Mountain Dew is making the move into the alcoholic beverage category. PepsiCo, Inc. on Aug. 10 announced its plans to collaborate with The Boston Beer Co. to produce Hard Mtn Dew, a new flavored malt beverage with an alcohol by volume of 5%. The new beverage will be marketed to adults of legal age and merchandised consistently with other alcohol beverages, the companies said. “For 80 years Mtn Dew has challenged the status quo, bringing bold flavors and unmatched beverage innovation to millions of fans,” said Kirk Tanner, chief executive officer of PepsiCo Beverages North America. “The Boston Beer Co. partnership combines two recognized leaders in our respective industries to address the changing tastes of drinkers, and we are thrilled at the opportunity to create Hard Mtn Dew that maintains the bold, citrus flavor fans know and expect.”
As part of the business arrangement, Boston Beer will develop and produce new Hard Mtn Dew, and PepsiCo has set up a new entity to sell, deliver and merchandise the product. Early images of the product show it will contain zero sugar and be available in three varieties: original, black cherry, and watermelon. Hard Mtn Dew is expected to debut in early 2022, the companies said. “We know that adult drinkers’ tastes are evolving, and they are looking for new and exciting flavorful beverages,” said Dave Burwick, CEO of Boston Beer, whose brands include Samuel Adams, Truly, Twisted Tea, and Angry Orchard. “The combination of our experience in brewing and developing the best-tasting hard seltzers and hard teas, and Mtn Dew, a one of kind multi-billion-dollar brand, will deliver the excitement and refreshment that drinkers know and love.”
For PepsiCo, the move into the alcoholic beverage category continues a recent expansion of the Mtn Dew brand. Earlier this year the company partnered with NBA player LeBron James to launch Mtn Dew Rise Energy, a new energy drink designed to offer a mental boost and immune support. Mtn Dew also has introduced several flavor extensions this year. The collaboration also brings together two companies who developed two of the most popular new products in 2020, according to IRI’s annual New Product Pacesetters report. Boston Beer’s Truly Lemonade hard seltzer generated $191.3 million in sales during 2020, trailing only Bud Light Seltzer in new product sales, according to IRI. PepsiCo’s Mtn Dew Zero Sugar, meanwhile, ranked third with sales of $111.2 million.