The craft beer industry is known for its multiple fads and trends, including and definitely not limited to barrel-aged beer, NEIPAs, glitter beer, pastry stouts, and adding [insert adjunct here] to beers. Some may even say craft beer is a fad altogether. Where will hard seltzer fall in the timeline? Is it just another fad or will it become a mainstay in the industry?

I’ve been wrestling with this question for months now, and I think it’s time to investigate it.

Am I late to the party? Probably.

It’s safe to say that hard seltzers have grown in popularity over the past few years. Within the last few months, thanks to COVID-19, hard seltzer sales have been on the rise with budget beers being not too far behind.

Whether it was due to people saving money or being more health-conscious, more and more brands of hard seltzer are popping up every week.  So far in 2020, traditional macro beer brands have released a hard seltzer line including Molson Coors, Corona, and Bud Light. Microbreweries have also been adding hard seltzers to their rotations, especially in the summer. The skeptic in me feels like we’ve been down this path before…

Flashback – Summer of 2015

Yes, that’s right. Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer hit the scene during the summer of 2015. This beverage became a hot commodity for summertime activities.

Photo Credit – Meijer

Yes, hard seltzers were around, but no one was paying attention to them as this craze blew up! Macro brands and microbreweries were beginning to develop their own hard root beer, and later, hard pop/soda flavors. This beverage craze soon died away and nowadays only a handful of hard root beers still occupy grocery store shelves, including a rebranded OG.

What’s next?

Cue the eye roll from all the haters out there: I will be giving hard seltzers a try this summer. I’ll still be drinking craft beer, but I will also be looking into what the hard seltzer craze is all about by drinking as many varieties that I can and reviewing them. Perhaps by the end of the summer, I’ll be able to conjure up a list of my favorites, as Good Housekeeping did.