Hard seltzers seem custom-made for Florida's long, hot summers, when the only way to get relief from the heat is by taking a dip in the pool or the Gulf, or just staying inside all day and night. Many local breweries have hopped on the seltzer trend, serving them in their taprooms alongside their beers, while other beer makers, not all of them local, have begun making canned versions that you can pick up in grocery and specialty stores.
Here are a few good options for a refreshing Florida seltzer that will improve your next pool party.
Funky Buddha, which is based in Oakland Park, Florida, launched a line of hard seltzers last year, but just recently ramped up its offerings, selling 12-packs that contain four new tropical flavors: starfruit, passionfruit and dragon fruit, pineapple and coconut, and kiwi and tangerine.
While they taste fruity, the seltzers aren't sweet. They're dry and crisp and, like most seltzers, low in alcohol, at 4.5 percent. Previous flavors include blood orange, Key lime and cherry, mango and guava, and pink grapefruit. You can find all the varieties all over, at most places that sell alcohol.
St. Petersburg's 3 Daughters Brewing has been making hard seltzers for years, serving them in the brewery's big tasting room and selling cans at grocery stories and other outlets that carry alcohol. But the drinks have recently gone through a rebrand, with a new series of flavors and retro-styled slim cans.
The new cans are going into statewide distribution soon, with 12-packs that contain three different flavors: Key lime margarita; strawberry "Floridita," which is inspired by a classic Daiquiri; and pineapple and mango. The seltzers, which are slightly stronger than some other varieties, at 4.8 percent alcohol, will be available at Total Wine & More, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and some independent shops. The new drinks are a touch sweeter than previous iterations—juicy, but not sugary.
Why is Untitled Art, a Wisconsin brewery, making "Florida" seltzers? Total coincidence.
A few years ago, organizers behind Untitled, Art, a Miami Beach art fair that has nothing to do with the brewery, reached out to the company and, because of the common name they shared, asked it to provide beer for one of its events. That one-off connection led to a distribution deal with Florida's Progressive Distribution. Fast-forward to today, and "Florida has become our second home," says Untitled Art cofounder Levi Funk.
In addition to selling its beers around the state, the company launched a line called Florida Seltzers last year. You can find them at specialty shops like 99 Bottles, and in other shops, restaurants and bars around town. There are a multitude of flavors, but Funk says four varieties are their core offerings: blood orange and pomegranate, prickly pear and guava, pineapple and mango, and blackberry and agave. The brewery recently began putting together 12-packs with those four flavors.
The Untitled Art seltzers come in at 5 percent alcohol, and have bright, beautiful colors, unlike the clear varieties that are so popular. They've been a hit. "I knew that seltzers were popular, and I knew that this would go over well, but, even being prepared for that, it has exceeded expectations," says Funk.