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Hot take: Hard Seltzer is popular, Houston Hard Seltzer starts in Pearland

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Hot take: Hard Seltzer is popular, Houston Hard Seltzer starts in Pearland

No laws with the claws, AMIRIGHT!? With the clean-drinking, low-calorie nature of seltzer water, it was only a matter of time before Houston hard seltzer entered into the market.

I mean, c’mon. Have you been outside lately? It’s almost November, and we’re still in the 90’s.

I love a good motor oil stout when the time is right, and even a sessionable IPA can be a great accompaniment to an afternoon of grilling. But there’s nothing as refreshing as water.

*Cue the Waterboy quotes and voice*

Hard seltzer water is not the devil, prior to what Mama might’ve said, and Pearland’s very own BAKFISH Kris Szecsy will be the first Houston hard seltzer brewer on record.

Before you get you panties in a bunch, I Tell You Wit, Defying Gravity DIPA, and All Y’all Golden Ale aren’t going anywhere. BAKFISH will continue bringing you the beer you know and love; they’re just dipping their toes into the… water.

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Sorry. I had to.

(Fun fact, JJ Watt is a fan of BAKFISH I Tell You Wit, and I can’t tell you how I know that. But I digress…)

Kris explained, “We saw the shift in beer trends… Beer that didn’t taste like beer… And we were trying our hand at it with some test batches. Milkshake beers, heavily fruited stuff, ya know… But after some research, we figured out we could brew hard seltzer.”

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They’re far from the first, and they won’t be the last, but they are the first in Houston. In the last year, Oskar Blues and Deep Ellum have both tried their hand at it, as well as a handful of others around the country.

While they were dipping their toes into something new, Kris and the rest of the school at BAKFISH quickly realized that it’s not as easy as champagne yeast and corn sugar.

“We had to do some research and a bunch of testing. We don’t want to give away all our secrets, but it definitely didn’t come together like we initially thought. It was a fun challenge, and I think people will appreciate something new like this.”

There were a few batches that simply didn’t ferment, and others that smelled like straight farts. His words, not ours! Apparently the yeast that makes hard seltzer is pretty fickle. But BAKFISH wasn’t about to get hosed by the process. They kept tinkering until they ended up with something that tastes (and smells) deliciously refreshing.

I bet when we met with Kris back in the summer of 2017, he had no clue BAKFISH would be headed in this direction. It’s always funny how creativity leads us all down new paths.

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At the end of the latest paths were a passionfruit guava and coconut mojito lime hard seltzer that are gonna be hella crushable at 4.75% ABV.

When I asked Kris if they had any plans to can Swim Shady, he said he’d let demand determine that. Now it’s up to our friend Chad Pilbeam of What’s on Tap Radio to get out there and drink enough of it to allow the rest of us some cans one day! C’mon, Chad! You got this!

I’ve had a few seltzers, and I didn’t hate any of them – not a single one. They were actually pretty dang refreshing. While we’re focused on beer, and we’re gonna keep it that way, I can’t help but be interested in this. Plus BAKFISH is easy to love, so there’s that.

BAKFISH had this to say in closing, “We love all things craft and we’re not stopping with hard seltzer. Keep an eye out in 2020, as we add more craft options to our portfolio. Swim Shady Hard Craft Seltzer releasing at 3pm today in the taproom. Houston and surrounding areas distribution starts Monday 10/14.”

Get out to BAKFISH and try some Houston hard seltzer, so you can be like Chad when you grow up. Beers to you, Houston.

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Anthony Gorrity
tony.d@beerchronicle.com

Anthony's a Houston native, a graphic designer, and a UH Coog that loves good beer almost as much as he does his city. He's an ex-oilfield guy that spends is days pushing pixels for us, breweries, churches, and one of Houston's fastest-growing companies. Fueled by sessionable IPAs and gangster rap, he's ticked his way through H-Town, rocking nothing but the dopest on-sale Nikes he can find. When he's not writing for us, he's with his family or rooting for the Rockets.

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