GSN Brews News: July 27th 2021 Edition

Paso Robles, California’s Firestone Walker has launched Strata Hazy IPA, the latest single hop IPA from the brewery, available exclusively in the brand’s “Crafted Thru Hops” 12-pack. The new brew is made with its namesake hop and comes in at 5.6% abv. The new 12-pack also contains Mind Haze, Union Jack, and Luponic Distortion. “Crafted Thru Hops” is now available across the brewery’s U.S. distribution footprint as well as at Firestone Walker’s Venice, Paso Robles, and Buellton, California locations.

St. Petersburg, Florida-based BarBox has added two new flavors—Margarita and Gin Lemonade—to its portfolio of spirits-based RTD cocktails. The two new additions both come in 1.75-liter boxes, with each containing 14 servings. The Margarita is at 21% abv and BarBox’s Gin Lemonade is at 20% abv. Both retail for around $25 a box and are available in select markets across the U.S. and online. These releases bring BarBox’s portfolio to five entries, also including Negroni, Vodka Sour, and Cosmopolitan.

Tampa, Florida-based Cigar City Brewing is expanding its seltzer lineup with new limeade offerings. The company launched Cigar City Seltzer in January with a variety pack featuring four flavors: Florida Orange, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Meyer Lemonade, and Key Lime, all at 5% abv and 100 calories. They are now joined by Coconut Limeade, Mango Limeade, Cherry Limeade, and Peach Limeade, also all 5% abv and 100 calories. They will be available in a mixed 12-pack of 12-ounce cans beginning this fall across Cigar City’s national distribution footprint.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Cask & Kettle Hot Coffee Cocktails

Cask & Kettle is the only Keurig-style pod alcoholic coffee cocktail on the market making it a simple one step process. Pop a single serve cup into your brewing system or pour hot water to a mug and add the contents of a pod and stir. Flavors include Irish Coffee, Mint Patty, Mexican Coffee, and Hot Blonde Coffee. They also make a Spiked Dry Cider, which we were not sent for review.
Cask & Kettle is Woman-owned and operated, and certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise. The spirits are distilled in Temperance, Michigan. (Oh, the irony!) Best of all, all of the cocktails are decaffeinated, gluten-free and the pods are made with 100% recyclable material.

Irish Coffee – GSN’s Remarks: Vodka and Irish Whiskey. This actually works to its advantage, toning down the sweet, malty notes of the whiskey. Of the four, this is our favorite. GSN Rating: B+

Mint Patty – GSN’s Remarks: We were expecting a heavy mint flavor, but happily that wasn’t the case. This is just right, with a mild mintiness that doesn’t overwhelm the coffee. GSN Rating: B

Mexican Coffee – GSN’s Remarks: This one has vodka and tequila. The tequila flavor is mild, but noticable. It does work. GSN Rating: B

Hot Blonde Coffee – GSN’s Remarks: A straightforward coffee with vodka. The flavor is good and natural. GSN Rating: B

Overall, these are an easy and quick way to make some boozy, after dinner coffee libations. What we appreciate about these is that you don’t need a machine to use them. Plus, it saves having to buy bottles of vodka, tequila, Irish whiskey and cart them around if you are camping. 

For more information go to: Cask and Kettle USA

GSN Brews News: July 20th 2021 Edition

Monaco Cocktails has added Tequila Sun Crush, the newest spirits-based RTD in the company’s portfolio. Like the other Monaco Cocktails, the newest addition is canned at 9% abv and is made with two shots of Tequila, orange liqueur, and orange flavoring. Tequila Sun Crush is now available across the U.S. in 12-ounce cans retail priced between $2.50 and $3. The new release joins Citrus Rush, Tequila Lime Crush, Blue Crush, Cranberry, and Mango Peach, among many other flavors, in the Monaco Cocktails portfolio.

California-based Twisted Roots hard cider is relaunching with new packaging. Formerly presented in capped 750-ml. bottles, the European-style cider, made with a blend of five apple varieties, will now be sold in four-packs of 16-ounce cans. Its new logo displays a red, cross-sectioned apple on the tall black cans. Each can is at 6% abv and has 100 calories. Located in Carmel Valley, Twisted Roots is best known for Old Vine Zinfandel and Petite Sirah wines.

