In case you’ve been living under a rock: Hard seltzers are the craze du jour in brewing. Thanks to the ubiquitous popularity of the big brands (ahem, White Claw), a few regional players have tossed their hats into the ring so you can keep your seltzers local. Catering to non-beer-drinkers (or just the beer bloat–averse) and those looking to imbibe on the lighter side during warmer months, these fruit-flavored, carbonated malt liquor beverages clock in at a substantial 5 percent ABV and contain around 100 calories and a scant amount of carbs per 12-ounce serving. We think you’ll be seeing more of these guys as the mercury rises.
Seltzer Project by Platform
Platform’s take on seltzer is bold, with a heavier, soda-like candy-fruit taste. If you’re after more than just a hint of flavor, this might be for you, but there is a slight aftertaste. Two new flavors are released each quarter. Flavor of choice: Black Cherry
Locoba by Platform, 1201 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 481-2337, platformbeer.co
Vive by Braxton Brewing Co.
Sweetened with natural fruit flavors, juice concentrate, and natural cane sugar, Vive has a crisp, refreshing sip and a clean finish that’s comparable to the national brands. Sold in four fruit flavors: mango, dragonfruit, lime, and grapefruit. Flavor of choice: Mango
Braxton Brewing Co., 27 W. Seventh St., Covington, (859) 261-5600, viveseltzer.com
Hard Seltzer by March First
Currently served on draft and soon to be bottled. With more of a sparkle than a fizz, it goes down smoothly and has authentic fruit flavor. Available in Saturn Peach and Tropical Fruit; additional flavors released seasonally. Flavor of choice: Saturn Peach
March First Brewing, 7885 E. Kemper Rd., Blue Ash, (513) 718-9173, marchfirstbrewing.com