Seltzers in the City
Summer is in full swing, and on these long hot days, we’re all looking for a refreshing beverage to cool off. The breweries in town are the perfect way to spend a summer afternoon, frequently offering live music or other fun events such as trivia or goat yoga. But with the sweltering heat, beer can be heavy while we’re trying to stay refreshed. With the ongoing rise in hard seltzer’s popularity, breweries have taken notice. Many craft breweries have started tapping into this liquid phenomenon by offering lighter and refreshing alternatives to their patrons. For the non-beer drinkers out there that still appreciate the brewery atmosphere, they can join their beer-drinking friends by partaking in a seltzer option.
While the Norfolk seltzer scene is relatively new, breweries are running full speed with a slew of options across the city! And the best part is, each offers their spin on the bubbly beverage. Depending on preference, whether sweet and flavorful or light and subtle, there’s something out there for every palate.
The Veil’s Fruit-Forward Fizzees
The Veil is well-known for its frequent rotation of beers on tap. If you don’t find something you like on the menu, chances are there will be an almost entirely different selection the next time you visit. The same goes for their seltzers. A week ago, the Farmstand Fizzee was the seltzer on tap, bursting with flavors of juicy raspberry and blackberry. This week, they’re serving up the Painkiller Fizzee, which, as the name alludes to, is inspired by the classic vacation cocktail. This sweet treat packs a punch of coconut, pineapple, and orange. The best part is, you can get it frozen! While both versions are delicious, the frozen variant takes things to the next level, making you feel as if you’ve been whisked away to a tropical island.
If you’re on the fence about seltzers because they’re not sweet or flavorful enough, the Veil’s option is the best of both worlds. Their seltzers check both of those boxes, with a similar feel to a cider but less heavy. And they frequently offer four-packs to go, so that you can take this party in a glass home with you!
Benchtop Brewing’s Berry Bubbler
Benchtop must have created The Bubbler hard seltzer with stuffy summer days in mind because this drink is as cool as they come. After a day in the sun, The Bubbler is a refreshingly welcome libation. It’s an easy sipper and a lighter, more subtle alternative to the Veil’s Fizzees, but still offers an enlivening berry flavor. The Bubbler is easy to sip on for a more extended period since it’s not overpowering. As the name suggests, it also offers the perfect amount of bubbly.
Maker’s Craft Brewery Childhood Favorites
Maker’s Craft Brewery currently features two seltzers: lemonade and kiwi strawberry. They’re both clear in color, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they’re any less flavorful. Both seltzers are jam-packed with electrifying tastiness that will bring you back to your childhood. The lemonade offering harkens back to eating a box of Lemonheads by the pool, with that perfect amount of tart and tangy. The kiwi strawberry seltzer recalls the undisputed classic Strawberry Kiwi Capri Sun that everyone hoped would be waiting in their lunch box. Like the Benchtop Bubbler, both of these are supremely light and drinkable.
Rip Rap Brewing Co’s Fruits and Florals
Rip Rap Brewing Co. offers a pomegranate hibiscus hard seltzer, which potentially takes the top spot for the most distinguished flavor on this list. While it’s hard to pinpoint what pomegranate and hibiscus paired together should taste like, Rip Rap has done an excellent job meshing them together for a finished profile that’s light and fruity. This one showcases more bubbles and seltzer while being less heavy in the sweet and fruity corner. Its subtle notes make for another drink on this list that’s delightfully crushable.
CoVa Brewing’s Non-Alcoholic Seltzer of the Week
For the non-drinkers among us, or those looking to beat the heat sans alcohol, you can head to CoVa Brewing and try their non-alcoholic seltzer. The offering changes every week, so you can try new versions each time you visit. Last week, blood orange was flexing its pleasantly biting tart on the taps. This week’s flavor: The Dry Hop.
Our Norfolk breweries have begun capitalizing on the seltzer demand, whether you’re looking for a subtle and chuggable summertime drink or a juicy, full-bodied experience. And with the fast rate that they’re introducing new flavors, we can’t wait to sip on new seltzers all summer long. Cheers!
Tiffany grew up in Chesapeake but has called Norfolk home for the past seven years. She fell in love with the city while working with Festevents during college summer breaks. She graduated from James Madison University (Go Dukes!) with a degree in corporate communication. Tiffany now works as a digital marketing specialist and enjoys strolling and rollerblading her way around Norfolk. She lives in Ghent with her husband Trevor, and their two cats, Tux and Joe.