Life is a (hard seltzer) highway
How road-trip brands are detouring into flavored malt beverage territory
Last year, Sonic Drive-In teamed up with Oklahoma craft brewer COOP Ale Works to launch a hard seltzer line. Now, another beloved regional rest stop fixture with a powerful drinks program is dipping its toe in the flavored malt beverage market. Wawa Shore Tea, a limited-edition collaboration made with the Mid-Atlantic convenience heavyweight’s popular peach tea by New Jersey craft beer comer Cape May Brewing Co., hits shelves at 15 Pennsylvania Wawas starting this Thursday. The average drinker could be forgiven for wondering why these two reliable road-trip mainstays are pushing into the beverage-alcohol business. But you and I, dear reader, have a more interesting question to consider today: why aren’t more fast-food chains and c-stores doing the same?
I realize “Sonic hard seltzer” sounds like a throwaway line from the last season of Saturday Night Live, but it actually makes a lot of sense to look to the American road system and the businesses and cultures that have emerged around it for potential brand crossover opportunities into the wild world of flavored malt beverages. Here’s why.