The newest release at Stillwater craft brewery Lift Bridge Brewing Company isn’t beer at all. It’s hard seltzer.
The spiked sparkling water is trending here and everywhere, fueled in part by LaCroix mania (that’s the wildly popular sparkling water originally from Wisconsin), and in part by rising health consciousness that has consumers looking for lower-calorie alcohol alternatives.
Lift Bridge is touting their hard seltzer as just that.
“Seltzers are more refreshing, low calorie, and low guilt factor,” said Brad Glynn, Lift Bridge co-founder. “You don’t feel like you’re becoming too full from them.” One 12-ounce hard seltzer has 120 calories and 2 grams of sugar. And because it’s made from fermented sugar as opposed to malt, it’s a new way for breweries to go after the gluten-free (and non-beer-drinking) market.
Lift Bridge isn’t the first in Minnesota to offer hard seltzer — that would be Third Street Brewhouse in Cold Spring. But it is the largest, and when the product is canned come spring, it will go up against nationally distributed hard seltzers like Whiteclaw.
“There are a lot of national companies and bigger corporations doing these. We thought, why can’t we make something locally crafted with some interesting flavors?” Glynn said.
To start, Lift Bridge is offering four flavors in its taproom (1900 Tower Dr. W., Stillwater, 888-430-2337, liftbridgebrewery.com). They are Northwoods Juice Box (apple-cranberry), St. Croix Berries, Voyageur Citrus, and Island Time Tropical Blend. Northwoods Juice Box will show up at bars in the Twin Cities in late January.