Sprecher isn't the first Badger State brewery to make a hard seltzer, but it's the most Wisconsin take on the hot trend yet.

Hard seltzers are perhaps the beverage trend of the summer – are you sick of hearing “Ain’t no laws when you’re drinking (White) Claws” yet? – and Sprecher Brewery is getting in on the craze in a decidedly Wisconsin way.

Today the Glendale brewery unveiled on Facebook its WI Old Fashioned Press Hard Seltzer. It’s a 4.5% ABV, 90-calorie malt beverage that Sprecher says has all the key old fashioned flavors: bitters, orange, cherry and bourbon. (Sorry, brandy lovers.)

Not to quibble here, but the label notes that it’s a malt beverage, which is a different class of beverages than the hard seltzers that are all the rage right now. Those are fermented from cane sugar – which means they’re gluten-free, unlike malt-based beverages.

I haven’t been out to Sprecher to try the WI Old Fashioned Press yet – stay tuned for an update once I actually do – and so I wondered if there’s a semantic game being played with the buzzword “seltzer.” Sprecher has a malt-based line of hard sodas that are significantly sweeter and thicker than the true seltzers I’ve had. Brewery spokeswoman Anne Sprecher says WI Old Fashioned Press really does drink more like the light, fizzy White Claws, Trulys and Presses of the world – intentionally different from the heavier body and mouthfeel of the sodas. 

But hey, we’re getting down in weeds, right?! Old fashioned seltzer! Wisconsin!  

WI Old Fashioned Press Hard Seltzer is available now at the brewery, 701 W. Glendale Ave., for $9 for a six-pack of 12-ounce cans. It will be shipping to stores throughout Wisconsin “soon” – though I’d guess not in time for the Labor Day weekend.

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