2021 shaped up to be a year of innovation and opportunity within the world of beverage alcohol, and the industry shows no signs of slowing down in the new year. In this episode of the “VinePair Podcast,” hosts Adam Teeter, Joanna Sciarrino, and Zach Geballe offer their predictions for the year ahead.

Will a global push for sustainability lead to more alternative packaging options? How will consolidation in the wine industry affect locally owned and operated vineyards and wineries? Hard seltzer certainly dominated 2021, in part thanks to creative flavor releases. Will this trend further transcend into the spirits category (think: Dr Pepper whiskey)? And speaking of hard seltzer, what is the future of the widely popular category as it continues to grow, with few signs of fizzling out?

Tune in to learn more about what might be in store for 2022.

Listen Online

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify

Or Check Out The Conversation Here

Adam Teeter: From VinePair’s New York City headquarters, I’m Adam Teeter.

Joanna Sciarrino: And I’m Joanna Sciarrino.

Zach Geballe: In Seattle, Washington, I’m Zach Geballe.

A: And this is the “VinePair Podcast.” Unless you think that all we do is record this podcast, dear listener, while you’re hearing this on Jan. 3, we are recording this podcast early pre-holidays because we’re going to take a f*cking break. While the predictions apply to the rest of the year, we obviously are recording this early. So if things do develop in the next week and a half or so between Christmas and New Year’s Eve time, don’t hold that against us. All right? Thanks. Zach, Joanna, what’s going on?

Z: Just getting ready for this holiday season, unlike any other.

A: Oh yeah, man. I just canceled my vacation.

Z: It’s big, man. It’s definitely feeling wild out there. I am very aware of the fact that for a lot of people, it’s a huge bummer. Or at least they’re put in a very difficult position, and that really sucks. It’s no fun for anyone to have to make those choices and to have to continue to do it after nearly two years of continuing to make difficult choices and figuring out where you fall. On the flip side, one thing that is a slight positive about this is that we’re taking breaks. There’s the possibility to have a little bit of fun at home. I think there’s a lot of people who will be dusting off some of those recipes that have been on the shelf since May 2020 or might bake bread over the holidays. It’s almost like a little bit of nostalgia for that early Covid period, right? My world was so small, and then it got big again, and now it’s getting very small again.

A: It’s pretty crazy. If there was any sympathy still for unvaccinated people, there will be less and less after this lockdown. Just talking to my friends who are in the medical profession, who are restaurateurs, who are bar owners, there is a little feeling that this could have been a lot less bad than it is if everyone got boosted when they were eligible. In 2022, I would be prepared to have people who are a little stricter on removing privileges from those kinds of people. This is what pandemics do; they don’t just end all of a sudden, which is so funny that we keep acting like it was going to. They continue to have waves that hopefully are less and less severe, but potentially more and more contagious. People also become less hospitable to those who don’t seem to be caring about what everyone else is going through. So I think it will be interesting to see what happens out of this one. There will definitely be hard choices to be made. And I think that people have very different perspectives than they did after the first time they had to make those hard choices.

J: Yes.

A: So before we get into predictions, what have you guys been drinking or what are you planning to drink? What are you excited about drinking over the holiday season?

J: Well, I can tell you what I’ve had lately. I was at the store the other day and I was looking for a very specific Belgian beer, Stille Nacht, which is from the De Dolle Brewery in Belgium. I was unable to find it. It’s a Christmas Eve beer. We have a piece on the site about it from Aaron Goldfarb. Instead, I came home with Chimay Grand Reserve, which is the blue one, and some Saison Dupont. Those were great as always. I also picked up a beer at the office that was in the refrigerator, Fort Point Beer Co. Manzanita.

A: How was it?

J: It was a smoked beer, so it’s a very specific style of beer that, if you’re not a fan, could quickly taste like smoked salmon, which is what Evan likes to say. So I had that; those were all really great points I had this weekend.

A: Very cool. I like some of Fort Point’s beers.

J: What about you, Zach?

