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The hard seltzer market has seen significant growth over the last few years. Spurred by an increase in consumer demand for beverages with fewer calories and varying alcohol content levels, brewers around the globe continue to expand their product offerings to include the popular beverage. Smaller craft and microbreweries are joining the revolution in record numbers as well.
The early days of the pandemic saw retail sales of seltzers skyrocket as dining out plummeted. While sales have slowed at the retail level, the return of restaurant service has provided seltzers with another boost as more bar managers supplement their drink menus with a new consumer favorite.
According to Grand View Research, the global hard seltzer market was valued at $5.6 billion (USD) in 2020 and is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.4% from 2021 to 2028. As industry analysts indicate – the seltzer category is here to stay.
The compound annual growth rate of the hard seltzer market from 2021 to 2028. The market value is estimated to reach $49.4 billion (USD) in 2028.
For craft brewers looking to expand their product portfolio, the addition of a hard seltzer line can be a relatively seamless, cost-effective opportunity. Most of the equipment used in the beer brewing process can be utilized to produce seltzer, with only a few minor modifications and additions for the set-up and implementation.
While the base ingredients for seltzer are similar to those used in beer, the addition of natural or artificial flavors after the fermentation process often requires another step to de-color the liquid and reduce any unwanted fermentation-derived byproducts. The final product – a clear, flavorful, carbonated beverage – is achievable with just a few adjustments.
Filtration plays an integral role throughout the entire process of producing and packaging hard seltzer. From the base water mixture to purification for food and beverage product packaging applications, Donaldson has been a valued filtration supplier to the brewing industry for nearly four decades. Donaldson’s advanced micro-filtration solutions can be customized to fit the largest million-barrel producer’s operation or modified to fit the small, independent brewer down the street.
In an effort to engineer an effective, multi-step hard seltzer filtration solution, Donaldson partnered with a craft brewer in the Boston area to refine their approach and process steps. Through a consultative engagement, Donaldson optimized the brewer’s existing beer clarification technology to pilot a small-scale seltzer production.
Donaldson’s filter set-ups for multiple components helped fill in some of the gaps at the brewer’s facility. The pilot program was a success and allowed the brewer to scale to full-size production without changing the quality of the end product.
Additionally, Donaldson has been conducting a trial program with a large hard seltzer leader to identify missing links and potential areas for improvement in their approach to filtration. Together, the two companies have monitored and made improvements to the filtration process that Donaldson is now taking to the wider craft brewery market.
Through product development and customer trial programs, Donaldson is serving the growing craft brewing and hard seltzer industries. Donaldson’s proven process filtration products offer craft brewers affordable and efficient avenues for expanding their product portfolios and discovering new revenue streams in a refreshing and burgeoning category.