Fort Collins, Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing is partnering with Ojai, California-based kombucha producer Flying Embers on a new release. The two beverage makers collaborated on Oh, Hi!, a limited-edition session sour beer made by blending Flying Embers’ Original Essence Kombucha with sour beer produced by New Belgium and then finished with pixie tangerines and sage. Both companies support wildfire relief efforts and will together donate $10,000 to the Embers foundation to benefit the California Fire Foundation and other organizations. Oh, Hi! is at 6.5% abv and will be available in select premium retailers in California and Colorado.

Vermont-based Stowe Cider is expanding its non-alcoholic options with Fresh Squeeze. It’s an off-shoot of Fresh Press, Stowe’s apple cider and sparkling water RTD. Rather than apple cider, Fresh Squeeze is made with lemonade and sparkling water and is also at 0% abv. Available now in Stowe’s taproom and from its website, Fresh Squeeze will be available in Vermont retailers in the coming weeks, priced at $9 a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans.

Pacific City, Oregon-based Pelican Brewing is releasing Head Out Hefeweizen to celebrate a summer spent outdoors exploring nature. The 4.8% abv wheat ale is made with white wheat malt and contains aromas of melon and flowers. As part of the beer’s outdoorsy message, Pelican is sponsoring a number of events for Trailkeepers of Oregon this summer to support the maintenance of coastal trails, including two of the organization’s new Volunteer Vacations in August. Head Out Hefe is available now in 6-packs of 12-ounce bottles and select Pelican variety 12-packs.

Atlanta, Georgia’s Sweetwater Brewing Company has launched 420 Imperial IPA, the first line extension for the brewery’s flagship label. The 9.1% abv ale is brewed with nine varieties of hops during the wet and dry hopping phases of production, and is available in 6- and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans and 19.2-ounce cans as well as on draft across Sweetwater’s distribution footprint. The brewery has also launched a new limited-edition beer: 710 Hazy Double IPA. The 7.5% abv ale is part of the Dank Tank series of brews.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Slim Chillers’ Skinny THREEzers Freeze Pops

Slim Chillers, creators of the original 100 Calorie Vodka Martini Skinny Freezers has debuted Skinny THREEzers Rum Cocktails, along with wine-based Tropical Cocktails. Slim Chillers has created six unique flavors to provide consumers with a flavorful alcoholic treat not seen since the introduction of their original 100 Calorie Vodka Martini Skinny Freezers.
GSN received the following three flavors for review:
Red, White & Blue Rum Cocktail: Made with boysenberry, pomegranate, and a creamy vanilla center. GSN’s Remarks: This is like eating a blue raspberry slush with some vanilla soft serve added. Pretty intense, if you’re into that flavor. GSN Rating: B
Orange Vanilla Cream Rum Cocktail: This is an adult version of a 50/50 bar with an 11% ABV vanilla cream center sandwiched by two 8% ABV tangy orange rum cocktails. GSN’s Remarks: This was our favorite, far and away. Brilliant! A boozy creamsicle. The balance was just right, and you definitely get a pop of rum with each bite. GSN Rating: A
Strawberry Colada Cocktail: A combination of a strawberry daiquiri and a Pina Colada, with a vanilla rum cream center. GSN’s Remarks: Another winner. Strawberry and coconut work really well together. Again, the balance is spot on, and the rum intermingles with the ice pop flavors perfectly. GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: Slim Chillers

GSN Brews News: July 6th 2021 Edition

Atlanta, Georgia-based SweetWater Brewing is partnering with Broken Coast Cannabis to launch SweetWater Broken Coast BC Lager. The new release is at 5.5% abv and does not contain cannabis, but was inspired by some of the weed strains in Broken Coast’s portfolio. The lager is available in the U.S. on draft and will launch in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans on July 12. SweetWater is also launching 710 Double IPA this month along with Charlie’s Choice: A Conservation Ale, the latter benefitting the Atlanta Zoo.

