Home Hard Drive Brand List Stone to Launch Buenavida Seltzer in Bottles

Stone to Launch Buenavida Seltzer in Bottles

Buenavida hard seltzer

After months of speculation, Stone Brewing has officially launched a hard seltzer.  Hard Seltzer News first reported the shift in leadership thinking in a September, 2020, report. The new spiked and sparkling offering – Buenavida – made its debut in Stone’s tap rooms. The announcement comes in spite of some early public hesitancy from the brewery’s founder.

The Buenavida mixed pack will rollout to the southern California area this July, according to announcements made by the large craft brewer. If Stone can meet SoCal’s demand, national distribution is expected to follow in early 2022.

Buenavida hard seltzer will be initially released in four flavors: Black Cherry, Mandarin, Mango, and Watermelon Lime. Each variety is currently available on draft in all of Stone’s taprooms, which include Escondido, four in San Diego (including Terminal 2 of the San Diego International Airport), Napa, Oceanside, Pasadena, and Richmond, Virginia.  Brewery tours are available at the Escondido and Richmond locations.

Each serving of Buenavida contains 100 calories, 2 grams of carbs, and 5% ABV. It is made with natural flavoring and high-quality cane sugar.

Glass, Not Metal

Breaking from hard seltzer trends, Buenavida will be packaged in 12 oz. glass bottles instead of the iconic skinny can. Notably, it will be one of the first hard seltzers, post-2018, to hit the market with solely a glass option. The clear bottles are made of a custom mold, embossed glass and feature vividly colored dia de los muertos themed labels.

Some ready-to-drink cocktails, such as Jack Daniel’s Country Cocktails are packaged in glass bottles.  Saranac originally released its Holiday blend of hard seltzer in glass bottles, but after a survey of fans on which package form is preferred, Saranac now only packages its hard seltzer in aluminum cans.   It’s surprising that more brands haven’t tried glass, especially in light of the ongoing aluminum can shortage.

Ball Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of aluminum cans for the beverage markets, anticipates “demand continuing to outstrip supply well into 2023,” President Daniel Fisher said in its latest earnings call.

Shift in Strategy for Stone

The expansion comes in spite of former CEO Dominic Engels’ vow that the brewery would never expand into the spiked and sparkling space. “We’re not going to make a hard seltzer. It’s not authentic,” Engels famously boasted.

A self-proclaimed “IPA guy,” co-founder Greg Koch was similarly skeptical. “My intermittent interactions with the world of hard seltzers had left me…and I’m working hard to be kind here… nonplussed,” Koch admitted.

“The category as a whole confused me, and I struggled to see why we would want to play in a space that seemed to overtly espouse a philosophy of mediocrity.”

Yet new CEO Maria Stipp had the foresight to bring Buenavida into fruition. One of the highest ranking women in craft beer, Ms. Stipp took the helm of Stone in September. With this latest expansion, it is clear that she is leaving her mark on the brewery.

“Whether your point of view on this announcement is one of trepidation, or excitement, know that you can only bring forth excellence like Buenavida via a team effort,” Ms. Stipp said in a press release announcing the new product.

“Greg and I and the entire team collaborated on everything from the flavors, to the label design, and our super-cool embossed bottles. But seriously, I never poked nearly as much fun at the hard-seltzer category as Greg, so as he said, you can feel free to take it out on him.”  Consider it done.

Buenavida Origins

The name Buenavida is a play on the brewery’s popular new beer, Stone Buenaveza Salt & Lime Lager. Launched in 2020, the Mexican style lager quickly became one of the brand’s fastest selling beers. The fruit forward beer and the new line of seltzers share an Instagram page, @livebuena.

Buena vida in Spanish translates to “good life”.  Recent estimates hold that San Diego County population includes 23% who are native Spanish speakers, and 34% of county residents identify with Hispanic origins.

We can’t wait to try these glass bottled, craft hard seltzers. Given some of the Stone crew’s reluctance to the new category, it must be something special to convert these IPA purists. Kudos to Ms. Stipp for leading Stone into this new space.

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