Hard seltzers are bubbling up everywhere and the trend isn’t likely to fizzle out anytime soon. According to Grand View Research, the global hard seltzer market was valued at $4.4 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach 14.5 billion by 2027.
The gluten-free drinks – a mix of carbonated water, alcohol and fruit flavoring – have a lower calorie and carb count than your average beer. While outdoor gatherings are awash in national brands such as White Claw and Truly, some local breweries are dipping their toe in the sparkling waters.
Here’s some of our favorite Pittsburgh-produced alco-pops.
Personal Day Hard Seltzer, Maggie’s Farm Rum, 3212a Smallman St., Strip District
Over the past six months, the folks at Maggie’s Farm (a.k.a. Allegheny Distilling) have been working on a hard seltzer brand called Personal Day. The all-natural refreshments — available in lemon, lime, pineapple and grapefruit — are made with vodka and freshly squeezed juice. The first batch sold out in less than a day, but all four flavors are back at the distillery.
Accla-Seltzer, Acclamation Brewing, 555b Wildwood Ave., Verona
Acclamation Brewing opened in 2020 with a strong lineup of beers running the gamut from pale ale to stout. Earlier this year, Acclamation debuted its line of 5% ABV Accla-Seltzers, starting with a wild huckleberry lemonade. The brewery continues to churn out new styles of liquid relief, including blueberry, cranberry orange ginger, grapefruit, lemon drop, and lemonades with raspberry, blueberry pomegranate acai, black cherry and strawberry kiwi.
G&T, East End Brewing Co., 147 Julius St., Larimer
East End released its gin and tonic-inspired seltzer in February and, according to owner Scott Smith, the response has been so strong, there might be different versions of it in the near future. The beverage is infused with botanicals such as juniper berries and dried orange peel and clocks in at 7.5% ABV.
Loganberry Hard Seltzer, Eleventh Hour Brewing Co., 3711 Charlotte St., Lawrenceville
Eleventh Hour keeps a seltzer on tap for guests on gluten-free or low-carb diets. Currently, it’s offering a 5% ABV loganberry, a hybrid of blackberry and raspberry. The company is working on new flavors for the summer along with an updated branding for its seltzer line.
Zemu, Mindful Brewing Co., 3759 Library Road, Castle Shannon, and 1001 Washington Ave., Carnegie
To be crystal clear: the name is Zemu, not Zima, the “malternative” beverage craze from the mid-1990s. The Mindful crew wants you to chill out, so they named the line after the largest glacier in the Eastern Himalayas. Mindful has created a bunch of different flavors over the past few years. Currently, you can try the Cranberry Zemu on tap or grab 16-ounce cans of Grin & Tonic, a cocktail-inspired collaboration with Carnegie’s Quantum Spirits.
AGBC Seltzer, Altered Genius Brewing Co., 411 Merchant St., Ambridge
If you’re wary about jumping on the seltzer bandwagon, Altered Genius offers its juniper pear AGBC Seltzer in 5-ounce pours, along with half-pints, 12-ouncers and full-pints. It’s an easy and affordable way to taste test what everybody is talking about. A canned blueberry lemon seltzer, which contains a champagne yeast, sold out quickly but is now back in four-packs.