New York City-based Cannonball Productions will bring Seltzerland, its traveling hard seltzer festival, to Doral in November.
The first large-scale festival to focus on hard seltzer, the event has visited numerous cities nationwide and will make its final 2021 appearance on Saturday, November 6, at the Costa Del Sol Golf Club.
Over the past few years, the trendy libation has become a favorite way for Americans to imbibe. Locally, Broward-based Funky Buddha Brewery is pushing sales of its agave-sweetened, tropical fruit-flavored hard seltzers. Even Bud Light debuted a hard seltzer, using its Super Bowl commercial spot to snag a piece of the category's booming $2.5 billion market.
To date, Cannonball — the company responsible for the Beer and Bacon Classic, a festival tour called Taco Takeover, and winery tours in the Midwest — has hosted more than 15 sold-out Seltzerland events.
Cannonball founder and CEO Kate Levenstien says Seltzerland offers attendees a chance to sample the growing array of hard seltzer options without having to shell out for a six-pack you might not enjoy. An avid food and beverage aficionado, she remembers her own troubles finding a hard seltzer that appealed to her palate.
"Everyone around me was drinking hard seltzer, but I didn't catch on as quickly as my team members, who urged me to give them a try," Levenstien tells New Times. "I remember being in the liquor store totally overwhelmed by the number of options."
The experience was reminiscent of the 2010 craft beer craze, when the market became saturated with dozens of options from local, out-of-state, and international breweries.
"You didn't know which brewery or style to try first, and I was having déjà vu," she says. "It felt like an experience like this wasn't just fun — it was necessary to allow people an opportunity to sample different styles and figure out what it is that they like and don't like when it comes to hard seltzer."
Seltzerland kicked off in Chicago in August 2020 after a delayed start due to the pandemic and has since set up at two dozen golf courses, including facilities in Scottsdale, Tampa, Atlanta, Nashville, Austin, Boston, and Seattle.
"COVID was actually a silver lining, allowing us to offer this function outdoors," Levenstien notes.
During the three-hour Miami Seltzerland, attendees can sign up for a time slot that lets them stroll a one-way tasting route around from vendor to vendor around the course, no golfing required.
More than 25 brands large and small will participate in the Miami event, including Doral-based MIA Beer Company, makers of Hrd Wtr. MIA will be offering samples alongside dozens of well-known brands like White Claw, Mike's Hard Lemonade Seltzer, and Bon & Viv, not to mention Smirnoff, Natural Light, and Four Loko.
Levenstien says to keep an out for a number of notable newcomers like Vizzy, a hard seltzer boasting antioxidant properties; Playamar, from Jose Cuervo; Miami Beach-based Cool Cat, and a small woman-owned company, Press.
Tickets for Seltzerland are on sale now, and can be purchased online at bucketlisters.com/event/seltzerland-miami. General admission costs $29 per person, with entry between 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and access to unlimited samples, games, swag, and activities. VIP tickets are $49 per person, and allow for early entry at 11 a.m., a complimentary can of Mike's Hard Lemonade seltzer, a specialty cocktail, and a complimentary food plate.
A portion of all Seltzerland event proceeds is donated to Forage Forward, a national organization dedicated to supporting local and national nonprofit organizations, with a specific focus on social justice, food banks, food sustainability, and food education.
Seltzerland. Saturday, November 6, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Costa Del Sol Golf Club, 100 Costa Del Sol Blvd., Doral. Tickets cost $29 to $49 per person at seltzerland.com.