San Francisco’s Seven Stills Brewery and Distillery recently introduced its first line of canned craft cocktails made from its own craft spirits.
The three ready-to-drink canned cocktails are a Whiskey Highball, Vodka Mule, and Margarita. They join spirits-based seltzer, the Vodka Seltzer with Watermelon. They’ll all be available after Labor Day at the Seven Stills Brewery & Distillery, online at sevenstills.com, and at select retailers.
A statement from Seven Stills notes that the brewery and distillery built its brand initially by focusing on the concept of distilling whiskeys from different styles of craft beer, which led to the addition of a craft vodka, gin, and a line of craft beers.
The expansion into canned cocktails came as the ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktail market was the fastest growing segment in all of alcohol in 2019, and came into the spotlight when the pandemic closed bars and restaurants.
The category has now grown to a forecasted $4.5 billion this year and is expected to continue to grow annually at 13.9% until 2032.
Seven Stills’ distillers noted that the addition of canned cocktails allows them to cross-utilize their brewing equipment and fermenters to diversify product offerings, allowing the team to ramp up production to 300,000 cases per year on-site, increasing distribution six-fold and generating up to $18 million in additional revenue.
“Seeing canned cocktails come out of thin air and then be dominated by big brands gave me flashbacks to when I first started Seven Stills as an attempt to disrupt the super-traditional and stale whiskey industry,” said Tim Obert, CEO of Seven Stills. “We made whiskeys inspired by craft beer featuring loud artistic packaging that’s synonymous with craft beer.”
This time, he said, they are trying to shake it up by stepping into the unknown and venturing into a “new and exciting category” that is dominated by big brands.
“This industry is super exciting to me, and I don’t want it to get stale,” Obert said. “I feel there’s a risk of canned cocktails turning into a fad if only big brands are producing them, so I’m making it my goal to bring craft and excitement to this industry in its infancy.”
The first four canned cocktails in the Seven Stills portfolio are:
- Whiskey Highball: Featuring Seven Stills’ Chocasmoke Whiskey and soda water, the Highball is designed to let the complex nuanced flavors of the whiskey shine in a refreshing cocktail. Chocasmoke Whiskey is distilled from a chocolate oatmeal stout with a kick of peat smoked malted barley, resulting in flavors of chocolate malt, roasted barley, creamy oats, and a subtle smokey finish. 10% ABV.
- Vodka Mule: Made with Seven Stills’ 100% corn, non-GMO, gluten free, seven times distilled California Courage vodka, ginger, lime juice and soda water. The Mule is refreshing with a pronounced ginger bite and a smooth finish. 10% ABV.
- Margarita: Seven Stills teamed up with Mexican distillery Casa Maestri to produce a blanco tequila, mixed with lime juice and orange liqueur. It is smooth, citrusy and refreshing. 12.5% ABV.
- Watermelon Spritz: Seven Stills’ California Courage vodka mixed with soda and natural flavors with no added sugar, at 100 calories per serving. 5% ABV.
Individual cans start at $6 or four-packs are available from $10.99-$12.99.
Each can’s label features custom artwork by local artist Joey Rose, who has a longstanding relationship with Seven Stills. His work can be seen on the walls of the Brewery & Distillery in a large mural depicting the seven hills of San Francisco.
Packaging, with artwork designed by artist Jeremy Fish, reflects a strong tie to San Francisco and its natural wonders, such as the coyote on the canned cocktails, or the bison in Golden Gate park on the core line beer.