Hard Teas Are the New Hard Seltzers: Where to Find Them in PA

If 2022 was the #YearOfTheLager, then 2023 has to be the #SummerOfHardTea. Everywhere you look it seems as if a brewery is either producing their own hard tea or partnering with an iconic dairy farm to bring them to life.

And that shouldn’t come as a surprise, since arguably the number one hard tea drink, Twisted Tea, is seeing a rise in sales. According to a report in Yahoo Finance, Twisted Tea maker Boston Beer Company (aka Sam Adams) saw a decline in sales from some brands while Twisted Tea sales grew. The report saysdecline in shipment and depletion resulted from the soft performances of the Truly Hard Seltzer, Angry Orchard, Samuel Adams and Hard Mountain Dew. These were partly negated by growth in the Twisted Tea and Dogfish Head brands.”

So if a large part of the drinking community has decided they are going after hard teas, you know breweries will jump in on the action. And there has no doubt been a rise in the beverage in Pennsylvania. With the options below leading the pack:

Iron City and Turners IC’d Tea

A 4.2% lager made by the Pittsburgh Brewing Company sees two iconic Western PA brands join forces. Turners iced tea is mixed with the historic Iron City beer resulting in this “IC’d Tea”

Photo courtesy Iron City on Instagram

Cindi’s Hard Mountain Tea

Cinderlands Beer Co introduced their hard tea brand, “Cindi’s Hard Mountain Tea“, in early 2023 and it has been a hit ever since. The 6.5% malt beverage uses real iced tea and natural lemon flavor for a fizz-free (uncarbonated) and citrus treat. The brewery offers the beverage in 19.2 stovepipe cans as well as 12 oz options found all throughout the Pittsburgh area.

Photo courtesy Cindi’s Hard Mountain Iced Tea on Instagram

Lancaster and Rutter’s Spiked Tea Cooler

Back in 2022, the teams at Lancaster Brewing and Rutter’s teamed together to bring the “Spiked Tea Cooler” to life. A lemonade and iced tea combo that was inspired by Rutter’s Tea Cooler, clocking in at 5.5% ABV. The series was so successful that the duo followed up in 2023 with a special “Big Berry Ale”.

Photo courtesy Rutter’s on Instagram

Sea Isle Spiked Iced Tea Bald Birds Brewing

While the name and logo may make many think this is a product made at the shoreline of New Jersey, you would be wrong. The ever popular “Sea Isle Spiked Iced Tea” is brewed by Pennsylvania’s own Bald Birds Brewing. The slim can, and imagery of the iconic “Sea Isle Ice” has made this 6% drink a must have during the summer months.

Photo courtesy Sea Isle Spiked Iced Tea on Instagram

Downriver Brewing Gimmie A Zimmie

Another malt flavored beverage that paired a brewery and iconic Pennsylvania tea maker; “Gimmie A Zimmie” is named for the tagline for grabbing an iced tea from the team at Zimmerman’s Dairy. Downriver Brewing joined forces with the dairy producer to make this 6.3% hard iced tea that provides beautiful tea sweetness with a lemony pop that has morphed its way into a series of different offerings.

Photo courtesy Downriver Brewing on Facebook

Mindful Brewing Lemon Iced Tea Sour

While most brewery iced teas tend to be a malt beverage or lager, the team at Mindful Brewing went a different direction. The Pittsburgh based brewery teamed with Schneider’s Dairy to produce a 5.3% sour that mixed lemonade and tea together for a mouth puckering summertime drink.

Photo courtesy Mindful Brewing on Facebook

Honorable Mention: Iced Tea & Vodka by Boardroom Spirits

While not being produced by a brewery, this final option does include two iconic Pennsylvania brands. The teams at Rosenbergers Dairy and Boardroom Spirits paired together in the Summer of 2023 to produce a special summertime beverage. The famous Rosenberger’s iced tea is paired with Boardroom Spirits vodka to produce their “Iced Tea And Vodka” beverage.

Photo courtesy Boardroom Spirits on Facebook

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