San Diego, California-based Karl Strauss Brewing Company is launching All The Peels Fruited IPA, the latest in its collaboration series. This release is a collaboration with Rhinegeist Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio and was brewed with the peel and puree of blood oranges from California and Oregon along with Cascade, Crystal, Columbus, and Chinook hops. All The Peels launches on July 1 and will be available on draft and in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans at all Karl Strauss brewpub locations and at select retailers in California and Arizona.

Hood River, Oregon-based Full Sail Brewing is debuting Lazy Summer Haze, the latest in their Strong Current Double IPA Series. It’s brewed with Sabro, Mosaic, and Ekuanot hops and comes out at 8.5% abv with notes of citrus, mango, and melon. Lazy Summer is fittingly available now through September when it will be replaced by Wreck the Halls for the holiday season. Full Sail has been brewing since 1987.

San Diego, California-based Cutwater Spirits is adding a Piña Colada to its line-up of ready-to-drink cocktails. The new release is made with the distillery’s Bali Hai Rum and coconut cream liqueur and is at 13% abv. It joins Cutwater’s more than 20 canned cocktails and the recently launched Vodka Transfusion. Cutwater Piña Colada is available now nationwide in 4-packs of 12-ounce cans.

Information courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: June 15th 2021 Edition

San Diego, California-based Cutwater Spirits, part of the Anheuser-Busch portfolio, is launching a new canned cocktail in partnership with PGA golfer Harold Varner III. The new RTD is Cutwater Transfusion, made with Cutwater Vodka, ginger beer, and grape juice. Long associated with the 19th hole, Cutwater’s twist on the Transfusion is at 7% abv and will be available nationwide by the end of the month. 

Heineken USA has expanded the Dos Equis portfolio with Ranch Water hard seltzer, a new drink inspired by its namesake cocktail, popular in West Texas. The 4.5% abv RTD is lime-flavored and comes in at 90 calories per 12-ounce serving. It’s available in 6-packs of 12-ounce cans and individual 24-ounce cans in Texas and will expand to Arizona, Minnesota, Colorado, California, Nevada, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts in September.

Hershey, Pennsylvania-based Tröegs Independent Brewing has released this year’s edition of Nimble Giant, the brewery’s limited release double IPA. The 9% abv ale is brewed with Mosaic, Simcoe and Azacca hops, and the brewery says that it’s a tropical and citrusy beer balanced with Pilsner and Vienna malt. Nimble Giant is now available in 4-packs of 16-ounce cans across Tröegs’ distribution footprint.

Queens, New York’s SingleCut Beersmiths has launched Notes, a new limited-edition IPA that pays tribute to the brewers’ love of music. The 7% abv ale is brewed with hops from the Pacific Northwest and New Zealand, and comes in cans featuring basic guitar chords. In addition, the brewery has launched an augmented reality experience that will allow fans to virtually “play” their cans. Four packs—featuring G, D, C, and E minor chords—are now available in select retailers across New York and New Jersey for around $18. Special edition canisters of Notes are also available at SingleCut’s taprooms for $24.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Confidence Drink

Confidence is an organic, all-natural, sugar-free, zero-calorie beverage created to boost people’s moods and feelings of harmony and help wash away anxiety, fear and self-doubt – giving people an essential confidence boost.

Confidence is the brainchild of two Gen Z entrepreneurs who recognized the importance of mental confidence and how vital it is to live a full life. Witnessing their friends’ tendencies to overthink things and not be present in the moment, they realized this void in the market and launched a mission to create a product that gives people the mental freedom they need to thrive.

It all starts with functional ingredients and adaptogens – plant-based ingredients that work at the molecular level to lighten the effect of physical, mental and emotional stressors on the body. Confidence’s combination of the ingredients listed below, work together to help you feel like the best version of yourself with benefits that include lowered stress, increased mental sharpness, improved mood and a better functioning nervous system.

