Blake Shelton may have a song called “Straight Outta Cold Beer,” but the “The Voice” coach is making a foray of a fizzier variety. Shelton is taking hard seltzer country with Smithworks Hard Seltzer Lemonade, which launched Wednesday.
“I want Smithworks to be associated with country lifestyle and country living,” Shelton told USA TODAY Wednesday, pointing out that the logo even includes a tractor. “I know I’m not going to be able to steer the hard seltzer world to the country lifestyle, but maybe we can steer the Smithworks version of it that way.”
Though Shelton said he’s traditionally been a vodka drinker – he’s been involved with the Smithworks brand since it launched with vodka in 2016 – he said he wasn’t really familiar with seltzers until last summer when he realized that the drink had “kind of taken over.”
“I started tasting (different hard seltzers) and getting into it, and we finally decided we should do this,” he said. “This is something people are doing out on the lake; they’re having this kind of a summertime drink and that’s what I’m all about.”
The hard seltzer, inspired by summer in the American Heartland, according to a release, comes in a variety of lemonade flavors: Classic Lemon, Ripe Strawberry, Southern Peach Tea and Crisp Lime.
The names of the flavors are reflective of a country lifestyle and Shelton’s goal to take seltzer into a country space, he said. “That’s my connection. Those are my people, those are who I speak to every night on ‘The Voice’ or on the radio or whatever, that’s who I have a connection with and I live that lifestyle.”
All four flavors clock in at 100 calories with 5% alcohol by volume and one gram of sugar per 12 oz. can.
“With the ready-to-drink category forecasted to be the fastest-growing category over the next five years, we are thrilled to enter this space and offer a new spin with our Smithworks Hard Seltzer Lemonades like no others,” Regan Clarke, vice president of marketing for Smithworks, which launched originally as a vodka brand, said in a release. The hard seltzer lemonade is the brand’s first venture in seltzer.
The seltzers are available for purchase in 17 states in 12-can variety packs and six-can Classic Lemon packs. The brand plans to take distribution further later in the year. Classic Lemon and Ripe Strawberry will also be available in single cans holding 23.5 oz.
Shelton isn’t the only country star who has recently come out with a hard seltzer. “Drink A Beer” singer Luke Bryan, who launched a beer last year, released a hard seltzer of his own earlier this year.
Bryan’s Two Lane Hard Seltzer comes in four flavors: Peach Tea, Cherry Limeade, Blueberry Lemonade and Watermelon Punch. All contain 110 calories and 4.5% ABV.
The hard seltzers are meant to “remind us of summer days at the lake or sitting and sipping on the porch,” according to the Two Lane website.
Beer after a workout?: Brewers take a cue from Gatorade and add electrolytes into lower alcohol brews