Fizzy, low-cal hard seltzer: Perfect booze for a healthy new year

On a recent trip to Seattle, while tasting my way through SoDo Urbanworks — a warehouse district of wineries, breweries and a bubbly bar — I stumbled into another kind of boozery, where the tipple is clear as water, light in flavor and has less than 100 calories, with no added sugar.

San Juan Seltzery is the West’s first taproom devoted to hard seltzer, a fizzy spiked drink that’s experiencing a rapid rise in popularity. Perhaps it was the hints of Oregon pears and Mount Rainier cherries or the nautical decor meant to transport me to the islands, but I kept imagining myself lolling on a boat sipping this stuff. And I came back from Seattle thinking less about heavy IPAs and more about light, refreshing hard seltzer.

Here in Northern California, we have Ficks, which, like San Juan Seltzery, is a relative newcomer to a category that some analysts predict could be a $2.5 billion industry by 2021. Located inside the former Golden State Cider digs in Sebastopol, Ficks doesn’t have a tasting room (yet), but it sells six-packs of its four flavors — blackberry, lime, cranberry and grapefruit — at select Whole Foods, Total Wine, Safeway, Target and BevMo stores for about $10. The hard seltzer has five percent alcohol and no added sugar.

Made with blackberries from the Pacific Northwest, Ficks has 100 calories and 5 percent alcohol. (Ficks Beverage Co)

Founders Ron Alvarado and Mike Williamson met while attending Santa Clara University, where they bonded over making healthy-ish cocktails. They released a series of cocktail mixers in 2015 but soon after set their sights on bringing a farm-to-fizz version of hard seltzer, produced by giants like White Claw, Boston Beer Company’s Truly and Smirnoff’s Bon & Viv, to market. In 2018, Ficks was born.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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