Z: I guess I’m playing into our last episode. I picked up some bottles of Champagne that Caitlin and I will be having. Over this time period, we have our anniversary. We got legally married and then had a big wedding on separate dates. And then also my birthday, which the rest of you might know is New Year’s Eve. Most of these will be Champagne occasions for us. One of my favorites is a wine that’s a very strange Champagne by a producer called Jean Veselle. It’s the “Oeil de Perdrix,” which is like the “eye of the partridge.” It’s a rosé Champagne of sorts, but it’s made unlike most Champagnes. There’s no blending and there’s no saignée or bleeding off of juices. It’s made like how a lot of still rosés are being made, but then it’s obviously taken through the Champagne method. I just really love that wine. It’s very food friendly. It’s almost more orange than pink in color because of the aging, and it’s just delicious. So I got two bottles of that. I don’t know if we’ll drink both of them, but it’s always nice to have a backup. The only other thing that I’m really looking forward to making is eggnog. I’ve been trying to perfect the recipe, but I haven’t done it this year yet, which is one of the problems with this time of year. Which is, you do want people around to drink eggnog. The recipe that I have doesn’t make a ton of it, but it makes more than my wife and I are likely to drink in a reasonable span of time. But I’m going to just take the plunge one of these next few days because at some point, I need to have some eggnog. My wife is willing to tolerate the store-bought eggnog; I am not. So I will be playing around a little bit with that. I got some interesting rum that I’m going to try in there because I like to use a few different spirits. It’s a better cocktail or drink with a mix of rum, brandy, and whiskey than any one of those by itself.

J: You can always age it, right?

Z: I did that last year. I aged some, I left some in the fridge for six months, and by then, mine had definitely turned a little bit. I don’t know if that’s a fridge issue or how I stored it.

A: I don’t think Aaron’s turns. That’s why I was always so suspicious of it, because I feel like it could.

Z: I think maybe I didn’t use enough booze. If you put enough alcohol in, it will definitely be fine. But yeah, it was definitely interesting after a couple of months. The notion that it smoothes out was very much borne out by my experience. But at the same time, there’s something about the way freshly made eggnog tastes. Even if it’s a little bit more in your face, I kind of prefer it. I’m not necessarily looking for a velvety-smooth cocktail. I want to taste the nutmeg and the intensity from the booze as opposed to it being one velvety harmonious thing. Which is, of course, also tasty. But I found it to be not worth the fridge space, frankly. What about you, Adam? What are you drinking? What do you have planned?

A: First of all, it’s another year, and I still have never had eggnog. And I’m OK with that. I’m glad people like yourself and Aaron and others are very passionate about it. I have to say this: I finally had that bottle of Pursued by Bear “Baby Bear.”

Z: Oh, flashbacks to a live podcast.

A: Yeah, at the beginning of Covid a long time ago, we tried Kyle McLaughlin’s wine. It was really, really delicious. I sous-vide a steak on Saturday night and had it along with that, and it was just a perfect combination. It was a really beautiful wine, I’m very glad I finally opened the bottle. So that was awesome. Besides that, I’ve been playing around with a few cocktails before canceling my vacation in the middle of organizing what wines I was going to bring with me to Canada. That’s not happening any more since Quebec is shutting down everything. I’m trying to figure out what the next week and a half entails. Will I maybe rent a last-minute Airbnb in the middle of nowhere and hope that I can stay away from Omicron? I’m not sure. Will we kick it here? Not really sure. Part of staying in New York is like, what are you doing around New Year’s Eve? We’re not big New Year’s Eve people, but are we having dinner? Clearly, we’re not going out to eat. So I’m trying to figure all that stuff out; we’ll see. But that wine was definitely a highlight of my last week.

J: Nice.

A: So predictions for 2022? I’m going to start because I teased one last week, if you remember what I said. There are a lot of signs that point to this, and Joanna already knows what I’m going to say because I wrote it, too. 2022 is very much going to be what we’re going to look back on and say it was the year of flavor. There are a lot of things happening here. We’re seeing what happened in the food world almost a decade ago when it’s really ramping up into drinks pretty heavily. You saw Doritos Locos Tacos. You saw a lot of, I don’t really want to say gimmicks, but people taking flavors that were popular and combining them with other foods that are popular to make even more popular foods. That’s definitely happening in the drink space, and it seems that consumers don’t really care what the liquid base is. They’re really looking for flavor, and there’s a bunch of companies that are really good at this. Obviously, Boston Beer Company with Truly has really become well known for its flavor innovations. You have what Gallo’s doing, not just with High Noon, but what they did with the Oreo wine. I think they’re going to play with flavor a lot. You have what’s happening at LVMH. Everyone who now runs the Möet Hennessy side of the liquid business in the U.S., all the top executives have now just come over from Pepsi. So again, I think there’s just a lot to give us the signals that flavor is going to be a huge thing in beverage this coming year. Now, that’s not to say that it’s going to appeal to everyone. I’m not talking about this as, “Oh, hey, craft cocktail bars are all going to start stocking peanut butter whiskey.” But in a large portion of the country, it’s going to be huge. You’re going to see brands that don’t even exist yet that are either brand extensions or are new brands that are flavored like fried chicken or whatever you want to say that become really, really big in parts of the country. People like us are going to say, “Oh, I didn’t even know about this.” We’re not even going to be aware of it because it’s going to go for a very different drinking public. But these brands are going to be massive.

