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Beyond Beer: The Art & Science of Hard Seltzer

To brew a quality product and set it apart in an increasingly crowded market, there is a lot more to know than how to ferment sugary water. Here, we lay out some specific technical considerations for brewing better hard seltzer, properly and safely.

Joe Stange , Jamie Bogner Feb 10, 2021 - 14 min read

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The base ingredients are cheap, it doesn’t take long to make, and you already have most of the equipment you need. The pragmatic advantages of brewing hard seltzer are as clear as the drink itself.

On the other hand: The segment is increasingly crowded with small players, and you have (we hope) put a lot of work into earning a reputation for beers of quality and character. Hard seltzer isn’t beer, but if you’re going to make it, you should consider applying the same approach to details and fine-tuning, so you end up with a product of which you and your team can be proud.

Besides speaking with many professional brewers about their processes—for this article and others—we also spoke with Chris Colby, author of the recently published Brewers Publications book How to Make Hard Seltzer. (For more from Colby, check out Craft Beer & Brewing Podcast Episode 151). Here, based on their advice, we sketch out some key technical considerations for making better hard seltzer, keeping breweries of different sizes in mind.

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Joe Stange is Managing Editor of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and the Brewing Industry Guide®. Have story tips or suggestions? Contact him at [email protected].