Hard soda is not new — falling into the flavored malt beverage category — but Coke and Pepsi getting into the booze game is relatively new. Coca-Cola Co. launched an alcoholic sparkling water, Topo Chico hard seltzer, in the United States with the help of Molson Coors Beverage Co. last year. Coca-Cola bought the Topo Chico brand in 2017 from its second-largest bottling partner in Latin America — Arca Continental. Coca-Cola has also been dabbling with alcoholic offerings in Asia, where it recently released Coca-Cola’s Lemon-Do in Japan, which is an alcoholic beverage known as a chūhai (or Chu-Hi). We’ll note that Coca-Cola actually briefly entered the wine business in the 1970s, but that is another story that you can skip to right over here.
Not to be out boozed, PepsiCo is now teaming up with The Boston Beer Co. to produce HARD MTN DEW (all caps like that because it’s both hard and EXTREME). HARD MTN DEW will contain “bold flavors and distinctive branding,” according to the press release, all with an ABV of 5 percent. I am unsure of its caffeine contents at this juncture, but the picture above is promoting zero sugar. Of course, Mountain Dew is a soft drink that is enjoyed by adults, teenagers and children, but the press release assures us: “This new flavored malt beverage (FMB) will be marketed to adults of legal age and merchandized consistently with other alcohol beverages.” I definitely would not mistake the brand above for regular Mountain Dew products.
“For 80 years MTN DEW has challenged the status quo, bringing bold flavors and unmatched beverage innovation to millions of fans,” said Kirk Tanner, PepsiCo Beverages North America CEO. “The Boston Beer Company partnership combines two recognized leaders in our respective industries to address the changing tastes of drinkers and we are thrilled at the opportunity to create HARD MTN DEW that maintains the bold, citrus flavor fans know and expect.”
As part of the business arrangement, Boston Beer will develop and produce HARD MTN DEW, and PepsiCo has set up a new entity to sell, deliver and merchandise the product. This announcement comes at a time when Boston Beer is currently struggling to sell seltzer as the seltzer and beer markets soften. Consumers should anticipate finding HARD MTN DEW on shelves in early 2022. Bide your time buy consuming any number of Mountain Dew products. Just remember: Mountain Dew Mouth is destroying Appalachia’s teeth.