J: Interesting. I have one that spins off of yours or is kind of related to yours, Adam. I think we’re going to see a lot more botanical-forward beverages and brands really relying on botanicals as a word. We saw that a bit already. There’s Ketel One Botanicals and Belvedere’s whole line. But I think that beyond just gin, we’re going to see — even if it’s nonalcoholic beverages — brands really leaning on botanicals in their marketing and in their flavors as well.

Z: I could definitely see that. I want to ask you a question about your prediction, Adam. Just going back for a moment when you talked about flavors, are you going to see more of the gimmicks that we talked about in the last episode? In terms of Barefoot x Oreo or whatever, where both the base liquid brand and the flavor brand are recognizable. Maybe you’re getting Dr Pepper whiskey. Or you’re talking more like what you said, like fried chicken vodka or something like that? Because those are kind of different.

A: I’m saying both. It’s flavors that are popular in American culture. The Oreo is a very popular cookie, and it is kind of its own flavor, right? Same with Dr Pepper, which is a great example that you gave there because it is a very distinct soda. We’re already seeing this explosion of lemon. I think that will be even bigger this year. You’re going to see other things like that. Maybe we move into the grapefruit realm and really full-flavored grapefruit stuff. I don’t think we’re going to go back to the age of flavored vodka, where it’s like birthday cake and donut. But who knows? I do think that people are going to look for things that are aggressively flavored. It’s not a nuanced thing. That’s what it seems like when you look at the explosion of hard seltzer. The seltzers that have become the most successful are the ones whose flavors are really, really prominent.

Z: You said not flavored vodkas, which is interesting. But I wonder if there’s a way in which those really assertive flavors in seltzer work because there is no underlying seltzer flavor. All you’re getting is the flavor. So to come back to my presumably hypothetical Dr Pepper whiskey, some of what we’re seeing is a proliferation of flavored spirits and other drinks, even in categories where the underlying liquid has its own distinctive flavor. Whiskey, tequila, wine, whatever. We’re seeing more and more of that with wine; you could look at the bourbon-barrel-aged wines as being your first forays into this realm. The last wave of this with flavored vodka, the notion was that you need a blank canvas to put the flavor on. I wonder if you’re going to see brands be like, “F*ck it, we can put Flamin’ Hot Cheetos with rum. I don’t care.” Like it? Can you get the aforementioned Flamin’ Hot Cheetos line in every kind of spirit?

A: I think you have your answer, and your answer is what we drank together, which is peanut butter whiskey. I think there will be lots of stuff like that where the flavor matches really well with the liquid. I don’t think you’re going to have a lot of like, “We’re looking for a confectionery’s take on vodka,” where you don’t even know it’s vodka and it literally tastes like liquid donuts. You’re going to have a donut whiskey. The donut flavoring plays well with the whiskey. It’s a whole thing together, and RTDs are gonna start to blur this even more. All the stuff that’s being canned will now taste like certain things where you have the spirit coming through, but it’s that really strong flavor on top of it. We already know there’s a whole host of people across the country, especially in the southern United States, who tailgate with a mix of Dr Pepper and whiskey. So that’s already a flavor combination that’s very well accepted. You could see that very quickly. The idea that Monster is making their own beverages currently. I think that’s what’s going to happen and it’s going to be really, really interesting to watch.

Z: I’m going to change gears a little bit with a prediction here because it’s still kind of large-scale, but it’s in a different category. We did a podcast a few months ago about consolidation in the wine industry and in that, we talked a little bit about why there were a lot of trends and forces that were pushing it. What we’ve seen over the last quarter of the year has only furthered my belief that 2021 was just a warm-up for what we’re going to see in 2022. I think you’re going to see further consolidation. And in particular, I think you’re going to see an acceleration of the sales to these larger wine companies of legacy wine brands or legacy wineries. Relatively recently, we saw Frank Family Wines in Napa sell to… I forget who. You’re going to see a ton of people who are in this category who have a well-established winery. They themselves are getting to an age where retirement is looking more and more appealing, or they don’t want to be dealing with the winery.

