When Shawn Rich and Chip Jarry, founded Bay State Brewing Co. they agreed they’d never serve anything they wouldn’t drink.
The brewery’s most recent creation tested that ideal.
Last week, Bay State launched a line of hard seltzer named Bling. Neither Rich nor Jarry drinks seltzer, that is until last week.
“We’re not seltzer guys,” Jarry said. “We finished the mixing and thought, this is great. I’m more than proud to serve this.”
Bling comes in three flavors: lemonade, pineapple and passion fruit. The pineapple version of Bling was one of Bay State’s best sellers after it launched.
The seltzers took a few weeks to develop and include purees of pineapple, passion fruit and lemonade rather than artificial flavoring or cane sugar. The seltzer is 5% ABV.
In creating the flavor, Bay State relied heavily on its tasting panels.
The 16 oz 100-calorie seltzer offers a smooth taste with a flavor-forward profile of each of the varieties. The pineapple, lemonade and passion fruit grab the spotlight in terms of taste with little to no detection of alcohol.
In using the fruit puree, each seltzer has a distinguished color. Passion fruit stands out with a pink hue.
“What’s telling is when people order it, they’ll taste it, then order another one, and another and another one,” Jarry said. “It’s not one and done. They’re having two or three which is a good sign.”
Bling is currently only available for over-the-counter sales at Bay State’s location at the Fidelity Bank Worcester Ice Arena in the Canal District. Take-out orders of the seltzer are not available. Bling will be available in stores, though.
“We’re beer first and seltzer second,” Rich said. “I’m not saying that we’ll never have four-packs of seltzer for sale here but, right now we’re thinking our strategy is to just have it available for the consumer that’s looking for a gluten free or non-beer option and push it to our stores.”
Bay State also recently introduced a new watermelon beer, “Watermelon Crawl.” The brew, like the seltzer, has also become popular.
“The customer base for all of us has been incredibly supportive,” Jarry said. “When you look what they leave for a tip for wait staff, extremely generous. They know everybody is suffering and people have been great. The trouble is there’s only so much you can ask.”
©2020 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.
Visit MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass. at www.masslive.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.