On the third Saturday in July, D.C. will play host to a new traveling festival that serves as a showcase for the many types of hard seltzer — or the more amusingly, broadly named category “alcopop” — that have sprung up over the past decade. This is not Gen X’s Bartles & Jaymes, the branded wine cooler that, in the 1980s introduced to the U.S. market a whole category of flavored alcoholic products sold in single-use bottles.
By contrast, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, a 1999 forerunner to today’s category-leading White Claw, is still very much a factor. The 22-year-old brand will be among more than 50 flavors available for sampling at Seltzerland, a 25-city national tour put together by New York City-based Cannonball Productions, which stages such culinary events as the Bacon and Beer Classic, Taco Takeover, and Whiskey Feast.
To maximize capacity, as well as social distancing and other pandemic-era safety measures, Seltzerland will hit the national fairways of golf courses, including D.C.’s Rock Creek Park Golf Course, with attendees scheduled in groups of no more than 35 and in 10-minute “tee time” increments. Attendees will follow a one-way route and will be required to maintain at least six feet of space between other attendees as well as brand representatives. Attendees are encouraged to wear masks when not actively sampling products.
“We created Seltzerland to give hard seltzer fans the opportunity to sample new flavors in the most fun way possible,” says Cannonball Productions’ Kate Levenstien in a press statement. “With one-of-a-kind activations and brand new seltzer varieties, Seltzerland is a can’t-miss experience.” The event, which will take roughly 2.5-hours to complete, is described as a “golf-less event,” since no actual golfing included.
Seltzerland happens rain or shine on Saturday, July 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at 6100 16th St. NW. Tickets are only available for purchase in advance and start at $29 for general admission — including 2-oz. beverage samples and festival swag and activities — or $49 for VIP which includes access to early premier timeslots, a full can of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, a specialty cocktail, and a complimentary food dish. Visit www.seltzerland.com.
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