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The Seltzery: A Refreshing New Taste

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“When COVID-19 hands you lemons, you make seltzer! Pineapple lemon-flavored seltzer anyway,” laughed Veronica Camp, a founding partner in the Central Valley’s first locally owned and produced Seltzery. Veronica is the founder of the Central Valley Brewfest, and when the pandemic forced events to cancel, she found herself with an open schedule and an open mind. Veronica had also been planning a country music concert for the summer of 2020 with Five Window Beer Company as the main sponsor.

Events, concerts, indoor dining and social gatherings came to a screeching halt and Veronica found herself brainstorming with the owners of Five Window Beer Company, Charlie Lippert and Joseph Ehlers. “The Seltzery was born, Charlie began researching how to ferment sugar and we officially launched in December 2020!” Veronica shared enthusiastically.

The brainstorming had started in June and by December, they were in full swing with production and distribution. Veronica, Charlie and Joseph partnered with Andrew Enos to help bring his distribution expertise to the team, with each partner bringing their area of expertise in production, marketing, branding and distribution to the table. The partners were well-rounded with the experience needed to get the product off the ground. And they did!

“From Sacramento to Modesto, we have over 70 accounts,” Veronica commented. The original strategy was to provide restaurants and bars with kegs. The team quickly made a pivot in strategy when, after their second day out selling, another round of shut downs hit the Central Valley.

“We decided to can and hand roll labels. We sold out of every case within the first 20 minutes our team was out selling. We knew at that point, we needed to increase distribution,” Veronica continued. The team worked with a mobile canner and produced 85 cases of each flavor. In three and a half weeks, the team had sold out of product again.

Veronica threw her energy into the new company; today, they proudly offer four flavors of hard seltzer: Pineapple Lemon, Hibiscus Lime, Blood Orange and Berry Rush. “The Berry Rush is one of my favorites and it is lovingly named after my time spent as a member of the ’49ers Gold Rush Cheerleading Team,” she continued. I was lucky enough to come home one afternoon and find a case of Veronica’s new venture on my front porch. It was a Friday late afternoon, so I quickly opened a can of Berry Rush, poured it over ice and a few raspberries and blueberries. It was light and refreshing with the perfect amount of carbonation. I continued to sip my Berry Rush while I made dinner before I opened the next can, Hibiscus Lime. I sliced a thin piece of lime and floated it on top of my glass. The brightness of the lime paired perfectly with the hint of floral.

I waited until Sunday morning to try the rest and the Blood Orange was a perfect pair to my Sunday breakfast with my family. My neighbor has a blood orange tree and had brought some over to share. I sliced a blood orange and it was the perfect garnish as I sipped my now-favorite seltzer. The afternoon warmed up and after doing some yard work I opened the Pineapple Lemon. Again, it was refreshing and light with a balanced flavor that wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet.

The Seltzery lineup can be found locally at O’Brien’s Markets, Mar-Val, Cost U Less, Payless Market, Gene’s Fine Foods and more. “It has been such a whirlwind and a surreal experience. Seeing my product on the shelves in my local grocery store has been such a blessing,” Veronica admitted. She shared with me the goal of adding four seasonal flavors, with a Pink Lemonade coming for the spring. “Ultimately, we would love to have a brick-and-mortar location in the future,” she continued as we discussed goals for 2021.

Veronica is an entrepreneur who is finding her way after the unforeseen consequences of a pandemic. Her spirit continues and her energy keeps her moving forward toward productivity and positivity. “We have high hopes that the Central Valley Brewfest will take place this year on May 8 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds,” Veronica shared. She continued to explain the event will be smaller and will look different than years past, with designated areas marked off for consumption. I had the pleasure of interviewing Veronica for our cover last year, promoting the Central Valley Brewfest. I was overwhelmed with pride when I learned about her latest venture. Her attitude and drive continue to amaze me. “If the pandemic wants to knock me down, I am only going to get back up two times stronger!” exclaimed Veronica. ■

To find out more about The Seltzery, including locations, please visit theseltzery.com. For information or to purchase tickets for The Central Valley Brewfest, please visit cvbrewfest.com.