  • Rhodiola (Harmony): Reduces stress, kicks fatigue, and improves brain function
  • Gingseng (Focus): Benefits brain functions like memory, mood and focus
  • Gaba (Reduce Anxiety): Relieves stress and anxiety, balances mood
  • 5-HTP (Lower Fear): Helps the body produce serotonin, boosts mood, and promotes feelings of relaxation
  • Magnesium (Release Tension): Aids hundreds of reactions in the body, like generating energy and keeping the nervous system humming
  • B Vitamins (Mood Boost): Contributes to full-body well-being, maintains energy levels, and supports healthy brain and nerve function

GSN’s Remarks: You know the taste of kids vitamins? Well, this isn’t far off. Slightly chalky, sort of fruity, but with an odd supplement kind of taste. I’m not saying it’s unpleasant, but it definitely is not what we were expecting. As for the health benefits? Perhaps we noticed a bit of a mellow vibe, similar to CBD. It’s hard to say. It may be a case of where you need to drink a few cans over a period of days for the ingredients to build in your system. In any case, the drink can be a mixer for the Red Bull kind of crowd if you want a little liquor. We also suggest drinking this over ice, or at least chilled. GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: Confidence Drink

GSN Brews News: June 8th 2021 Edition

San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery has launched Tasty Double IPA, the latest addition to the hop-forward line of beers produced by the brewery. This release is made with Calypso, El Dorado, Mosaic, Amarillo, Idaho 7, and Cashmere hops, and comes in at 8.5% abv. The beer is rolling out now in 6- and 12-packs across the brewery’s 33-state distribution footprint.

San Francisco-based Hotaling & Co. has launched a new line of canned cocktails using Luxardo’s bitters and aperitivos. The new venture is debuting with three releases—Sour Cherry Gin & Tonic, Bianco Spritz, and Aperitivo Spritz—all at 10% abv and available in 250-ml. cans. The new RTDs are now available in 4-packs for $20 at Whole Foods and Total Wine locations in California, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, Missouri, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Louisiana, Nevada, Washington, Kentucky, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Brews News: June 1st 2021 Edition

Branded coconut supplier CoCo & Co is debuting Sunboy, a line of RTD cocktails made with coconut water and fruit. The company has previously provided coconut cocktails at music festivals and other events in partnership with Diageo and Pernod Ricard. The drinks, all at 5% abv, come out June 1 in Passion Fruit, Pineapple, and Tangerine flavors, and in variety packs. Sunboy products contain no added sugar or artificial flavors, and are gluten free.

New York-based KBrews Inc. has launched Màkku Passion Fruit, the latest release in the company’s line of lightly carbonated, rice-brewed drinks. The 6% abv brew is only lightly filtered, giving it a silky and creamy texture, and it’s made without any artificial sweeteners. The new addition will roll out this summer and will join the brand’s original, blueberry, and mango expressions. Twelve-ounce cans will retail for around $3.50 and will also be available in 4-packs in the brand’s 21-state distribution footprint.

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: Honcho Agua Fresca Variety Pack

Honcho, created by the makers of Common Cider, recently debuted its new line of spiked agua frescas combining all-natural fruit nectar, water sourced from the Sierra Mountains, and Honcho’s unique tropical fruit wine recipe. Inspired by Latin American recipes and ingredients, Honcho’s spiked agua frescas in mango, blueberry lemon, and prickly pear are now available in a convenient variety 12 pack.

Fran Toves, CEO of Common, created the line as a spiked twist on one of her favorite drinks in Latin American culture. Brewed in California, Honcho has only 100 calories per can, still offering the flavor of a craft cocktail or fruit seltzer without sugar-based alcohol additives. 

