What is a Hard Seltzer?

March 31, 2021

For the first guest edition of the Wildsip blog, we've been speaking to James Smith, one of the co-founders of Arrowtown, about the UK's latest drinks trend - hard seltzers!

Arrowtown are an East-Sussex based brand who do more than just make great drinks - 10% of their profits go to marine & wildlife conservation charities, helping you do your bit, with every sip.
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By now you’ve probably heard the phrase “hard seltzer” being banded around. Chances are, you were as confused as most when you first heard this unusual phrase. The closest thing I’d heard of was alka-seltzer, which no drinks brand wants to be associated with. So, what is a hard seltzer and why have they become so popular?

Hard seltzers burst onto the scene across the pond in 2019 and that is where the name comes from. Hard seltzers are essentially a simple mix of sparkling water, alcohol and fruit flavourings. In America, the word seltzer is used for sparkling water. Whilst, they also use the word hard to refer to the fact that something contains alcohol. So, there you have it. Hard seltzer = alcoholic sparkling water.

Now that we’ve set the record straight on what a hard seltzer is, why are they so popular? Can a drink so simple really be that good? Well, there are a few reasons why they’ve become the drink of choice for so many people with global sales reaching $4.5bn in 2020.

Health: It’s well documented that people are increasingly concerned with their health and wellness, particularly due to the pandemic. Due to their low sugar, low carb and low calorie make-up, hard seltzers provide a healthier alternative to traditional drinks. Most hard seltzers contain between 0-5g of sugar. For reference, a G&T can contain over 20g of sugar; turns out G&Ts aren’t so healthy after all… Also, with an ABV between 3 and 5% they appeal to the growing number of consumers looking for low-alcohol options. All these factors help make hard seltzers a guilt-free option for conscious consumers.

Light: Another reason they’ve taken off is that they are light and refreshing. Part of the reason I started Arrowtown was because I was sick of the bloating feeling you inevitably get when drinking beers or cider. However, due to their light nature, hard seltzers go down easy; even after several. Trust me, I’ve tried.

Different: Hard seltzers also provide drinkers with something a bit different. Most of us fall into the trap of drinking the same drinks regularly. When at the shops or a bar (remember those?), we’re almost always stuck choosing between the same beer, wine or spirits. For people looking to try something different, hard seltzers provide a novel alternative.

With the UK hard seltzer market set to grow to £75m by 2023, they’re here to stay. Now that we’ve demystified hard seltzers, the only thing left is for you to give them a go and make up your own mind.

Thanks for reading.

by James Smith
Co-Founder at Arrowtown

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