If you didn’t know it, the hard seltzer category is killing it (read: growing rapidly). Recently, Connecticut’s Two Roads Brewing Co. got into making boozy seltzer. Created and canned at the Two Roads facility, in Stratford, Conn., H2ROADS Craft Hard Seltzer is set to shake up the booming category by creating a portfolio of hard seltzers that uses 100 percent real fruit in lieu of extracts and flavorings.
To set themselves apart in the rapidly growing category, the RLT (Road Less Traveled) Innovation Team at Two Roads set out to craft a hard seltzer that didn’t rely on artificial ingredients.
According to Master Brewer, Phil Markowski, “using extracts or processed flavoring agents was a non-starter for us. We wanted to avoid an artificial flavor from additives and offer an alternative to folks who prefer a natural tasting product. Real fruit was the only way to achieve this. The natural byproduct of real fruit is real color, which all of our seltzers will have.”
This real color aspect of the liquid will be something that differentiates H2ROADS. According to Senior Marketing Manager Collin Kennedy, “we’re looking to educate consumers on what they’re drinking. Hard seltzers up to this point have largely been clear, yet claim to be fruited. Real fruit has color. The color found in H2ROADS will be a mark of distinction in the industry. It’s why we’re leading with the tagline ‘Real Fruit. Real Color. Real Refreshing.’”
Chief Commercial Officer Clement Pellani stated, “We found that craft beer drinkers occasionally turn to hard seltzer for a change of pace and for lower calories. To appeal to these drinkers, we decided to make a seltzer with real fruit that delivers a better, more natural taste with a completely clean finish.”
The team, led by Markowski, spent eight months developing the final liquid. Each H2ROADS Craft Hard Seltzer is made from 100 percent cane sugar and 100 percent real fruit, and will range between 95 to 115 calories, 2 to 3 g of sugar and 2 to 4 g of carbs. Calorie variations occur because different fruits have different sugar contents.
The decision to enter the hard seltzer category made complete sense to the Two Roads leadership team as long as it’s done in a Road Less Traveled fashion. CEO Brad Hittle noted: “Being just another entry is not how we operate. We decided to make a hard seltzer that is a better, crafted option for our customers to enjoy.”
Two Roads will also be launching its hard seltzers in draft format. “It makes perfect sense for on-premise retailers to offer a draft version of hard seltzer, especially one that is superior in taste and that won’t taint draft lines,” Hittle explained.
Packaging format will be another point of difference for the brand. Two Roads will be launching with a six-pack variety pack with three flavors, Raspberry, Grapefruit and Cranberry Lime. In addition Raspberry and Grapefruit will be offered in traditional 12-oz six-packs.
Look for H2ROADS Craft Hard Seltzer in six-packs and draft everywhere Two Roads is sold starting early August.