I thought it was funny when Rhinegeist put out the call to their fans on social media to come to try their new “hard beverages”. They were quick to let us know that these were not seltzers. They were something different, designed to serve the purpose of expanding the taproom lineup for folks that were looking for something beyond beer that wasn’t the same old fermented sugar water.
I didn’t really buy into the hype of it. I have seen plenty of seltzers out there try to be something more, and they almost always – aren’t. But when I walked into Rhinegeist to help crowdsource or vote on the flavors, I was pretty surprised to see that they were actually really good. They were exactly what I should have expected from Rhinegeist.
We finally get to see the result of this experiment… and I think we definitely need to talk about it.
What’s The Point?
I don’t think it’s a surprise when I tell you that there is a movement to create beverages in this “beyond beer” space. Everything from wine/beer hybrids to seltzers, ciders, and hard teas – there are a ton of drinkers who just want something a little bit different than they’ve been given for so long.
Craft breweries have been on a quest to provide that for their customers for a long time, too. From the very early days when fruited wheat beers were all the rage to the recent explosion of seltzer. It’s all about the same thing – breweries trying to meet their customers in a place that doesn’t revolve around traditional beer products.
This is exactly the point of why this shouldn’t shock you that Rhinegeist is letting loose on these (we’ll talk about what these are in just a minute). They’ve always been right on the cutting edge of creating a product that fits that bill but still stays true to the soul of Rhinegeist – from the very first debut of their Cidergeist line back in 2015 to the twist that they put on Bubbles and more… it all makes sense for the category and it also all makes a ton of sense for the brewery overall – that’s hard to do.
This is where things are happening in the Beyond Beer space for Rhinegeist. A year ago Rhinegeist rebranded their cider line, Cidergeist, making it clear that their dedication to ciders was not going to waver, even as other breweries have turned their backs on the segment.
It left a strange in-between for some of their products, though. The heavily fruited ales that a lot of folks were really, really digging now seemed a little confusing. They weren’t beers, they certainly aren’t ciders – Rhinegeist had to hit the creative drawing board to find where they fit into things… and they put a big twist on it too – it’s an entirely new segment for them.
They’re calling it RGBevs – and it’s NOT seltzer.
You’ll notice when you look at the killer branding on these too, that they take a card right out of the playbook of that rebranded cider line – they’re retro, but fresh… I’m really, really digging the look that they’ve given these cans.
What Drinks Are We Talking About?
Let’s dig into it. I told you that it started with their line of fruited ales – so it’s not going to be a surprise that the lineup revolves around one crowd favorite, and a couple reimagined popular choices. But there’s some new stuff happening too that is going to get you pretty pumped.
Bubbles is not a surprise here. You can’t get rid of this one. From the first day that they debuted it in 2014 until today, it’s remained one of the favorites in the taproom. Crisp, bright and fruity – this pink-hued crowd-pleaser isn’t going anywhere. Read more about Bubbles right here.
Next to it in the lineup is a reimagining of two other favorites. Wowie Colada is obviously a twist on a pina colada, but in a light more drinkable form. It brings pineapple and passionfruit together in that deliciously tropical form that you’ve come to love from Wowie. Zango Crush is going to be excellent, too. Mango and Blood Orange means that what you loved about Zango only gets better in its new form… light, crisp and fruity.
The newcomer, though, one that I might be the most excited about from these first four additions is Lemmy Nade. This hard lemonade proves that Rhinegiest is definitely looking to do things a little differently than they have been. I really enjoyed this one when I got my little sneak peek taste back in November – and I think you’re going to dig it too (even if you’re anti-“beyond beer”)
That’s Not It…
They aren’t done with just those four additions, though. Debuting alongside the RGBevs drinks is another new product. Geist Tea is uncarbonated – refreshing and something completely different for those who are looking for something, well… completely different.
The tea comes in at 5% ABV and uses real black tea concentrate to make sure it tastes good enough to please tea drinkers, and – drinker-drinkers alike.
I can already anticipate a tall glass of Lemmy Nade mixed 50/50 with Geist Tea, and I’m sort of really excited about it. In the sun up on the rooftop deck? Even better.
When Can You Expect Them?
Start looking for these new drinks to be available in March – just in time for sunshine to return to us. The brewery will also be letting loose on their new variety pack, which they were teasing a while back with some crowd favorites that have been long absent making a return.
Still not enough? How about a new fruited wheat beer, too? Yeah – the springs gonna be fun, you guys.