How to Make Hard Seltzer: Refreshing Recipes for Sparkling Libations By Chris Colby, Brewers Publications (brewerspublications.com), $19.95
Seltzer-curious brewers now have a more comprehensive option than asking friends and colleagues how they’re going about making the stuff. This thorough book digs into the methods, processes, and recipes that commercial brewers are using to grab a slice of the fastest-growing chunk of the drinks market.
Seltzer has been the sales success story of the past couple of years, putting up triple-digit annual growth. According to IRI sales data, hard-seltzer brands grew 140 percent over the year ending in mid-July. The reaction from independent brewers has been a mix of cynicism and experimentation, with many finding it an inexpensive way to offer an alternative product to those who think they don’t like beer or perceive hard seltzer as a healthier option.
Colby digs deep here, going not only into the details of ingredients and process—there are quicker and easier ways to produce hard seltzers versus more serious approaches that treat them as craft beverages—but also into the regulations that govern their sales. Especially considering the scarcity of other work on the topic, this book is a must-have and a tiny investment for any brewer or operator who wants to get serious about seltzer. —J.S.