Published on June 11th, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz
The summer 2021 season is almost underway, and there is never a shortage of reasons to kick back, celebrate and/or cool off. As many top beverage producers — of both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic sectors — are making drinks in canned form, below are 15 recommended brands with canned beverages worth trying this season (or whenever is most suitable for you).
Cutwater Spirits is reportedly the most awarded canned cocktail brand in the U.S. with nearly 2 dozens canned cocktail classics to its credit, including tequila, vodka, rum, gin, whiskey and liqueur-based offerings. Co-Founder and Master Distiller Yuseff Cherney began distilling as a side project under Ballast Point Brewing. In 2017, Cutwater Spirits was established as a separate entity from the brewery and now operates from a 50,000 square foot distillery and production facility, which includes a world-class tasting room and restaurant. To date, Cutwater has earned over 1,000 awards across its portfolio of products and is distributed in 45 states.
Yesterday, Cutwater Spirits announced the national launch of its newest canned cocktail, Vodka Transfusion. Known as “a true golfer’s cocktail,” the Transfusion is a modern classic enjoyed at golf course bars and country clubs across the world. Cutwater’s Transfusion is delicious, portable and refreshing — great for toasting to that one good shot of the day. To celebrate the release, Cutwater has teamed up with PGA TOUR Player and longtime Transfusion fan Harold Varner III (a.k.a. HV3) to showcase how he likes to cut out with Cutwater both on and off the course. Golf aside, Cutwater’s Transfusion features award-winning Cutwater Vodka, Ginger Beer and real grape juice.
Earlier this year, Truly Hard Seltzer announced the launch of Truly Extra Hard Seltzer, a delicious and refreshing hard seltzer that clocks in at 8 percent ABV. After its 2020 test launch received overwhelmingly-positive drinker feedback, Truly Extra is now officially available nationwide in 2 flavors: Black Raspberry and Peach Mango. Unlike competitors’ hard seltzers that are packed with sugar and artificial ingredients, Truly Extra has only 1 gram of sugar and just 220 calories in each 16 oz. can.
More recently than that, Truly unveiled Truly Punch Hard Seltzer last month in 4 bold new flavors: Fruit Punch, Tropical Punch, Berry Punch, and Citrus Punch. Staying ahead of the curve and giving drinkers more flavors and variety, Truly Punch Hard Seltzer blends real fruit flavor with the nostalgia of traditional punch with just 1 gram of sugar, 100 calories and 5 percent ABV.
Narragansett Beer — brewed since 1890 — is a straight-forward, quality beer that has been a New England tradition for generations, producing a classic family of award-winning American lagers and ales. It is currently the 32nd largest craft brewer in America and reportedly the fastest growing in the Northeastern United States.
Prior to the opening of the Narragansett brewery and taproom last month, Narragansett Beer announced the release of 3 new beers and the launch of on-site beer to-go at said brewery. Prima Doppia is the brewery’s first foray into the hazy, full-bodied, double IPA segment and is sure to please. Musik Express IPA is a balanced, fruity IPA that will transport drinkers to the iconic ride at Rocky Point Park. Finally, Pink Boots Pale Ale is a collaboration beer with the Pink Boots Society. The brewery can be tracked on Instagram via @GansettBeerPVD.
American Liquor Company (ALCO)
Back in April 2021, one of Pennsylvania’s most awarded craft distillers — Robert Cassell of New Liberty Distillery — announced the launch of a brand new line of ready-to-drink canned cocktails under the American Liquor Company banner. This lineup of Canned Cocktails includes a tart and zingy Sparkling Vodka Lemonade boasting real lemon juice, a Gin & Tonic made with Red Ribbon Tonic Water, a Margarita made with real lime juice and small batch triple sec, Vodka Soda, and Orange Crush made with vodka, soda water, and orange. Each recipe was crafted using quality house-made spirits combined with real all-natural, high-quality ingredients to create a convenient Canned Cocktail that tastes as if it was poured fresh by a bartender. ALCO
Canned Cocktails present at 8 percent ABV, start at 156 calories, and retail for an MSRP of $9.99-$13.99 varying by market.