A: They sold it to Treasury. Which is surprising, actually, since Treasury’s been struggling.

Z: Well maybe this is their play. In any case, I think you’re going to see more and more wineries in the western U.S., California especially, who are basically saying that it’s just too hard. The risks are too high. They can’t get insurance for fires. The cost of labor is going up. They want out, right? There may be a plan of succession for some of those wineries. But one thing that we’ve seen in American wine is that there are not as many second-generation winemakers as first-generation winemakers. It’s just not the same culture here. You’re going to see more and more of this as you look at multiple years of instability, uncertainty from Covid, climate, politics, etc. A lot of these people are like, “Give me the check, I want out.” These big wine brands and companies have the deep pockets to take risks on a brand or on a single winery, as a part of a larger portfolio in a way that even a well-heeled Napa Valley wine owner might just not want to do. They may not want to have that on their balance sheet anymore.

A: I think you could be completely correct here. It’s really possible that a lot of these wineries, as you say, just say, “Let’s sell.” We talked about this last year a little bit, I think it was in last year’s projection episode. There’s still so much money in the market, and it’s being concentrated at the top. I could see people saying that this feels like the right time.

Z: You’re seeing this in a lot of other industries. You’re seeing this a lot with professional athletics, but basically, you have hedge funds coming in and buying out these various businesses. They’re either doing private equity stuff to get profit or distributing the risk. Wine is a very lucrative field in certain ways, but there’s a lot of risks year to year. If you can, as a larger company, smooth over those risks with investments in different regions or different price points, that makes a lot more sense for what is appearing to be a more risky proposition than it ever has before.

A: I agree. I think that’s really spot on. Joanna, what about you?

J: So this is another prediction that we have talked about on the podcast before, but I think we’ll definitely see more alternative packaging next year. If canning continues to be an issue, definitely. But I think more and more producers are going to be pivoting to other options. We’ve seen pouches coming out now and Tetra Pak cartons in wine, especially lighter-weight glass bottles, boxes, and other alternatives. As consumers are more concerned about sustainability and are more conscious about what they’re buying, I think that this is definitely something that brands are going to invest a lot of resources in exploring next year.

A: I completely agree. I think that’s really, really interesting.

Z: I have two quick things on this. I just heard a term for the first time that made me laugh and also cringe, which is “bagnum.”

A: No. I don’t know if I like it, either.

Z: It’s apparently a 1.5-liter bag of wine. It’s a big pouch, so it doesn’t come in a box.

J: Like milk in Canada?

Z: I guess. A friend who runs a retail shop recently was just like, “bagnum.” She said they sell pretty well. They’re good for outdoor parties or going hiking. God, saying the word “bagnum” feels wrong.

J: It’s sustainable though, right?

Z: This actually ties into one of my predictions, which is, I think we are going to see a huge reckoning in 2022 around sustainability in the beverage alcohol world and wine in particular. A lot of it is going to be about what you just mentioned, which is the dirty secret in wine. That is, the bottles are not sustainable. There’s lots of parts of the country, including New York City, where bottles aren’t recycled. They’re heavy as f*ck, they’re really energy-intensive to ship around. Production is pretty energy-intensive. Frankly, there’s going to be a point where I think a lot of us individual consumers, producers, and media members are going to have to decide that it’s cool that a winery is sustainable in the vineyard, but if everything else they do is deeply unsustainable, are we just putting our heads in the sand? It’s not to say that being sustainable in the vineyard isn’t meaningful or that it’s easy; it certainly is not in a lot of cases. But it can’t be the only part of the endeavor that is sustainable. That’s something we’ve tried to talk about on the podcast. In 2022, I think you’re going to see more and more people look at this, whether it’s because of some of the supply chain issues that are going to force the hand on a lot of things or just a growing recognition that we can’t just look at one piece of the lifespan of a wine or spirit and consider that sufficient. So yeah, I think that’s coming in 2022 as well.

A: Yeah, I definitely think you’re right there. In 2022, we will continue to have a reckoning in terms of what is happening with diversity and inclusion in the entire industry. We’re all leaving 2021 pretty unfulfilled. We have the Court of Master Sommeliers, as we’ve talked about before. They really didn’t do much. I think that there’s going to be a lot more pushback in 2022 about that. Also, we haven’t been able to push back as hard because in 2021, everyone was just really happy to be open again and moving forward at all. As we hopefully get through this pandemic, there will be more people who start to speak up and say, “Hey, we don’t really need this anymore.” There will be more abandoning of the court. I think there’ll be people who are speaking up more on the beer side to really push for a lot of this stuff to stop.

