Seltzi: Crafting Quality and Community in Canned Cocktails with Lee Neujahr

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In late 2021, SELTZi Cocktail Co. embarked on a flavorful journey, to become Idaho’s pioneer in the canned cocktail industry. The team behind this innovative venture is Lee Neujahr, a brewing expert and sales director, and a core group of scientists, engineers, and industry professionals with a passion for crafting delectable recipes to make a splash in the burgeoning world of canned cocktails.
Idaho, a state known for its love of locally sourced products, greeted SELTZi with a mix of curiosity and skepticism. The canned cocktail category is often dominated by massive, established brands, which set the stage for SELTZi’s unique challenge as a small, Idaho-based startup. However, the company’s commitment to using naturally sourced ingredients, all of which are vegan and gluten-free, quickly caught the attention of conscientious consumers.
SELTZi‘S Flagship Products
SELTZi’s journey to win over the local community began with a range of distinctive draft cocktails. Among their offerings, the Blackberry Mojito has emerged as a fan favorite, closely followed by the Spicy Pineapple Margarita. While SELTZi is relatively new to the canned cocktail scene, they have high hopes for their Grapefruit Paloma and Ginger Mule recipes, with awards from the San Francisco World Spirits Competition further fueling their optimism.
Crafting Quality and Taste
To ensure the exceptional quality and taste of their cocktails, SELTZi’s meticulous approach includes rigorous cleaning practices and precise measurements. Unlike some competitors that rely heavily on sugar, SELTZi focuses on crafting well-balanced cocktails that don’t compromise on flavor. This commitment to quality extends to the use of locally sourced ingredients, reinforcing their Idaho pride.
Sourcing Local Ingredients
SELTZi’s dedication to sourcing locally is evident in their unique ingredients. They proudly incorporate huckleberries, a cherished Idaho fruit known for its punchy flavor. Locally grown mint from Oregon adds a fresh twist to their cocktails, while local berries and cherries enrich their range with vibrant notes. Notably, SELTZi’s main alcohol base is derived from locally grown Idaho sugar beets, highlighting their commitment to efficiency and utilizing regional resources.
The Brewing Process
Technically a brewery, SELTZi takes a unique approach. They brew and ferment their proprietary alcohol, but they don’t distill it. This decision stems from a clever observation – a significant tax rate discrepancy between breweries and distilleries. By creating a cocktail-strength product without distillation, Seltzi maximizes capital for high-quality ingredients, emphasizing that cocktails should rely on premium ingredients rather than cheap spirits.
Eco-Friendly Practices
SELTZi also embraces eco-friendly practices. Their minimal solid waste production impresses local environmental advocates. Opting for cans over glass not only reduces shipping costs but also allows consumers to enjoy SELTZi’s products in places where glass is typically prohibited, such as campgrounds or beaches.
Community Engagement and Partnerships
SELTZi’s commitment to the local community extends beyond their products. They actively collaborate with businesses, offering a unique value proposition to bars, restaurants, and coffee shops seeking to elevate their beverage offerings. By partnering with these establishments, SELTZi helps them stand out in their markets and create memorable customer experiences.
Customer Success Stories
SELTZi’s journey is marked by success stories from businesses that embraced their draft and now canned cocktails. Wood & Root Bar in Meridian and 112 Bar in Nampa transitioned from other canned options to SELTZi products on tap, realizing the increased profitability and positive customer responses. Even venues like the Treefort Music Hall and the Jump Building discovered that Seltzi’s quick-service cocktails enhanced their events by offering a premium experience to their patrons.
Upcoming Events and Initiatives
SELTZi has an exciting lineup of events and initiatives for the future. In the works is a collaborative effort tentatively titled “No Brick and Mortar Fest”  which aims to support businesses without physical locations by providing them a platform to showcase their products. They also plan to host beard and mustache competitions with local allies Brown Beard Brewing and Alliteration Ales, and expand their presence at local brew fests. Stay tuned for their cocktail and chocolate pairing events and sip-and-sample nights as well.
The Vision for SELTZi
Looking ahead, SELTZi‘s vision is to disrupt the canned cocktail and hard seltzer market. They aim to educate consumers on the importance of quality ingredients over artificial additives. SELTZi aspires to be recognized as Idaho’s premier canned cocktail company, focusing solely on crafting exceptional products. While expansion to other states is on the horizon, their primary goal is to solidify their presence in Idaho and change perceptions about canned cocktails.
In conclusion, SELTZi Cocktail Co stands as a shining example of innovation and quality in the canned cocktail industry. With a commitment to local sourcing, eco-friendly practices, and community engagement, SELTZi is set to make a lasting impact on Idaho’s beverage scene while offering consumers an elevated, flavorful experience.