Commented the aforementioned Cassell: “We set out with one goal in mind, to make delicious, ready-to-drink cocktails for any occasion with real ingredients. Kinsey Whiskey is made for sipping on the rocks and the Sparkling Vodka Lemonade is made for something different. They are both delicious, but the Canned Cocktails are going in my cooler this summer to be
enjoyed by the water.” Single cans, 4-packs and cases of ALCO’s cans can be made online at this time.
Founded in 2007, Zevia was one of the first soda brands to use stevia leaf in its beverages. With a mission to create zero-calorie, naturally sweetened beverages, Zevia offers an array of soda, energy drinks, organic tea, mixers, and kid-size options, all promising a healthy alternative to artificial commercial beverages. Stevia is a plant from the sunflower family and native to South America. While the stevia leaf is over 200 times sweeter than sugar, it has no caloric value, nor does it raise blood sugar levels.
Its newest soda offering is Creamy Root Beer, which is velvety smooth and bursting with flavor. Now available via Zevia.com, this better-for-you beverage offers a refreshing indulgence without the need for sugar, sodium, artificial colors or artificial sweeteners. Creamy Root Beer will also be rolling out on Amazon and at retailers nationwide.
Roseade USA LLC is a partnership between importer Karl Ziegler of Concurrent Wines and Roseade founder Lee Smallman of Australia-based Chirping Bird Wines. The refreshing wine-based beverage is a low-alcohol (8 percent ABV), gluten-free ready-to-drink combination of rosé, traditional lemonade and spritz. Enjoyed in a can or over ice, Roseade is intended to celebrate good times and good vibes with a refreshingly fun twist on a rosé spritz. To date, Roseade has been awarded silver medals from the 2021 Monterey International Wine Competition and the 2021 International Wine Competition Winemaker Challenge. The spritzer is available in 4-packs of vibrant 250mL pink cans.
Co-founded by a champion barista and highly-caffeinated ex-Facebook employee, Taika makes ready-to-drink, plant-based coffee and lattes that have a patented blend of caffeine that minimizes the coffee jitters. These drinks are also perfectly-mixed with 5 adaptogens and functional mushrooms: Cordyceps for energy, Theanine for focus, Ashwagandha for calmness, Reishi for immunity, and Lion’s Mane for clarity. With 0g of sugar, its product offerings include Black Coffee, Oat Milk Latte and Macadamia Lattes. Quality product aside, each can includes an invitation to text a phone number — as seen within the YouTube video embedded above — where real humans are waiting on the other end. Taika won’t ever spam or leave you on read.
10 Barrel Brewing Co.
Earlier this year, I covered (and recommended) 10 Barrel Brewing Co. with relation to its work for Earth Day 2021. But simply put, the brewer walks the “restore” talk all year long with a trio of beers that donate a portion of their proceeds to protect and preserve important outdoor initiatives, including the Outdoor Alliance, The Conservation Alliance and The Surfrider Foundation. They are all a part of 10 Barrel’s #drinkitforward campaign. This includes 10 Barrel Brewing’s Hazy Trail IPA, which hits at 6.2 percent ABV with 50 IBU’s featuring a soft malt profile and a burst of tropical hops.
Less than 2 weeks ago, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. launched its 10 Barrel Pilsner. This Pilsner aims to be “the ultimate Dad beer, or Mom beer, or young relatable post-grad adult beer” for those looking for a slightly more refined taste. It carries 5 percent ABV and 38 IBU. Also new from the 10 Barrel Brewing Co. is Good Sit Dog Beer, your help getting the word out about 10 Barrel’s search for the world’s first — that we know of — Dog Action Sports team. Good Sit Dog Beer, of course, features 0 percent ABV per can.
Tanqueray London Dry Gin & Tonic Cans
Tanqueray was developed over 180 years ago by Charles Tanqueray, a clergyman’s son who chose not to follow the family calling and instead opened a distillery in Bloomsbury, London. And thanks to a Tanqueray London Dry Gin & Tonic, you can easily unwind with a bartender-quality cocktail in a ready-to-enjoy can. An excellent mix of Tanqueray London Dry Gin and signature crafted tonic, this delicious and balanced cocktail is expertly-prepared and beautifully-presented in a slim can. And to enjoy, simply pour into an ice-filled wine glass and garnish with a lime wheel. Looks great, tastes great.
