As the summer heats up and our evenings lengthen, we seek a refreshing comfort that will refresh us as we navigate a post-pandemic world. Many have made connections with seltzer such as White Claw and Press during their rise in popularity over the past two years, but there is also a healthy pool of locally made seltzer to choose from – local breweries. Epic, Nuances, Uinta, Squatters and Grid city can provide fodder for your scorching seltzer summer. With flavors such as Cherry Lime, Pineapple & Mint, Raspberry, Peach and a fruity Rosé, your sparkling summer companions are plentiful.
Epic Brewing Company
Pakkā Cherry Lime
In the refreshing world of hard seltzer, Epic‘s Pakkā the offerings are particularly crisp and fresh. The flavors here – our choice was Cherry Lime – are found on the reserved end, more a subtle increase in carbonated sparkle than an explosive intestinal punch. Straight out of the fridge, the lime flavor dominated the first sip. As the seltzer water quickly approached room temperature, as is often the case during a Utah summer, especially when drinking outdoors, the citrus bite mellowed and the richer cherry flavor came to the fore for a pleasantly sweet finish. Epic‘s Pakkā Selts are a safe bet if you really, really want to convince yourself that you are * not * drinking alcohol while you tidy up a dozen bakers by the pool. –AL
Grid City Beer Works
Bubble Works Rosé Hard Seltzer
Grid City Beer WorksThe Bubble Works collection is home to a biting troupe of four hard seltts, including the Aperitif, Cucumber Lime, Hoppy Hard and Rosé. While super hot at 8.2% blood alcohol content, this rosé seltzer is the perfect sipping experience to cool off in the sun. Pouring this portion was electric, as the light carbonation projected sparkling bubbles from the top of my mug above the ruby red body of the rosé. The first sip introduces a refreshing, traditional taste of Rosé with a crisp landing on my tongue. Not as sweet as initially expected, the juices of dried raspberry, freeze-dried tangy cherry, prickly pear, and muscat canelli showed up – in that order – as the drink settled down to a warmer temperature. Be warned: at this particular ABV, this little number might be a little TOO easy to drink. Everything will be fine, won’t it? –BV
Livli Pineapple & Mint
Among the local seltzers we sampled, Nuances‘The Livli brand has one of the biggest personalities – a hard seltzer for connoisseurs of flavor. Following Nuances‘penchant for brewing experimentation – their favorite sour Pina Colada, their “Slurry” beer concoctions – the fruit and herbal blend of pineapple and seltzer mint strives to be unique at first. Interestingly enough, the individual notes of pineapple and mint didn’t really speak up during my tasting. Instead, the combination of the two resulted in a creamy fruit flavor not unlike that of classic summer Creamsicles. While the rich flavors and textures of this seltzer make it an unlikely candidate for multiple-can consumption, the Livli’s sturdy body offers a valid choice if your desires incline to sit back and ‘cure one for the flavor’. –AL
Squatters Brewing Co.
Grandeur Peak Peach Sparkling Water
Call me Princess Peach, cause this Grandeur Peak Sparkling peach water made me feel like royalty saved from the grip of danger! If anything could deconstruct a peach and rebuild it into a light, watered version of itself, it’s squatters’ Peak of Grandeur. The fuzzy sensation that greets your mouth from the first sip comfortably rolls out the red carpet for the star of the show, the nicely rounded peach flavor. Crunchy, fruity and almost creamy, this low carbon and very refreshing sparkling drink offers a lighter option than Wild basin‘s Cucumber Peach, without the consequent bloating and lingering malt liquor taste of seltzer water. Arriving at a safe 4.5% ABV, you can easily push a few off before you need to be put in a
turn for a little princess break. –BV
Uinta Brewery‘s Westwater Seltzer range does not achieve the same eye-catching novelty as other local brands; instead, the brewery strives to perfect the basics and offers the tried and true trio of lime, mango and raspberry. That said, our raspberry flavor taste test found that simplicity doesn’t equate to blandness. Of the group, Westwater Raspberry has some of the most naturalistic tasting notes, eschewing candy-like artificiality and leaning into the true taste of a fruity drink. While some traditional seltzers lean so crispy they border on tonic and some come across more as high falutin concoctions, Westwater falls in that golden mean – far from bland, but even further from to be an exercise at a sip of experimental perfection. She’s the resident cutie who doesn’t bite but can still give you a great time. –AL