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Bootstrap Brewing launches new Sparkalicious hard seltzer


February 19, 2020 | View PDF

Kristen Arendt

Stop by Bootstrap Brewing's Longmont or Niwot locations to try the new hard seltzers on tap.

Award-winning Bootstrap Brewing, headed by co-owners Leslie and Steve Kaczeus, recently branched into something new-a line of hard seltzers.

Their recently released Sparkalicious line features three flavors, made with real fruit and designed as a play on favorite cocktail flavors-with a cranberry and orange Cosmo, a cherry and orange Sunrise, and a grapefruit Greyhound.

Owner and brewer Leslie Kaczeus spoke of the inspiration for the new line coming from their customers. "Over the years we've had people ask for a gluten free option. Our beer is gluten reduced, but it's not truly gluten free. Our seltzers are sugarcane based and don't contain any barley, so they are truly gluten free."

The sugarcane-based beverage is brewed in a very similar fashion as beer, but without hops and barley, meaning that Bootstrap didn't need to invest in any new equipment to get started, just track down the best fruit to use in their brew process.

Which isn't necessarily new territory for the Kaczeus couple, who have used tart cherries in their brews for years. Some of their recent brews include a cherry gose, their award-winning 1956 Golden Ale, a cherry gold, and a cherry ginger gold. "So, we've been doing the cherry for a long time," Leslie Kaczeus noted.

They've had to find new suppliers for their cranberry and grapefruit. Sourcing fruit can be a bit of a challenge as there isn't any one-stop shopping and each supplier provides a slightly different product. Leslie Kaczeus boils down the many decisions they have to make in the process to a simple philosophy, "We want to make what we want to drink. If we like it, usually everybody else likes it too."

It's a winning recipe-literally. In 2019, Bootstrap took home a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for their 1956 Golden Ale, which also won silver at GABF in 2018. Bootstrap is rightfully proud of this accomplishment. "It's getting harder and harder to win medals," she said.

Clearly, the Kaczeus' aren't afraid of a little competition or the amount of work required to develop a new beverage. Leslie Kaczeus estimates it takes about a year from when they come up with a new idea to when the drink is ready to launch.

"We've been working on Sparkalicious for almost a year now-refining the process, refining the fruit choices. We came up with what we enjoyed, and then we put it out to the customers and asked, 'What do you guys want?'"

They even held a tasting party at Bootstrap, allowing people to pick their favorite hard seltzer flavors and narrowing down their final offering based on taster feedback. The three fan-favorite flavors make up the new Sparkalicious line, and the seltzers are now on tap along with Bootstrap's regular beer rotation at both their Niwot and Longmont locations.

Leslie Kaczeus feels their attention to detail has definitely paid off. "We're pretty particular about it. We're not going to put out something that we're not extremely proud of or that we don't think is a game changer."

Additionally, Bootstrap's hard seltzer offering will be coming to local liquor stores both as individual cans and as part of two new party packs. The recently-launched Bootstrap Party Pack offers a twelve-pack featuring two cans of six different brews, including two Sparkalicious seltzers. And for those looking for the hard seltzers specifically, on February 24, Bootstrap will be launching a new Sparkalicious Party Pack, a twelve-pack with four of each of the three hard seltzer flavors.

One unique feature of Bootstrap's brews, along with their creative artist-drawn can designs, is that the Kaczeus' offer a music "pairing" to go along with their beer. The pairing is meant as a fun way to understand the feeling inspired by the beer or, in this case, the seltzer.

Courtesy Image

Look for the Bootstrap's Sparkalicious Party Pack coming soon.

Sparkalicious draws inspiration from Weezer's "Island in the Sun" a song that for Leslie Kaczeus takes her somewhere sunny. "With Sparkalicious I thought, 'If I were somewhere tropical, what would I be listening to?' And I love that Weezer song."

Bootstrap knows how to bring together a winning combination of music, community, and excellent brews. Both the Niwot and Longmont locations regularly host live music, game and trivia nights, open mic nights, food trucks, and community events. Visit their website (https://bootstrapbrewing.com/calendar/) for a list of upcoming events.

With spring right around the corner, perhaps it's time to start thinking of a tropical place while enjoying Bootstrap's fruit-based hard seltzer. The Sparkalicious line is one option to cheer away the last few snowstorms and look ahead to summer.

Asked if they've had a best seller yet, Kaczeus smiled. "Everybody's got their favorite."


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