The Boston Beer Company and PepsiCo have teamed up to produce an alcoholic version of Pepsi’s carbonated soft drink brand Mountain Dew. Hard Mountain Dew (HARD MTN DEW) will contain 5% alcohol by volume and will be marketed as a flavored malt beverage to adults of legal age and merchandized consistently with other alcohol beverages.
Pictures provided by the companies show that the drink will be available with the original Mountain Dew flavor and in the two additional flavors Black Cherry and Watermelon with no sugar added.
As part of the business arrangement, Boston Beer will develop and produce new HARD MTN DEW and PepsiCo has set up a new entity to sell, deliver, and merchandise the product. Consumers should anticipate finding HARD MTN DEW on shelves in early 2022.
"We know that adult drinkers' tastes are evolving, and they are looking for new and exciting flavorful beverages. The combination of our experience in brewing and developing the best-tasting hard seltzers and hard teas, and MTN DEW, a one of kind multi-billion dollar brand, will deliver the excitement and refreshment that drinkers know and love," said Dave Burwick, Boston Beer's CEO.
The news comes just one week after PepsiCo announced to sell select juice brands like Tropicana and Naked across North America and to grant an irrevocable option to sell certain juice businesses in Europe including German juice brand Punica. PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta argued last week that the sale of the juice brands will generate additional funds that will "free us to concentrate on our current portfolio”. (inside.beer, 3.8.2021)
Mountain Dew currently covers about 6 to 7% of the carbonated soft drink market in the United States. The product was invented in 1940 by Tennessee beverage bottlers Barney and Ally Hartman. The brand was sold in 1961 to the Tip Corporation and three years later to PepsiCo, and the distribution expanded across the United States and Canada.
Between the 1940s and 1980s there was only one variety of Mountain Dew, which was citrus-flavored and caffeinated in most markets. Diet Mountain Dew was introduced in 1988 and especially since the turn of the century a row of line extensions have followed including limited time production, region-specific, and retailer-specific (Taco Bell, 7-Eleven, and KFC) variants of Mountain Dew.
"For 80 years MTN DEW has challenged the status quo, bringing bold flavors and unmatched beverage innovation to millions of fans," said Kirk Tanner, CEO of PepsiCo Beverages North America. "The Boston Beer Company partnership combines two recognized leaders in our respective industries to address the changing tastes of drinkers and we are thrilled at the opportunity to create HARD MTN DEW that maintains the bold, citrus flavor fans know and expect."