Hard seltzers poised to emerge as the new option

New Update


He wanted to create a brand which would far exceed the US hard seltzers in terms of taste and design.His distillery in Goa is working with natural flavour specialists to create and craft excellent combination of flavours with alcohol content not exceeding five percent. When you drink one sip of hard seltzer, you want to go for the second or the third, reveals Anish Reddy, Founder and CEO of Pursue Hard Seltzers. He is working towards making his brand to be one of the leaders in the niche alcobev space. Talking to Shalini Kumar, he shares that hard seltzer is a new category globally and not just in India and there is much to explore.

Today hard seltzer is taking on beer and wine with aplomb. After beer and wines, which were ruling the light alcobev drinks domain for decades, this new category of hard seltzers has now become a new option for people in the west, especially in the US and Europe, says Anish Reddy.

Hard Seltzer with ‘Mosambi’

When he began, there were only two brands he could really look at in this category. What was available in the market was White Claw hard seltzer, and Truly hard seltzer; both flowing from the US. He had to work on new and locally available flavours to create new experiences. “You have a lot of grapefruits out there and you have a lot of other flavours out there, but nobody has sensationalized ‘Mosambi.’ So, we decided we will lead the charge and make a ‘mosambi’ and mint hard seltzer.”

He then created a peach and white tea hard seltzer. Thereafter he went on to create a mango and chilli hard seltzer, and a strawberry and rose - all withthe mindset of offering unique flavour combinations, which are delicious to try not just once, but every time you have a hard seltzer.

Pure Grain Spirits

Explaining how they worked on the process, he says they only use 100 percent pure grain spirit. “We did not use anything from molasses and even then we measure the quality. In effect, we only take grade seven pure grain spirits, which is the heaviest and of the highest quality,” he discloses. Many people have questioned their emphasis on quality since hard seltzers contain only 5 percent ABV, much similar to a lager beer but quality holds the key, he adds.

Talking about flavours, he explains that nothing in his flavour profile is either identical or artificial. They are extract either from botanical or fruit to ensure that everything is 100 percent natural. The flavours used by him in his hard seltzers have been sourced from some of the world’s top flavour houses, especially from companies which have been developing flavours for centuries!


He then goes on to reveal that till date he has done over 250 tasting trials in his effort to nail distinct flavours and has been doing so for over 18 months. As a business model, he also took the decision to have his own distillery. He has a dedicated distillery section in Goa which he owns. “We didn’t want to outsource the production to another distillery, so as to maintain quality control. So, we decided to do it all in-house,” points out the entrepreneur.

Carbonation Line

Anish knows what he is going to offer to the customers. He invested in a new section with a carbonation line for Pursue.

His distillery where he is making hard seltzers is in Goa. Recently, he has launched his own brands in the volume category under Grayson’s’ Distillers – his brand owning company. “In effect, what we have done is to take up excess capacity for making our own brands and are now trying to do it in batches where we do USL brands as also our own brands. And my target is the super-premium segment,” he asserts.

Launch in the Offing

The project is going a little behind schedule since he had targeted for an October launch. This is because “anything in India takes a little more time especially when you are setting up a plant.” However, in the same breath he adds that Goa has such an amazing environment.

The authorities have been very helpful and they are xcited about the project. “When we showed them the photographs and the renderings, they felt proud because there are so many IMFL plants, but there isn’t a single one in Goa that has got a world class bottling line for carbonated beverages and hard seltzers,” he explains.

And Anish is happy to be in action in Goa and he hoped for a mid-December launch of his hard seltzers. “So, even as you read this story, Pursue should be on the shelves in Goa,” he asserts.

Revealing his launch strategy, he says the idea is to enter Goa and then immediately launch the brand in Pondicherry. He will then enter the Mumbai and Pune markets, followed by Bengaluru in Karnataka. “After this, we hope to enter Delhi and subsequently Gurugram” he adds.

Eco-friendly Strategy

While discussing his eco-friendly strategy, he says that a large percentage of his company’s packaging material, including boxes, bottles et al come from recycled sources. For instance, their bottle manufacturer uses recycled glass to create bottles. Apart from environmental sustainability, the distillery is also an equal opportunity workplace. “Over 55 percent of our workforce at the distillery comprises of women because we want to promote equal opportunity and equal employment at Pursue. We are a brand for everyone and for every occasion, as well,” he concludes with a flourish