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Good Beer Hunting

May 1, 2022

What were you drinking in the early 2000s? When we look back on trends and data, there’s a good chance it was a flavored malt beverage along the lines of Zima, Mike’s Hard Lemonade, or the star of today’s story: Twisted Tea from Boston Beer Company.  

In her exuberant and extremely thorough piece titled “Spill It — Twisted Tea’s Unpredictable, Unparalleled 21-Year Success Story” journalist Kate Bernot unpacks everything there is to know about the cult favorite: its experimental origins, its shockingly consistent sales numbers, and the brand’s plans for future expansion in order to bring the gospel of boozy tea nationwide. Not that it needs to sell itself too hard—Kate describes Twisted Tea’s unusually fervent consumers, who’ve remained loyal for two decades and are showing no signs of straying. 

In today’s conversation, we share stories about our own experiences with the brand and how craft beer’s tunnel vision can sometimes make us unaware of successes outside our own spheres. She also shares some of her insight into the when, where, why, and how of Twisted Tea’s origin—and wonders why it’s so hard to get the full story from its creators. If there’s one thing to take away from our discussion, it’s to have an open mind when it comes to what you drink. You may be surprised at what you’re missing.