When the beer industry was struggling, hard seltzer showed up to help give breweries new life. But what’s the answer when the hard seltzer category starts struggling? How about vodka?
Truly Hard Seltzer — the Boston Beer Company-produced brand that is second in sales behind only White Claw — has announced they’re launching Truly Flavored Vodka, a partnership with spirits producer Beam Suntory.
Truly is already offered in a bunch of varieties: over a dozen classic flavors, five lemonade flavors, four iced tea flavors, and four margarita-style flavors. So which ones will get the vodka treatment? To start, Truly Flavored Vodka will arrive in just three flavors, which the brands says are “inspired by Truly’s most popular hard seltzers.” They are Strawberry Lemonade, Wild Berry, and Pineapple Mango.
Beyond these flavors, Truly draws other parallels between their hard seltzer and this 30 percent ABV triple-distilled vodka. Both beverages are made from cane sugar, and whereas the hard seltzers mostly aim to be 100 calories per can, the vodka lands right at 99 calories per 1.5-ounce serving.
“As we enter an entirely new category for the brand, we’re thrilled to be working in tandem with the pioneers in premium spirits at Beam Suntory to bring our latest innovation to life,” said Lesya Lysyj, CMO at Boston Beer Company. “With the launch of Truly Flavored Vodka we want to defy what consumers think vodka can be and create a product that’s flavorful, colorful and endlessly interesting.”
It’s not the first time Truly has tried to gain traction by ramping up the ABV. This time last year, Truly launched a new line of stronger 8 percent ABV seltzers. But since then, the brand has admitted that sales of Truly haven’t grown as aggressively as they had expected, with Boston Beer saying they planned to destroy millions of cases of their previously booming new drink.
Truly Flavored Vodka will be sold nationwide at select retailers starting this month in 50-milliliter, 375-milliliter, 750-milliliter, and 1-liter bottles.
Truly may be the biggest hard seltzer brand to go the vodka route, but it’s part of a larger trend of unexpected brands launching spirits. The most obvious parallel would be Natural Light, which released their own 30 percent ABV vodka this past summer with flavors inspired by their fruity beer brand, Naturdays. And back in 2019, PBR even released its own whiskey.