Wicked Weed Brewing
With Memorial Day Weekend just a few weeks behind, summer 2021 is definitely near. To kick off the warmer days ahead, you ought to check out some of the fruit-forward beers from the North Carolina-based Wicked Weed Brewing, as renowned for its award-winning sours and fruited ale. Fresh Pressed (5.2 percent ABV) is brewed with mango, pineapple and guava, as beautifully-balanced with juicy flavor, making this a perfectly complex, smooth wheat beer. Watermelon Dragon Fruit Burst (4.5 percent ABV) is a session sour with watermelon and dragon fruit, featuring vibrant colors, fresh fruits and a mild tartness. Both are highly-recommended, and the sorts of beer you can enjoy regret-free.
Budweiser’s Limited-Edition Summer Cans
The American-style lager known as Budweiser was introduced in 1876 when company founder Adolphus Busch set out to create the United States’ first truly national beer brand, as brewed to be universally-popular and transcend regional tastes. As released in time for the 2021 edition of Memorial Day weekend, Budweiser’s 3 new limited-edition cans celebrate American freedom and the start of a historic summer, as featuring a red, white and blue design emblazoned with stars and stripes. Commented Renaldo Chapman, VP, Marketing at Budweiser: “With the launch of the patriotic cans, Budweiser will be there as friends and families create new and much-missed memories together and enjoy summer moments both big and small, all while supporting Folds Of Honor. We are proud to continue working with this monumental organization to further support our military community.”
In honor of Memorial Day, $1.00 from every case of patriotic cans sold July 4, 2021 — up to $75,000.00 — will benefit Budweiser’s long-standing, aforementioned partner Folds Of Honor, a non-profit organization that provides educational scholarships to spouses and children of America’s fallen or disabled service-members. In addition to the product launch, Budweiser will debut its new national summer commercials celebrating America and summer moments featuring the patriotic cans across TV, digital and social. Budweiser will also debut America-inspired merchandise collaborations, social giveaways and other activations all summer long, through Labor Day.
BOMANI Cold Buzz
BOMANI Cold Buzz is an alcohol-infused cold brew coffee. Challenging the status quo, the BOMANI team worked with top chemists, flavorists and experts otherwise to create what it calls “the perfect drink to complement the busy lifestyle.” An alternative to high-calorie espresso martinis or shots chased with laboratory-made synthetic energy drinks, BOMANI aims to offer something healthier, more convenient and delicious. With only 110 calories, zero carbs, 0g sugar and no gluten free to be found in its cans, BOMANI’s drinks have proven to be both commercially-successful and critically-acclaimed with Forbes, People and Thrillist singing the brand’s praises.
Ogden’s Own Canned Cocktail Line
Ogden’s Own is both an award-winning leading distiller of craft spirits and the largest independently-owned distillery in the state of Utah. Since its inception in 2009, Ogden’s Own has carved out a unique path by delivering unique, unexpected offerings to the market while also remaining nimble enough to respond directly to shifting consumer demands and trends, with examples such as Porter’s Fire Cinnamon Whiskey, last year’s Porter’s Peanut Butter Whiskey, and now Five Wives canned cocktails.
Its Five Wives Moscow Mule and Five Wives Vodka Soda are the initial 2 offerings from this line of products, as both made with a blend of Ogden’s Own’s flagship product Five Wives Vodka, carbonation and other natural ingredients. Each can of Ogden’s Own’s ready-to-drink cocktails contains 2 servings at 162 calories each and 16.5g carbohydrates per serving. Both varietals are also completely gluten-free, as Five Wives Vodka is distilled with 100 percent corn spirit. The Five Wives Moscow Mule carries a 10 percent ABV while the Five Wives Vodka Soda features a 7 percent ABV.
