Alaskan Brewing Co. employees pour a sample of a new spruce cherry grapefruit hard seltzer at the Imperial Saloon, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

Alaskan Brewing Co. employees pour a sample of a new spruce cherry grapefruit hard seltzer at the Imperial Saloon, Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. (Ben Hohenstatt | Juneau Empire)

The trend is near: Alaskan Brewing Co. offers hard seltzer sneak peek

Two new flavors make a Juneau debut

With hard seltzer sales rising across the U.S. like so many carbonated bubbles, Alaskan Brewing Co. is releasing its takes on the trendy, alcoholic beverage.

The Juneau-based brewery is releasing two seltzers with Alaska-influenced flavors — spruce cherry grapefruit and spruce lemon-lime —that are poised to hit stores and bars in Alaska starting Nov. 1 and other markets next year, according to Alaskan Brewing Co.

However, some Juneauites got to try the new beverages early.

Friday evening, Alaskan Brewing Co. employees were at a handful of Juneau bars and restaurants offering sneak peek samples of the new drinks.

“Compared to White Claw, I like this a lot better,” said Felix Lee after trying the lemon-lime flavored seltzer at the Imperial Saloon.

[Photos: A look at Forbidden Peak’s grand opening]

The success of seltzers like White Claw as well as other craft brewers wading into the hard seltzer market partly explain Alaskan Brewing Co.’s new products, said Alaskan Brewing Co. product development lead Dave Wilson, who was pouring and handing out samples of the seltzers at the Triangle Club Bar.

”It’s an emerging market,” Wilson said.

Hard seltzer sales have grown by leaps and bounds in recent years and out-sold well-known domestic beers. Hard seltzer is projected to become a multi-billion-dollar industry in the coming years, as reported by CNN and Business Insider.

Plus, Wilson said the seltzers are a chance to do something new. Wilson said aside from some past sodas, the seltzers are the brewery’s first non-beer efforts.

“This is an example of something different,” Wilson said. “Our brand is more of a malt-y focus.”

Instead of malt, hard seltzers use fermentable sugar, and no hops are used in making the drinks. During fermentation, the sugar is converted into alcohol, which is generally considered its own category of macronutrient, resulting in a sugar-free beverage.

Wilson said the seltzer flavors were chosen based on what works well with Sitka spruce tips, what seltzer flavors tend to be popular and internal tastings.

Folks who tried the seltzers Friday evening seemed largely impressed with the new drinks for a handful of reasons, including taste, lack of sugar and gluten and relatively low calorie and carbohydrate content.

Both the subtly sweet spruce cherry grapefruit and the unexpectedly tart lemon-lime flavors received compliments from seltzer fans and first-time hard seltzer drinkers.

[Local brewer ties for top spot in contest]

“I love it,” said Karen Wood, who liked the spruce lemon-lime flavor best. “It’s really light and fresh.”

Wood said it was her first time having a hard seltzer, but she would likely have one again.

Darla Madden, who was with Wood, said she preferred the spruce cherry grapefruit flavor.

“I can see me drinking this after golfing,” Madden said.

• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Jan. 22

This photo shows pills police say were seized after a suspicious package was searched. (Juneau Police Department)
Police: 1,000 fentanyl pills, 86 grams of meth seized

Juneau man arrested on felony charges.

Library Director Dave Berry and Advisory Board Chair Kate Finn participate in Library Advisory Board meeting on Tuesday Jan. 17, 2023, at Homer City Hall, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Emilie Springer/Homer News)
Homer Library Advisory Board upholds decision to retain LGBTQ+ books

A citizen’s group last year submitted a petition asking that the books be removed from the children’s section

Courtesy Photo / Juneau Police Department 
This photo shows Woodrow Farrell Eagleman who police say after going missing on Jan. 11 was seen leaving town on Jan. 12 via airport surveillance.
Police: Man reported missing took plane out of town

A Juneau man recently reported as missing was found leaving town on… Continue reading

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Thursday, Jan. 26

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Juneau-based actor Xáalnook Erin Tripp was recently named one of the 2023 Artists in Business Leadership Fellows for First Peoples Fund program. Tripp said she intends to use to program’s grant funding to set up a professional recording studio in Juneau for her voice acting career and to share with other artists in the community. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)
First Peoples Fund to help Juneau actor create recording studio for voice acting

Xáalnook Erin Tripp among artists with Southeast ties to earn the award.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Katie Botz, a Juneau school bus driver honored by Gov. Mike Dunelavy for her advocacy on behalf of abuse victims, stands to applause during his recognition of her during the State of the State speech Monday night at the Alaska State Capitol.
‘A victory for all of us’: Juneau woman recognized among Resilient Alaskans for her advocacy

Katie Botz’s presence — and brief absence — as a victims advocate led to a big win and governor’s honor.

Arnold Vosloo as Colonel Bach addresses US soldiers in latest film, “Condor’s Nest” in theaters and digital release on Friday. (Courtesy Photo / PMKBNC)
‘Popcorn thriller’ set in South America features actor from Alaska

“Condor’s Nest” will be available on demand Friday.

Jim Cockrell, commissioner of the Alaska Department of Public Safety, speaks in Wasilla at a May 3, 2022, news conference. Cockrell has ordered an investigation after troopers mistakenly took a school principal into custody for a mental health exam. (Photo by Yereth Rosen / Alaska Beacon)
Troopers, misled by false court order, detained principal for mental health check

State troopers mistakenly took Alaska’s 2022 Principal of the Year into custody…

Most Read