The three flavors included in the pack are,

Blueberry Lemon: Blueberry jam scent with tight carbonation. Sweet and tart flavors meld into a cohesive whole. Crisp, dry and light. GSN Rating: B+

Mango: Tropical mango nose with light bubbles. The wine character comes through again, offsetting the sweetness with a slight tannic edge. GSN Review: B

Prickly Pear: Fruity, with light effervescence. The slight wine tannins offset a pear cider flavor. A great refresher for hot weather. GSN Review: B

For more information go to: Shop Common Cider

GSN Review: Fishers Island Lemonade

Fishers Island Lemonade, a pioneer in the ready to drink category and one of the first craft cocktail brands in a can, recently announced the launch of four new offerings: Spiked Tea, Pink Flamingo, Fizz and Spirit Pops. This introduction marks the first-ever line extension released since the original brand was launched by Bronya Shillo in 2014. Fishers Island Lemonade is one of the only canned craft cocktail brands made with a dual-spirits base, combining premium vodka, barrel-aged whiskey, lemon and honey. Each of the new spiked lemonade offerings uses the original Fishers Island Lemonade recipe as the foundation for each varietal:

  • Fishers Island 100% Spiked, 9% ABV: A slightly tart and refreshing Arnold Palmer. The whiskey adds some depth of character and some sweetness. But overall, this leans more towards an unsweetened RTD. GSN Rating: B
  • Fishers Island Spiked Tea, 7% ABV: A somewhat fruity entry, but with a tannic black tea flavor overall. Very easy going. You might want to add a touch of your choice of sweetener. GSN Rating: B
  • Fishers Island Pink Flamingo, 7% ABV: This blend combines the original vodka and barrel-aged whiskey spiked lemonade with real cranberry. All the edges are smoothed out by the addition of cranberry. This is by far our favorite and more like a punch. Really nice over ice on a blazing hot day. GSN Rating: A
  • Fishers Island Fizz, 5% ABV: If you’re drawn to hard seltzers, this is right up your alley. Plus, the fairly low ABV, makes it more sessionable than the uncarbonated RTDs. Simple, but effective. GSN Rating: B-
  • Fishers Island Frozen Spirit Pops, 7% ABV: Made with vodka, barrel-aged whiskey, lemon, and honey. A fun, adult popsicle that is great around the pool. Plus, we like the idea that you can carry these around and not worry about things getting spilled. A clever idea that tastes great! GSN Rating: B+

The recipe for the original Fishers Island Lemonade was inspired by the signature house cocktail, the “FIL”, which was served at The Pequot Inn which Bronya’s family owned and operated on Fishers Island, NY.  It was there that Bronya had the idea to package the Fishers Island Lemonade cocktail and put it in a can.

For more information go to: FI Lemonade

GSN Brews News: May 11th 2021 Edition

Rochester, New York-based Black Button Distilling has introduced CanBee Cocktails. The inaugural release is a canned cocktail called Bee’s Knees, lightly carbonated and made with lemon, honey, and a small-batch gin base. CanBee was founded with a mission to support bee conservation and a portion of all sales will go to the Xerces Society’s Pollinator Conservation Program. Bee’s Knees is at 8% abv and is available now at select retailers and online, where a 4-pack of 12-ounce cans retails for $15.

Jim Beam has debuted a new line of canned Highballs. The releases come in at 5% abv and are made with Bourbon and either seltzer or ginger ale. The RTDs come in individual 355-ml. cans for around $2.50 or in 4-packs for around $10. Both Jim Beam Original and Ginger Highballs are now available across the U.S.

Stowe, Vermont-based Von Trapp Brewing is releasing Radler Trail Bier, a grapefruit-infused lager. It’s a 3.9% abv session beer that’s low on calories but high on carbs, intended to accompany vigorous outdoor activity. It’s available now across Von Trapp’s 12-market distribution area, which includes Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Von Trapp Brewing is part of Trapp Family Lodge, a 2,600-acre resort founded in 2010 by the family that inspired The Sound of Music.

Dallas, Texas-based Deep Ellum Brewing is releasing Blind Pickle Hard Seltzer. The seltzer, crafted for pickle lovers, is part of a rotating seltzer series of limited release flavors that spun off from the brewery’s year-round Blind Lemon Hard Seltzer. Like other Deep Ellum products, Blind Pickle was brewed with cane sugar taking the place of malted barley in the mash. It’s at 5% abv and is available now throughout Texas for a limited time. 

