collaborated on everything from the flavors, to the label design, and our super cool embossed bottles. But seriously, I never poked nearly as much fun at the hard seltzer category as Greg, so as he said, you can feel free to take it out on him. Heck, Greg actually wrote half this press release, and even this quote for me (which I read and agreed with, for the record!).”
Those following along may note the new hard seltzer’s naming convention is particularly familiar. Launched nationally in 2020, Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager took on a category of beer that was similarly ripe for disruption: the Mexican Lager style. Now one of Stone’s fastest selling brands, Buenaveza offers a Stone-caliber beer that’s sophisticated in flavor, easy on the palate and only 4.7% ABV. As you can guess, Buenaveza offered a spiritual inspiration for Buenavida Hard Seltzer. Fans can celebrate the festive Buenaveza & Buenavida good life at @livebuena on Instagram.
Koch adds, “We have the full realization that many existing Stone fans may not gravitate towards our efforts to up the ante on what has largely been a category void of flavor, personality, character and soul. And there exist many who are not currently Stone fans who will find the seltzers are to their liking. Both are OK. While we take on new categories of drink, Stone will continue to focus on its full range of beers, including our famous IPAs. After all, we all deserve better.”
Stone, and Koch, want to acknowledge that there are now other quality hard seltzers out there, and specifically would like to call out that the new Spindrift Spiked* is an outstanding new entrant on the marketplace. Cheers to them! Mediocrity be damned.
*Stone Distributing Co. is the Southern California distributor partner for Spindrift Spiked, but otherwise has no affiliation with the company other than that of mutual respect.