By Leah Kitagawa
This year there are more ready-to-drink options than ever before with locally produced hard seltzers, hard teas and distilled spirits-based cocktails. Craft brewers entering into the RTD market are making quality products with all-natural ingredients – a welcome change from mass-produced, artificially-flavoured cocktails. For craft drinkers looking for a thirst-quenching alternative to beer, here are some great local options:
In 2019, Collective Arts announced their expansion into distilling and launched their Artisanal Dry Gin and Rhubarb & Hibiscus Gin. Since then they have created a line of mixologist-driven sparkling gin-cocktails and a collection of sparkling hard teas from all-natural tea blends and botanicals. Both the gin cocktails and hard teas are thoughtfully crafted and delightfully refreshing. Their new flavours include an Elderberry & Yuzu with Juniper & Lavender Gin cocktail and a Raspberry & Lemon Verbena Hard Tea.
All Collective Arts gin cocktails & hard teas are available through both brewery locations and online at https://collectiveartsontario.com/collections/spirts-cocktails. You can also find the Pink Gin & Soda with Raspberry & Bitter Orange cocktail at various LCBO locations.
In January, Godspeed entered the RTD cocktail scene in authentic Godspeed style (no it’s not a smoked seltzer!) by launching a product that’s both innovative and true to their brand. Godspeed’s first hard seltzer is made with all-natural ingredients including green tea & Japanese citrus. Using green tea from brewmaster Luc Lafontaine’s field in Japan and an exquisite blend of Japanese citrus, their seltzer showcases notes of peppery citrus pith, Bartlett pear, and a balanced helping of green tea. At 2% ABV, this is a low-alcohol hard seltzer is perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot summer day. Godspeed Seltzer is available from the brewery and online at https://godspeedbrewery.com/shop.
Kensington started their seltzer program in 2019 with a very specific vision for producing super playful, creative fruit combinations. Kensington’s seltzers are around 5% and are made from a perfectly clear and neutral malt base. Last month Kensington launched two new flavour combinations – Lavender & Peach and Mango & Lychee.
Right now, their plan is simply to meet the demand for their seltzers that is currently outpacing most of their beer brands. Keep an eye out for future releases, as they’re busy working on a dry-hopped seltzer and dreaming up more innovative fruit combinations. Kensington seltzers are available at their two brewery locations, online at https://kensington-brewing.myshopify.com/collections/craft-hard-seltzers. They are also available at numerous Beer Store locations across Ontario.
At the end of 2020, Left Field achieved a pretty amazing milestone by reaching their 300th brew in a single year. In February, Left Field decided to try something new and released a Lemon-Lime and Grapefruit-Tangerine seltzer under the name .300 Seltzers to celebrate their accomplishment. Recently rebranded as 7th inning seltzers, Left Field has their two OG flavours and have added Blue Raspberry as the newest (and super tasty) flavour to their roster.
Left Field’s seltzers are made with a dextrose base fermented with a special yeast and finished with all-natural flavours. They are subtly flavoured, fresh and super crushable – a perfect drink for any occasion, but especially outdoors on a warm sunny afternoon. You can find Left Field’s hard seltzers at the brewery and online at https://www.leftfieldbrewery.ca.