Review: Athletic Brewing’s DayPack Hop Infused Seltzer
Covers Products: Black Cherry with Hops, Blood Orange with Hops, Lemon Lime with Hops, Mango with Hops
DayPack is a new line extension from Athletic Brewing and the company’s first offering outside of the non-alcoholic beer space. DayPack pairs hops, which is perhaps the best known beer ingredient, with fruit flavors to create a unique entry into the flavored sparkling water category.
There are four flavors at the brand’s launch. These include Mango with Hops, Black Cherry with Hops, Lemon Lime with Hops, and Blood Orange with Hops. The products are zero calorie, unsweetened, and made with three simple ingredients: carbonated water, natural flavors, and hop oil.
In terms of taste, the products are light, crisp, refreshing, and full of fruit and hop flavor. They are familiar tasting when it comes to the fruit, but, thanks to the addition of the hop oil, have a unique twist. The hop oil adds a pine note and a touch of bitterness, which makes the product have a lot more depth than you’d get from just fruit flavor alone. We’d put all four on equal footing in terms of enjoyment -- it’s ultimately going to be a matter of preference.
While we think these pairings are enjoyable and the execution is spot on, this product has the potential to be somewhat polarizing based on how each consumer feels about hops. Plus, it will probably skew towards a slightly older demographic than traditional fruit flavored sparkling water typically does.
In addition, this product might, at least for some consumers, have a different use occasion. This seems like a product that bridges the gap between a true non-alcoholic beverage and a beer (or non-alcoholic beer in Athletic Brewing’s case). The taste of hops is a tease of sorts and this product is lighter in body than a beer / non-alc beer.
On the outside, DayPack’s 12 ounce can features a pressure sensitive label that leaves the top and bottom of the can exposed. The design of the label features three stripes -- one that’s white and two that are in separate shades of the accent color that’s unique to each SKU.
The top portion of the can (the white stripe) is where you’ll find the DayPack logo and the core product descriptions of “flavored seltzer” and “infused with hops.” Below this, you’ll find the flavor name that has “with hops” beneath it to reinforce the product’s primary feature.
Finally, at the bottom you’ll find “crafted by Athletic Brewing” in small white letters. This is, in our opinion, something that could be a bit more prominent part of this product. We’d love to see it at the top, rather than the bottom, and this seems like something that would help the brand have immediate credibility rather than starting from scratch.
Putting this aside, the look of DayPack is clean and intuitive. The top down hierarchy of the label makes it easy to figure this product out quickly and, given the popularity of hops in beer, we don’t think the product requires any further explanation or education.
Overall, we really like seeing Athletic Brewing expanding out their offering into a new category and we especially like how they’ve done it in such a way (with hops!) that it lightly ties back to their core mission. The execution of these products is quite good and, with some slight tweaks to the branding, it should fit very nicely in Athletic’s portfolio.