With new labels popping up left and right in recent years across the country, hard seltzers’ consumption has exploded. In fact, the number of hard seltzer options on the market in the United States has increased at least six-fold from 2018 to 2020! Why? Because consumers are on the lookout for healthier, lighter, more calorie-conscious options. And in that respect, hard seltzer delivers.
These days, our increasingly health-conscious society is looking for beverages that are lighter on the stomach than beer, lower in calories than traditional cocktails or ciders, and refreshingly fizzy. And while national labels like White Claw and Truly may be front and center in your local alcoholic beverage aisle, Texas is turning out some quality offerings that put the big boys to shame. So, this season, grab a can, kick back, relax, and enjoy one of these refreshing, locally-brewed hard seltzers.
Mighty Swell might have realized their first cans of flavored malt beverage back in 2016, but it was not until 2018 that the spiked seltzer Texans have come to know and love hit the market. Made with natural white grape juice as an alternative to added sugars and containing only three grams of carbs and 100 calories, it is exactly what a health-conscious market was craving. Flavors include blackberry, cherry lime, watermelon mint, grapefruit, and peach, plus tropical offerings like pineapple and mango raspberry.
“Mighty Swell’s core focus is on delivering real, true-to-fruit flavors that make each Mighty Swell a uniquely enjoyable experience, which allows the consumer to have a full-flavor beverage without compromising on sessionability,” Senior Brand and Marketing Manager Chelsea Bearb said.
Find it: Mighty Swell is at H-E-B, Kroger, Total Wine & More, Spec’s, Whole Foods, and Buc-ee’s, as well as other major grocery or convenience stores. There is also a product finder on the website, mightyswell.com/find-us.
Founded by father-and-son team Austin T. and Austin M. Pittman, Blue Norther™ released its very first hard seltzers in June of 2020, making the label one of the newest in town. The company was born on a Texas ranch and brewed in Austin. They use real fruit, organic agave nectar to sweeten, and a brewing method that does not require malt, which, according to Austin M., means no strange seltzer aftertaste. It comes in three flavors: prickly pear, wild blackberry, and agave lime.
We’re the flat-out best-tasting seltzer on the market,” Austin M. said. “Blue Norther™ is 100 percent guaranteed to make you slap your skipper.”
Find it: Pick up a pack of Blue Norther™ in Austin, New Braunfels, San Antonio, Houston, and Dallas at H-E-B, Whole Foods, and Total Wine & More, or check their seltzer finder at find.drinkbluenorther.com/ to see what is closest to you.
Austin EastCiders Spiked Seltzer
Austin Eastciders may be known for their expertly-crafted ciders that contain a third less sugar than other popular brands, but in March of last year, the Austin-based cidery launched a line of spiked seltzer, too, and thirsty Texans are delighted. The beverages are 100 calories, all-natural, and use real fruit juice with a fermented apple juice base instead of malt sugar, refined grains, or artificial ingredients. The cans come in four flavors: black cherry, peach, and apple, plus a brand-new offering for 2021 – mango.
Our Spiked Seltzers taste like real fruit because they are made with real fruit juice,” Vice President of Marketing Dave Rule said. “Austin Eastciders spiked seltzer really over-delivers on great taste so people don’t have to make a big compromise when opting for lower-calorie drinks.”
Find it: Austin Eastciders products are available at retailers like H-E-B, Kroger, Target, Whole Foods, and more, as well as at the Austin Eastciders Collaboratory (979 Springdale Road, Suite 130, Austin, Texas) and Austin Eastciders Barton Springs (1530 Barton Springs Road, Austin, Texas). Order online at austineastciders.com.
Lone River Ranch Water
Ranch water: is it hard seltzer or a cocktail in a can? Depends who you ask, but an argument could be made for both. Either way, the legend of the origins of ranch water were born in far West Texas, and that is where Lone River Ranch Water has its roots. Made with agave, sparkling water, and lime juice (plus jalapeño or grapefruit juice in the label’s Spicy or Rio Red Grapefruit flavors), it is a crisp and refreshing sip for the ranch hand or lakeside lounger alike.
According to Katie Beal Brown, founder and CEO of Lone River Beverage Company, Lone River Ranch Water introduced a truly unique beverage that is a “no-fuss, beer-style offering amongst the sea of sameness within the hard seltzer category.” Furthermore, the company recently became the number-one-selling independent hard seltzer brand in the U.S.
Find it: Lone River Ranch Water is currently sold statewide, including at H-E-B, Whole Foods, Total Wine & More, Costco, 7-Eleven, Kroger, and Spec’s. It is also available via delivery platforms Drizly and Minibar. Check out loneriverbevco.com for a full list of retailers and restaurants.
Inspired by classic cocktails (with a Texas twist) and available in fun flavors like Sunset 77 (mango and passionfruit), Bramble (blackberry and lemon), Ranch Water (agave and lime), and Buck (ginger and strawberry), Texas-based Shotgun’s hard seltzers are one-of-a-kind. Plus, the label produced the first Texas craft seltzer and was the first to launch ranch water, too. None of the flavors contain sugar or aspartame, making them the perfect light-on-your-stomach, fizzy-on-your-pallet sparkling beverage for warm Texas days.
“It’s made by Texans, for Texans,” Shotgun Co-Founder Lori Foster said. So, crack a can and enjoy a low-calorie alternative.
Find it: Shotgun is available on tap at many bars, plus in canned form at H-E-B, Whole Foods, Spec’s, and more across Texas. Find some near you online at shotgunseltzer.com.
Hard Seltzer, Any Time, Any Place
One thing is for sure: Texas is brimming with flavor and innovation when it comes to hard seltzer and they are eager to gulp a refreshing sip, no matter the season, event, or occasion.
As Bearb put it, “Whether drinking it with friends at a party, pairing it with your favorite liquor to create a delicious cocktail, or throwing some in the cooler as you head out for an adventurous day, the possibilities are endless.”
Light, refreshing, and delicious Texas-made options abound.