Zaddy’s is a new gin-based, low-alcohol, ready-to-drink, canned cocktail company founded in the Bay Area and now available throughout California, with plans to expand east this summer. Zaddy’s bubbly, flavorful, and refreshing craft cocktails are revamped cult classics never-before-seen in a can. Its offerings include the Corpse Reviver, Gin Sonic, and Gin(ger) Fizz, all of which created with the health-conscious drinker in mind. Authentically-crafted with organic ingredients — containing minimal alcohol, sugar and calories — these are intended to be drinks which consumers can enjoy during the day without ruining the night, or and vice-versa. Sourcing premium gin from Sonoma and fresh juice from California farms, Zaddy’s is always free of artificial flavors and high-fructose corn syrup, and each 12-ounce can carries only 100 calories, 4.5 percent ABV and no more than 3g of organic cane sugar.
The Dark ‘n Stormy from Goslings Rum
The Dark ‘n Stormy — Goslings Rum’s signature combination of Black Seal Rum and Stormy Ginger Beer — might be one of the simplest and most satisfying summer cocktails out there. June 9, 021 marked International Dark ‘n Stormy Day, the official celebration of that 2-ingredient classic helmed in the 1920s. On the canned cocktail end, Goslings launched its Dark ‘n Stormy Ready-To-Drink can in 2012, as featuring 7 percent ABV in each can. For a suggested retail price of $9.99, you can enjoy a 4-pack of this, which always seem to fly out of my beverage-oriented fridge in the living room.
Waterloo Sparkling Water’s Summer Berry
In 2017, after recognizing that consumers were seeking — but not finding — beverage choices which were healthy, authentic, transparent and better-for-them while tasting great, Waterloo Sparkling was launched. The Austin-based brand is a bold take on sparkling water, making its mark by focusing on fruit-inspired flavor and aroma, and delivering a much richer, more authentic taste. Waterloo is made with Non-GMO Project Verified and Whole 30 Approved flavors, while also free of calories, sodium, sugar and artificial sweeteners. For the benefit of their fans and the environment, Waterloo has only ever been produced in aluminum cans, made with BPA-free liners. In turn, Waterloo’s sparking water is ideal for mixing with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, while also great on its own.
Its latest (and maybe greatest) offering is its Summer Berry flavor, as launched last month. In its festive red, white and blue packaging, Summer Berry offers a refreshingly-bright blend of rich dark berry notes balanced by the brightness of red raspberries. Uniquely-refreshing, flavorful and nostalgic, this one is bound to be a summertime favorite. Embedded above is an easy-to-make recipe for a Waterloo Summer Berry Spritzer.
MICO Tequila’s Party Pack
MICO Tequila aims to be a new classic, modern in spirit yet crafted with respect to the legacy of world-class tequila. Its master distiller creates proprietary blends in small batches, intending to find a balance between smoothness and flavor, sweetness and spice. Each bottle is an expression of its meticulous dedication to the craft, captured. Pure yet complex. Rested not aged. Double-distilled. Yet refined to the point of rarified.
MICO Tequila’s Party Pack includes MICO’s 100 percent Blue Weber Agave Blanco, Reposado and Anejo. Aged in American oak barrels, these smooth-finish tequilas are born in Jalisco and raised in LA. MICO’s founders work directly with agave farmers and distillers for a hands on, beautiful spirit unlike any tequila. Recipes and more info on the brand can be found here.
Twisted Tea’s Countdown To Summer Pack
Twisted Tea’s Countdown To Summer bundle begins with a limited-edition, Countdown To Summer 40-pack in partnership with GiveThemBeer.com. Featuring a custom, drinkable countdown-style box design and 40 12-ounce cans of Twisted Tea, it is reportedly the brand’s largest pack ever, so drinkers can begin celebrations early by countdowning the days to the unofficial start to summer, also known as Memorial Day.
Twisted Tea is serving up the first-ever Twisted Tea-infused Mighty Quinn’s BBQ Sauce. Available via Goldbelly, this collaboration sauce will help you kickstart your countdown to summer so you can run the grill all season long. And after working up a sweat manning the grill, you can throw on the brand’s Twisted Tea x Shinesty Bathing Suits, novelty, colorful and twisted apparel — as available via the brand’s online store — as ideal for repping its tea all summer long.