This is a Hop Culture “Must Have,” one of the many food or drink items that keeps us going.
If you haven’t heard of Evil Twin Brewing’s hard seltzer — aka “Evil Water” — you might be living under a rock. Or you just might not like hard seltzer. That’s cool too.
Created by mad Danish genius Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø at his brand new brewing facility in Ridgewood, New York, Evil Water caters to an experimental beer drinker used to adjunct stouts.
“It started as a joke,” says Jarnit-Bjergsø. “Hard seltzer is all crap pretty much. So we were like, let’s make a hard seltzer and make it good.”
In a world of pedestrian hard waters like White Claw, Truly, and Wild Basin, Evil Water sounds like a compelling craft alternative. The art is unlike anything on the market and the product comes in a 16-ounce format. The flavors look like something off a Carnival cruise dessert bar. Marshmallow? Cola? Caramel? Heck yes.
But does the taste hold up? As much as I’d rather support an independent craft brewery over Mark Anthony Brands (owners of White Claw and Mike’s Hard Lemonade), I admit to a fondness for Mango White Claw (Lime can go to hell). So if the taste wasn’t there in Jarnit-Bjergsø’s hard seltzer, I needed to keep cracking those chincy white cans of Claw.
What Is Evil Twin Brewing?
Before we dive into Evil Water Hard Seltzer, it helps to have some background on the brewery. Evil Twin Brewing, founded by Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, got its start in Denmark in 2010. The brand began as a nomadic brewery, meaning that Jarnit-Bjergsø didn’t run his own production facility or taproom, but collaborated with other breweries to make his products.
After almost a decade of success, Jarnit-Bjergsø opened his first brick-and-mortar brewery in Ridgewood, New York, in 2019. Evil Twin Brewing NYC came online just before COVID-19 forced it to shut back down.
What Is Evil Water Hard Seltzer?
Hard seltzer water is exactly what it sounds like — alcoholic seltzer water.
When most companies make hard seltzer, they spike flavored water with alcohol. But as the craft alternative, Jarnit-Bjergsø decided to make his product differently.
“We ferment the sugar and everything,” he says. “It’s made like a beer, just with different ingredients.”
Jarnit-Bjergsø says that when he announced the project on Evil Twin’s Instagram, he got a lot of hate.
“Now, three or four months later, we see a lot of people drinking it,” he says. “I’d say we proved a point.”
What Does Evil Water Hard Seltzer Taste Like?
For my taste test, Evil Twin’s General Manager Corey Gargiulo sent me three flavors: Cola, Caramel, and Blackberry / Raspberry / Vanilla.
I tried the Blackberry / Raspberry / Vanilla first and I couldn’t handle it. The product was only 4.5% ABV but the flavors were so intense.
Honestly, I could’ve taken this one down like a coveted stout, with two-ounce pours shared amongst a group. For those who enjoy getting kicked in the jaw by flavor, this is your beverage. It tasted like drinking a straight-up glass of blackberry juice.
Next up was the Cola Evil Water. The Cola was much more restrained and tasted like one of those Haribo Gummi Candies.
Which is to say, it was really good. Because I love those candies. And not only that, but the product made a conversation piece. I brought this to a dinner party and everyone took a sip. Although the rating depended on whether or not people liked Cola flavor, everyone had something to say about it, and the creativity raised more than one eyebrow.
Finally, I took down the Caramel while playing a round of disc golf. It tasted absolutely like a Salted Caramel Noosa Yoghurt. And again, I like that yoghurt, so I thought this flavor was great. It kept me cool on a hot day and at only 4.5% ABV, I was able to maintain my killer short game.
The Bottom Line On Evil Twin’s “Evil Water” Hard Seltzer
If you have a chance to try Evil Twin’s waters, seize the opportunity. They’re a fascinating, creative addition to a category that’s only beginning to blossom. Even if not every flavor is up your alley, they’re undoubtedly one of the most interesting products to hit the market in 2020.
Liked this article? Sign up for our newsletter to get the best craft beer writing on the web delivered straight to your inbox.