Z: I want to highlight one thing in here that you mentioned, Adam. One area where I would love to see more attention and accountability paid in terms of diversity, inclusion, and in particular really malignant practices involving sexual harassment and abuses is in the hidden part of the beverage alcohol industry on the distributor and supplier side. I think there’s a lot of that world that does not get talked about because the people in it are not public figures. They’re not sommeliers, they’re not bartenders, they’re not producers. They don’t tend to get articles written about them because they’re not well known. Yet they tend to have a lot of power, a lot of unseen power in the industry. And some of it is localized within a city or or a region. Some of it is national or international. There’s a lot in that realm, whether it’s hiring a certain kind of person. A lot of white men are in very prominent positions in these companies and there’s other stuff happening underneath. It’s harder to shine a light on because, like I said, it’s not really public. But it’s a part of the industry that I think definitely needs some attention paid to it.

A: Joanna?

J: OK, so you’re listening to this and we’re in January and it’s our Mindful Drinking Month. But I think that we will continue to see more “no and low” options this year. Kind of a counterpoint to yours, Adam, around flavors and these big, like, punchy flavors and Oreo wine or whatever. But a lot of people care about clean, natural, and additive-free types of things. I think we’ll continue to see that trend throughout this year. A big part of that is low-ABV options or non-alcoholic options and more producers coming out with them as extensions of their brands or more brands in general, launching in 2022. What do you guys think?

A: I completely agree with that. That’s very much something that you’re going to see in 2022, for sure. Zach?

Z: I was going to switch gears a touch and talk about just a specific drink or category that I think is going to have a big year. It’s certainly not exactly struggling at the moment. But I think 2022 is going to see a lot of excitement around Irish whiskey. It’s the one classic whiskey category that hasn’t been completely pored over by collectors and obsessives. Part of that is because the Irish whiskey conversation in America for so long was dominated by Jameson and was thought of as shots or in very specific drinks. It was not seen as a connoisseur’s and collector’s category. There are really exciting things happening at some of the newer distilleries in Ireland or some of the older distilleries that have been brought back to life or brought back to prominence. What’s cool about it to me is that Irish whiskey is distinctly its own thing. It is not Scotch, it’s not single malt, but it’s not bourbon, it’s not rye. It’s its own category with its own set of flavors and inputs and styles. Everyone In the whiskey world is looking for something new, and some of that attention has gone to other parts of the world. There are exciting things happening all over the world in whiskey. But I do think that Ireland is due for a moment in the sun, since it’s where whiskey was born, and it’s where some of the best whiskey in the world is still being made. Yet the category just is not considered in the same way that bourbon or Scotch or even other single malts from other parts of the world are.

A: With that prediction, I see how it could happen. I think the only way that any of these other whiskeys will really start to pop again is bourbon just has to price people out even more than it already is. People have to start realizing, which is very true to your point, that there’s just a better value for quality and age in Irish whiskey, and also in Scotch, than there is right now on bourbon. What you’re paying for bourbon is sky high compared to a lot of these other things, and it’s starting not to really make much sense. Bourbon is delicious, but it’s getting really, really insane. When you have brands that used to be classically entry-level brands or mid-level brands that are now selling for 10 times what they used to sell for, there’s got to be a point where people ask what other whiskeys are out there. Maybe there won’t be, only because bourbon is so unique in its flavor profile compared to every other whiskey on the market. I find Irish whiskey, especially like some of the really beautiful higher-end stuff, to taste much more similar to high-end Scotch. It’s hard to find that bourbon-esque flavor. And so who knows? Maybe a lot of Irish whiskey and Scotch makers are going to start chasing bourbon more than they used to, trying to make these fuller-bodied whiskeys. Just because bourbon has this really weird grip on the American public in a way that no other whiskey really does.

J: Yeah, that’s interesting.

A: So I have one last prediction. I do think we’re going to continue to see the explosion of agave even more than we have. But I am hopeful — and I think that this is going to bear out to be true — that there’s going to be more questioning of celebrity spirits, especially when it comes to agave, than there used to be. We’re starting to see consumers start to question who’s behind these liquids, especially the more informed consumers. Obviously, bartenders have always done this. But I think that there is going to be more of a public outcry, especially on the part of the trade, saying, “We don’t want to support these brands.” And I think a lot of consumers will start to listen because they want to be cool, right? So if the bartenders are saying this is not a cool spirit, it’s going to start impacting some of those spirits. Some people who are just now getting into the celebrity game will kind of be screwed because they’re not established enough to be seen as that tequila that’s always been there. I don’t know. I think it’s going to come for sure, and people are going to start looking for those tequilas that are truly from Mexico that have connection to the place and to the people. And I think you’re gonna see a lot of the brands that are able to do that come out with very strong, very loud marketing campaigns this year.

