Beat the Heat with Cool Crossovers
There is a trend that is exciting that is happening in the alcohol industry. Customers are looking for different alcohol items that don’t follow the traditional packaging and types. There is a blurring of the lines between wine and beer and beer and spirits. Let’s talk about some of them.
This spring New Holland Brewing and Distillery announced the unveiling of three new spirit items in a can and ready to drink. They are ready to drink cocktails. Can alcohol is all the rage. Craft beer in cans, wine in cans, now cocktails in a can. Like I’ve said before, cans work at the 4 P’s: porch, patio, picnic, and pontoon boat. Available in Michigan.
The three offerings from New Holland are made with their premium spirits, making them a high quality cocktail in a convenient package. Bourbon and cola is one of them, and it is made from New Holland’s famous Beer Barrel Bourbon. You won’t find this great flavor anywhere but from New Holland. The bourbon in this drink spent time in Dragon’s Milk beer barrels which, ironically, were bourbon barrels previously. The other two ingredients are cane sugar and crisp cola.
The second canned cocktail is a Blueberry Gin Lemonade. This is made with the great tasting Knickerbocker Blueberry Gin. The ingredient list on this lists the Knickerbocker, cane sugar, more blueberries, and lemonade. A great sipper for this hot summer. Tart, refreshing, and sweet at the same time.
The third is my favorite, a Holland Mule. I love the flavor of ginger and find it delicious in a mixed drink. This mule is made with Knickerbocker regular gin, ginger beer, and lime juice. Ginger Ale is carbonated water with ginger flavoring, whereas ginger beer is a ginger that is fermented and has such low alcohol that the FDA does not recognize it as alcohol. This refreshing drink is spicy and zesty.
In other markets we are really exited about the introduction of Joia Spirit Craft Cocktails. Mobile vodka cocktails combining fruit, herbs and spices, they’re all natural with no artificial anything and they’re lower in sugar and calories for a just-right, not-too-sweet taste — a fresh twist on classic cocktails. Three refreshing flavors, Sparkling Greyhound, Sparkling Moscow Mule and Sparkling Cosmopolitan. 6-7% ABV. Not Available in Michigan
Ciders are a great crossover from beer and wine. They have gained popularity with the onset of Angry Orchard a few years ago. We have a great cider from Farmhaus Cider Co. named Crushable. This cider is very refreshing due to its blend with cucumbers. It is another skeptical drink for me that crushed my doubts when I tasted it for the first time. The ABV is 6.4%. The ingredients listed are apples, cucumber, and rosemary. It is a great offering from Farmhaus in Hudsonville, MI. Available in Michigan.
Speaking of cider, a really cool crossover that is occurring is rosé and cider. Virtue Cider, from Fennville, MI, has come out with a rosé cider. This is a very delicious combination of cider, spices, and herbs that give the juice a light pink hue and a dryness reminiscent of rosé wine. The apple flavor is all there in this drink and the rosé comes out in the floral notes and slightly dry finish. The apple cider is from a blend of Jonathon, Golden Russets, McIntosh, Ida Red, and Northern Spy apples. Available in Michigan.
Outside of Michigan there are some amazing national brand cider’s to introduce you to the crisp, cool and refreshing flavors of apples and some amazing combinations that have been crafted. Depending on your taste there is something for everybody. Do you have a sweet tooth, check out Angry Orchard. Like something drier, Strongbow may be for you. Don’t like sweet or dry, Crispin is a nice in between and very refreshing. All of these brands also have released their own rosé cider. Available in all Family Fare stores.
A fifth crossover is from the beer family, Corona Premier. This beer looks like a straightforward Corona beer. It is that until you taste it. The Corona influence is definitely in this beer but not like the traditional Corona Extra or Corona Light. This beer mimics a more super premium beer and is targeted at people that want low calories and low carbs. The Premier fits this bill with only 7 IBUs, a 4% ABV, 90 calories, and 2.6 carbs. It has a great looking label as well. Available in all Family Fare stores.
Our last crossover has been around for a while and still sells great. It is the Buderita line of beer items from Budweiser. We have this in our ads on a frequent basis due to their sales. It is a beer that acts like a mixed drink. It has the flavors of a beer that are subtle combined with the flavors of a margarita. This can be served out of the can, or, the more popular way, over ice. It is an easy to use drink that tastes like a margarita. Very delicious and refreshing. Available in all Family Fare stores.
Greg VanOverloop, Beer & Wine Specialist
- Started in the Grocery business bagging at D&W in 1975. Worked at D&W for 30 years in various departments.
- Worked at SpartanNash for 11 years. Currently the Category Manager for Wine/Beer/Spirits for SpartanNash East.
- Have been a category manager since 1990 and a category manager of beer since 1997. CM of wine and spirits since 2007.
- Have travelled extensively which provided the opportunity to taste many foods and beverages from Hong Kong to Caribbean, from California to Maine.
- Love to cook, grill, and bake, snow ski, sail, and read books. Best baked item – a bourbon pecan pie with rum crust. Best grilled item – salmon with blueberry onion wine sauce and goat cheese. Best cooked item – Squash Apple soup with bourbon. Best ski slope – Go Devil at Keystone. Best book – Wonder.
- 1 wife, 3 children, 7.3 grandchildren.