USA: Will Hard Milk repeat the success of Hard Seltzer?

After Hard Seltzer became one of the hottest trends in the industry, it was only a matter of time before other spiked drinks hit the market. Tampa Bay Brewing Company (TBBC), one of Florida's oldest and largest independent craft breweries today launched TBBC Hard Milk, a spiked sparkling milk that comes with an ABV of 5.5%, about the same as the brewery most acclaimed dry-hopped American Pale Ale Reef Donkey.

TBBC does not reveal the exact recipe of the product but it tells a little bit about its production. “We start with the finest milk from local, antibiotic-free cows from local farms. Then (depending on the flavor we are brewing) add local fruit, vanilla, and of course more lactose. After fermentation and natural carbonation you're left with a creamy, full-flavored beverage that is packed with flavor and even more calcium and protein.” The new product line was announced at the brewery’s Instagram and Facebook accounts where you can also find a promotional product video.

TBBC Hard Milk comes in a variety 4-pack with Hard Milk in the varieties Blue, Brown, Pink, and Plain. For one time only the company is also releasing TBBC Hard Milk Black, an Imperial Spiked Sparkling Milk.

The products will be released on April 1, and will be available only for pickup at the two company’s taphouses in the Tampa Bay area with the possibility of a wider distribution in Florida in the course of the year. After a trial phase of one year, TBBC considers a national rollout for the product on April 1, 2022.

Tampa Bay Brewing Company was founded in 1995 by John and Vicky Doble “to satisfy Tampa Bay’s thirst for a better beer and great food at a reasonable price.” Today their son David Doble is running the business as a managing partner. The brewery is specialized in brewing flavorful and hop-centric IPAs, APAs, expressive sours, and juicy, fruit-forward Florida-weisse. The brewery has a line of 8 core and 38 seasonal proprietary beers, most of them far away from a beer you what call “normal”. Over the last two decades TBBC has brewed more than 800 different Florida Craft beers many of which are pilot-batch, treatments, and limited one-time releases.

TBBC Hard Milk is the logical extension of the product range, especially on days like today. 

“I really want our brand to surpass what we actually produce,” Mr. Doble says. “Then we can do a nice, comfortable, controlled growth with whatever we want to do. I’m not looking to grow volume out of this, just brand. Hopefully what that will do is drive our sales here.”

With the slogan ”Let's get creamy!” Mr. Doble wants to turn unbelievers who believe in an April fool's prank into real aficionados. What side are you on?

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