Updated: Feb 8
Hard Seltzer... what is it?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hard seltzer, spiked seltzer or hard sparkling alcohol water is a type of highball drink containing carbonated water, alcohol, and often fruit flavouring. In the US the alcohol is usually made by fermenting cane sugar; sometimes malted barley is used. Hard seltzer products outside of the US have been found to use either neutral spirit or fermentation of fruit. The alcohol by volume is around 5% and the calorie-content is relatively low.
5th generation brewer Nick Shields invented the beverage style with "Spiked Seltzer", in Westport, Connecticut, and brewed the first commercial batches in November 2013. The category saw a spike in popularity around 2018–2019 in the U.S. As of 2019, in the U.S. the most popular brand is White Claw. Hard seltzer is expected to generate $2.5 billion in sales in the US by 2021. Analysts attribute the success of White Claw and the appeal of hard seltzer in general to increased demand from health-conscious consumers. The rise of hard seltzers in the beer category may also be seen as a reflection of the broader surge in popularity of non-alcoholic flavoured seltzers evidenced by the sudden and massive popularity of brands like LaCroix and Spindrift. On the back of this popularity, hard seltzer brands have launched in numerous countries outside of the U.S., including in Canada, Australia and the UK. In February 2020, White Claw launched in Canada and has a registered trademark in the UK.
Now that we know what "Hard Seltzer" or alcoholic flavoured sparkling water is, we thought we'd embark on a journey of discovery into what the UK has to offer within this space. We found a good range of brands but one stands out from all the noise. Long Shot! This fantastic British brand brings a great story of entrepreneurship so we thought we just had to get in touch with George and Hugo for a quickfire Q&A so our Lifestyle Guide community has the low down. Long Shot is carving their own path through the Hard Selzer space and we're delighted to bring you this exclusive interview.
The Who? Could you give us a bit of background about yourselves?
The Long Shot journey began with nothing more than a Soda Stream, some funky local flavours and a late night or two experimenting with a new drinks idea we’d been hearing so much about. We never had the classic ‘drinks’ background but what we did have was; bucket loads of ambition, a desire to do things differently, and a great idea.
Hugo, my business partner, had a brief stint in the corporate world – working as a chartered accountant, and I’d been bouncing around a few jobs in the marketing industry.
It wasn’t until a chance trip to the US in 2019, though, that we saw how big this new trend was for Hard Seltzers, and how passionate those that were drinking it were. We instantly fell in love with the idea, but still couldn’t find any options that weren’t crammed with artificial sugars and flavourings, so we decided to head home and make our own version in a way that would work for UK drinkers.
The What? Hard Seltzer... what is it all about?
A simple blend of alcohol, sparkling water and flavourings, hard seltzers are one of the newest and most exciting developments in the drinks world – having completely disrupted the US drinks scene, as more drinkers opted for lighter, lower-carb options.
Long Shot is a British take on this new craze, using al