Seltzerland Will Bring Over 100 Hard Seltzers to Texas This March
The touring festival is popping up in Austin, Houston and Dallas
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It’s impossible to walk into a grocery store or bar these days without tripping over hard seltzers. The drinks are everywhere, including options from established beer and liquor brands as well as new malt beverages that champion a low-cal lifestyle. The hard seltzer craze spiked in 2019, and in the ensuing years we’ve seen hundreds of canned seltzers entered the market. Growth has cooled somewhat, but seltzer is still a major category, one that’s likely not going anywhere, as evidenced by its wide availability — and fizz-focused events like Seltzerland.
Seltzerland held its first event in Chicago in 2020, and it’s been traveling the country ever since. This year, the festival includes stops in Austin (March 4 at Carson Creek Ranch), Houston (March 11 at POST Houston) and Dallas (March 18 at Klyde Warren Park), plus other major markets like New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Denver.
The events bring in more than 100 seltzers, ranging from big, national brands like White Claw and Topo Chico to craft upstarts, including local-to-Texas operations like Austin Cocktails, Mighty Swell and Blue Norther. All those bubbly drinks are joined by classic seltzer-adjacent activities (ladder ball, cornhole), photo ops inside an inflatable bubble booth and DJs who provide the day’s soundtrack. Food trucks will be on-site so you’re not drinking on an empty stomach, and select markets will also feature the “CANtina,” where tequila-based seltzers are complemented with the guacamole.
“When my team was thinking about Seltzerland initially in 2019, I wasn’t excited about it because I had tried one or two seltzers and it wasn’t my drink of choice,” says Kate Levenstien, the founder and CEO of Cannonball Productions, the company that started Seltzerland. So she did some research, procuring several cans from the store to learn more about the category. “I was overwhelmed with the number of options and flavors. I didn’t know where to begin. At that moment, I knew a seltzer and RTD festival was necessary for consumers to try and explore all of the different options.”
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The hard seltzer category can feel like a monolith, as brands and flavors run together in a bubbly river that typically averages between 4% and 8% alcohol-by-volume. But do a little digging — say, at a seltzer festival — and you’ll find options that range from the ubiquitous vodka soda and tequila soda to classic cocktails like the Moscow Mule, Mojito and Paloma. Some seltzers embrace every citrus and fruit flavor under the sun, while others go more esoteric, featuring kombucha, shrubs and even pickles.
With so many options available to sample at Seltzerland, it’s only fair that you get to judge the participants. On-site voting booths let attendees cast ballots for their favorites in a variety of categories, including best hard seltzer, best canned cocktail and best can design.
“Brands take a lot of pride in winning, and attendees love to have their voices heard,” says Levenstien. And all those options mean you’ll try something you’ve never had before. According to data from prior Seltzerland events, 99.4% of attendees leave the event having tried a new product that they plan to purchase in the future.
If you want to attend, there are three ticket options, each tied to a slightly different experience. General Access gets you in the door and provides a tasting cup, with access to all the seltzers, plus games and activations. Premier and Early Access ticket holders get to kick off the event with expedited entry and score an extra 30 minutes at the start of each session. Premier Access ticket holders also receive a specialty cocktail, a commemorative tasting glass, some exclusive swag and a full-size can of hard seltzer to take home. Although by then you may be ready for a beer.
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