Sapporo U.S.A. is launching Sapporo Pure, a new light beer. Targeting health-conscious consumers, the release is at 4% abv and contains 90 calories and 2.4g of carbs per 12-ounce slim can. Sapporo Pure will be rolling out to 17 states this month including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

Taylor Fladgate has entered the RTD market with Chip Dry & Tonic, a white Port-based drink packaged in 250-ml. cans. The 5.5% abv cocktail will launch this summer in the U.S., the U.K., and Portugal in 4-packs that will retail for around $18. The cocktail, according to the company, features not only Fladgate’s white Port, but tonic water that’s specifically made for the Port house. 

Courtesy of Shanken News Daily

GSN Review: DRNXMYTH Cocktails

In need of a full bar? Hosting a virtual happy hour for your company? Tired of sugary and watered-down mixes? DRNXMYTH offers the ability to order as much as 1 bottle or a whole round of drinks delivered to your door, as well larger setups for corporate events. 

Created by working bartenders using fresh, cold-pressed juices sourced directly from farms in Southern California and without any artificial ingredients or preservatives, DRNXMYTH uses proprietary cocktail tech to deliver chilled, ready-to-drink cocktails. Each bottle equals two servings, making them perfect for sharing.

There are sixteen different drinks available for your event, making DRNXMYTH the largest portfolio of RTD cocktails under one umbrella. 

GSN received samples of the following cocktails created by bartenders from around the country for review:

Rum Punch crafted by Bad Birdy
Bourbon Sour crafted by Jason Yu
Ginger Drop crafted by Richard Allison
Eastside crafted by Saeed ‘Hawk’ House
Classic Margarita crafted by Charity K. Johnston

GSN’s Remarks: The fresh fruit flavor comes through immediately. After reviewing dozens of RTD’s, we can honestly say that DRNXMYTH has cornered the market on freshness. The bottle design is clever and adds a sense of elegance that adds to the experience. As any decent bartender knows, balance is key, and the cocktails we received are all excellent. We opted to pour ours over ice to create a little more softness as the drinks are quite citrus forward. Overall, each had a fresh brightness and balance that we enjoyed. The only oddity was the Rum Punch which had mint which seemed out of place. Overall, though, these are great cocktails for bachelorette parties, wedding receptions, corporate events or even an upscale backyard BBQ. Outside of going to a bar, these are the best ready to drink cocktails you will find on the market. GSN Rating: A-

For more information go to: DRNXMYTH

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GSN Review: Magic Bullet Nutritional Detox

We’ve all been there. Out with friends or business associates, one drink leads to another, then tomorrow’s obligations hit you right between the eyeballs! Whether it’s work or play, no one wants to struggle through the next morning, wondering if they’ll ever recover from last night’s fun.

That’s what drove Joe & Didi Edwards to create Magic Bullet.  They knew that alcohol can be an integral part of life. They also knew that vitamins and electrolytes were the classic recovery band-aid, but the morning after was too late to prevent the nasty after-effects of a night of drinking. Their research led them to focus on Superfoods and Amino Acids because of the burden placed on our livers when we drink. These powerful nutritionals are known to not only support and fortify your liver, but also heal and repair it.

Armed with that research, they went about developing Magic Bullet.  Their goal was to create something that people would want to drink for its health benefits.  To align with their philosophy, it had to be great tasting, natural, stimulant free and use no artificial ingredients or chemical sweeteners.

Magic Bullet is an 8.4 oz nutritional recovery drink made from natural ingredients and designed to support healthy liver and kidney function. The proprietary mix of Milk Thistle Extract, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Lipoic Acid, Turmeric, Schisandra Berry, Grape Seed Extract and Yellow Dock Root is sweetened with zero calorie Stevia and only 40 Calories of organic Cane Sugar, for a balanced taste, without using High Fructose Corn Syrup.

GSN’s Remarks: This is a very easy to drink beverage that leans towards citrus in flavor. We had some chilled, some over ice and some added to cocktails to add a bit of flavor. Our favorite was pouring half a can over ice and sipping that between cocktails. We honestly don’t know if the health benefits worked, since we didn’t overindulge at the office. But, better safe than sorry. If anything, you may find yourself drinking less alcohol if you add Magic Bullet into your routine. GSN Rating: B+

For more information go to: Drink Magic Bullet