Lion has followed the biggest trend over the Northern summer, launching a hard seltzer in Australia.
Quincy, which the brewer is calling 2019’s ‘drink of the summer’ hopes to ride on the wave of popularity from the United States, where hard seltzer brand White Claw has stormed the market in the past two years.
It has also followed big brewing competitor CUB’s foray into alternative RTD-style drinks, with 4 Pines subsidiary Brookvale Union releasing its Vodka Peach Iced Tea, heralding a new generation of alcoholic beverages.
Tapping into consumer trends, the a Lion spokesperson said Quincy is gluten-free, lower carb (30 per cent less than leading vodka premixes according to Lion) and lower sugar (50 per cent less that the premixes).
The alcohol in the hard seltzer is produced through rice fermentation, and so falls under the beer category for excise purposes.
Lion says it has a “delicate taste profile with very low bitterness”, with added passionfruit or lime flavours.
“At Lion we have a real focus on innovation, and Quincy taps into a couple of current trends,” said Lion’s spokesperson.
“Firstly, we know consumers are increasingly mindful of what they’re consuming. This is a product that is lower in sugar and carbs and naturally gluten-free.
“Secondly, alcoholic seltzers have grown exponentially as a category in the US. It is a beverage choice for those looking beyond traditional beer, wine and RTDs.”
Lion’s innovation director Jo Simpson said in a media statement that Lion had the “worldwide trend towards moderation” in mind.
“When you enter a bottle shop looking for an afternoon drink and you don’t necessarily feel like a wine, an RTD or a traditional beer, Quincy has the right characteristics that will appeal to drinkers from all these categories. It just provides something a little bit different,” Simpson said.
Lion managing director James Brindley said that there was a “growing demand for a lighter drink” and the brewer would be continuing to grow beyond its core ranges to produce new beverages “to suit the changing demands of our drinkers”.
The 300ml bottles retail for $19.99 for a four-pack and will be available from 1st November from Dan Murphy’s, BWS, Liquorland, First Choice, Vintage Cellars and all leading independent liquor outlets.
Quincy is taxed as a beer for excise purposes and has the potential to reignite the alcopop debate that saw the definition of beer changed to avoid malternative beverages created to avoid the alcopops tax.