Who Has the Bubbly?

Growing Number of Colorado Breweries Producing Hard Seltzer 

By Natasha Lovato

The latest, and some say greatest, libations trend is rolling in like a wave throughout Colorado just in time for summer. These Colorado breweries hopped on the boozy-La Croix-esq train to bring you fruity, low calorie, low in sugar, gluten-free and thirst-quenching flavors in a can or on tap, wherever your summer adventures might take you.

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Verboten Brewing

Verboten sought to provide a gluten-free drink option for their guests as well as a collaboration with local business when producing hard seltzers. 

“Our mantra is that we want everyone who walks in the door to find something to drink,” said Travis Massey, Verboten’s taproom manager. Their first hard seltzer launched in November, a ginger-lime flavor created in collaboration with Kure’s Ginger Beer in Loveland. 

“It’s been something everyone’s been on board for,” Massey said. Rotating flavors are only on tap currently, but the Verboten team is working on perfecting the recipes before they begin canning.

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Epic Brewing

It’s been on the down low for the past few months, but with positive feedback, Epic Brewing will release canned hard seltzers this summer known as Pakkā Hard Seltzer. You can drop in the Denver or Salt Lake taprooms to try a flight, or a glass of the seltzers made from real fruit.

“Pakkā means real, genuine substance,” Epic co-founder Dave Cole said. “When people go to a beer taproom they come for beer so it’s definitely a new concept for everyone but the feedback has been positive. Its awesome people are drinking it.” Cole plans on launching an individual website for Pakkā as Epic’s hard seltzer comes to full fruition later this summer. 

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Upslope Brewing Company

Upslope knows what’s best for the après moments in life, which is why this Boulder brewery introduced Spiked Snowmelt craft hard seltzer. Their mixed 12-pack features Juniper and Lime, Tangerine and Hops, and Pomegranate and Acai flavors in 12-ounce cans. 

“Our Spiked Snowmelt delivers a lightly flavored, low calorie and gluten free option with the same main ingredient that we’ve used since the beginning – snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains in our backyard,” said Dany Page, Upslope’s director of brewery operations. “This crisp, clean and refreshing product has been in the works for the past year, and we can’t wait to get these cans into your hands for your next adventure.”

Upslope Spiked Snowmelt will be available at liquor retail stores in Upslope’s distribution areas. Juniper and lime will also be available on draft this month. 

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Denver Beer Co.

The perfect canned-companion for your Colorado adventures recently became available when DBC joined the craft hard seltzer craze with the debut of O&A Colorado Craft Hard Seltzer in Lime or Black Cherry flavors. 

O&A seltzers are made to be gluten free with alcohol from cane sugar, carbonated water, and natural flavors for a boozy refreshment of only 100 calories, as well as produced using 100 percent solar power at Denver Beer Co.’s Canworks brewery.

“When crafting O&A it was very important to us to make sure we created great flavors that are both refreshing and satisfying,” Jason Buehler, Denver Beer Co. head brewer said. Denver Beer’s co-founder, Charlie Berger, wanted the hard seltzer to be something for every Colorado occasion.  

“We hope this craft hard seltzer finds its way into skiers’ backpacks for après, in coolers for afternoons at the park or a friend’s backyard BBQ, in the back of your Subaru when you head to the mountains to bike or hike with friends, or for tailgating at Red Rocks before a show. It’s light, refreshing, health-conscious, and a lot of fun,” Berger said.

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Westminster Brewing Co. 

With re-opened doors on May 3, Westminster Brewing Co. wasted no time bringing something new and exciting to their customers. The Prickly Pear Hard Seltzer is on tap now and head brewer and owner Nathan Adler is excited to produce more new hard seltzer concepts.

“We wanted to see if it’s something people would like,” Adler said. “We’re constantly getting ideas from our customers and playing with different flavors.” 

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Oskar Blues Brewery 

Crafted and canned in Longmont, Oskar Blues Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water stands true to their tagline: “Keep Running Wild.” As implied, Wild Basin speaks to active lifestyle consumers who value the outdoors, socializing with friends and healthier living with alternative spirit options.

“Wild Basin challenges some existing category conventions,” Oskar Blues CMO Patrick Daugherty said. “Our goal is to introduce something that can help grow the category and give drinkers a true craft option in hard seltzer.” The gluten-free hard seltzer is available in numerous culinary combinations including Cucumber Peach, Melon Basil, Lemon Agave Hibiscus and Classic Lime. 

Plus, with every mixed pack purchase, Oskar Blues will donate $1 to their charitable partner, The Can’d Aid Foundation, in support of river preservation initiatives.