J: I have one question for the two of you before we go. What do we think will happen with hard seltzer this year? Predictions? Thoughts?

A: Oh, I’ve got a strong one. I think it’s going to continue to grow, but this is where we’re going to have a disconnect between people who understand numbers and people who don’t. Hard seltzer was eye popping in its growth because it was growing off a small base. When that small base has massive growth, the percentages of growth are huge. Once a category becomes mature, which is now what we’re seeing with seltzer, the growth is much smaller. You cannot continue to quadruple every other month when you’ve gotten this big. So it will continue to grow. I think it’s always going to be popular, especially this year. We’ll see it continue to be popular, but it will grow off a small base, and I think it will be harder for newer brands to crack in and come into especially that top five. The positioning of the top brands is really solid right now. It’s going to continue to be Truly, White Claw, Bud Light Seltzer, and then High Noon still continuing to hold that spirit-based seltzer position. But it’ll take innovation for other people to crack into that area, whether that’s going to be Long Drink or others. The category is here to stay. You will see people who see small growth and say, “Oh, it’s fizzling,” just like they did this year. And that’s just because they don’t understand math. Seriously.

Z: There are people who don’t understand math out there, Adam? I refuse to believe that.

A: It’s also because there’s a desire to try to say that this category is dying, when it’s not. It’s because it just feels like such a crazy thing to become so popular so fast, and we want to see it as a fad. But it really isn’t.

Z: I think I largely agree. One additional point I would make is we will know a lot more in a year’s time about whether there is space for other players in the hard-seltzer game. Maybe it is going to come from what we saw a lot of in 2021, which is an established beverage brand trying to turn its brand into seltzer — like Corona, Topo Chico, etc. Is that the way in? Is it that method, or are they just launching a totally new brand with some additional selling point? What I keep coming back to is, are we going to see Coke or Pepsi take a real swing at this category? There have been lots of intimations in 2021 that they’re looking to. There’s a Mountain Dew hard seltzer I believe that’s in the works. I don’t think it’s actually on the market yet. If that becomes a thing that is real, that’s maybe the only entry into the category that I could see potentially shaking up the existing hierarchy because it would have the marketing heft and potentially the flavor options behind it that might be appealing to people. I just don’t think someone’s going to crack into the top of the market with another fruit combination that suddenly is “the thing.” I mean, maybe it gets 8 percent of the market, which is kind of where fourth, fifth place are playing right now. But White Claw and Truly are so established and entrenched and have shown such an ability to be chameleon-like and morph to meet the shifting demands. Whether it’s new flavors, new formats, higher ABV, whatever, there’s just a lot of room for them to be flexible because the brand loyalty is so strong. It’s hard for me to see someone really cracking in. But I agree that we are at a point now which is much more about slow growth and consolidation more than anything rapid. Hard seltzer has reached about the size that it’s likely to reach because it’s already gotten huge. They’ve taken a lot of the casual drinkers away from certain other categories. I don’t know that there’s a huge untapped market, in this country at least, for hard seltzer.

A: Totally true. All right, Joanna, Zach, I wish you guys a happy New Year. For those listening to the podcast today, happy New Year already. We will connect in the New Year for the Friday episode.

J: Sounds great.

Z: It sure does.

Thanks so much for listening to the “VinePair Podcast.” If you love this show as much as we love making it, please leave us a rating or review on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever it is you get your podcasts. It really helps everyone else discover the show.

Now for the credits. VinePair is produced and recorded in New York City and Seattle, Washington, by myself and Zach Geballe, who does all the editing and loves to get the credit. Also, I would love to give a special shout-out to my VinePair co-founder, Josh Malin, for helping make all of this possible, and also to Keith Beavers, VinePair’s tastings director, who is additionally a producer on the show. I also want to, of course, thank every other member of the VinePair team, who are instrumental in all of the ideas that go into making the show every week. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll see you again.

Ed. note: This episode has been edited for length and clarity.

This story is a part of VP Pro, our free platform and newsletter for drinks industry professionals, covering wine, beer, liquor, and beyond. Sign up for VP Pro now!