I ever so wrongly predicted that hard seltzers would be a “Here today, gone tomorrow” fad. They are now part of the beverage landscape and being added to brewery tap lists practically daily.
But I am going to double down – die on this hill proclaim that I do not think FMB’s (flavored malt beverages) are long for this world.
Oh, they will still be around but you won’t see the land rush from every brewery to make them. And when they lose interest or too much market share, then the pullback will begin. The major problem will be that the little breweries will be fighting over a pie that the big players can easily add themselves into and dominate.
Right now, your SABInBev’s, your Coors and Miller do not want to spend money on ingredients and time to make beer that competes with craft breweries. They steadfastly refuse entry into the world of IPAs, dopplebocks and Saisons, so craft has the run of that playground. Not so with hard seltzer where they can brand extend and create hundreds of flavors that are not far off from artisanal products.
I have tried many hard seltzers. Sone way too candy like for me and others that are subtle but none yet have struck me as un-replicable.