Leinenkugel’s Spritzen, beer with a splash of seltzer, debuts this month

Similar to when it created Summer Shandy in 2007, Leinenkugel’s is setting out to create a new segment within beer with the launch of Leinenkugel’s Spritzen, a new line of beer with a splash of seltzer.

Spritzen, which means “splash” in German, is a year-round addition to the Leinenkugel’s portfolio aimed at 21- to 27-year-old drinkers who love the taste of beer but are interested in the active lifestyle space.

“Leinenkugel’s Spritzen is going to be the perfect addition to our portfolio, which is centered on German-inspired beers with a twist,” says Katie Leinenkugel, who leads brand strategy and engagement for Leinenkugel’s. “Similar to what we did with Summer Shandy, we’re the first to bring this style to market. No one has done this before.”

The 4.2% alcohol-by-volume beer checks in at 93 calories, 2.2 grams of carbohydrates, no sugar and nothing artificial. It will come in three flavors: Grapefruit, Pineapple Strawberry and Raspberry Lemon.

“It’s a light, crisp and refreshing beer that’s differentiated and unique,” says Frank Cirone, senior marketing director who oversees the brand for Tenth and Blake, the Molson Coors U.S. craft arm. “Leinenkugel’s Spritzen has all the attributes of what makes hard seltzers so popular, but at its core it’s a beer.”

The beer has been well received by retailers and wholesalers, with orders coming in nearly three times as high as expected, Leinenkugel says.

Packaged in 12-ounce slim cans and available in 12-pack variety packs, six-pack variety packs and stand-alone six-packs of the Grapefruit flavor, Leinenkugel’s Spritzen will be supported with a social-media-first marketing campaign supplemented by targeted TV, radio and out-of-home advertising across key markets.

The brand’s first video spot is slated to launch later this month.

“Because it’s a new-to-the-world proposition, our first job is to educate drinkers on exactly what Spritzen is,” says Erica Morris, senior marketing manager for Leinenkugel’s.

“We’re hitting that sweet spot of people who still like the taste of beer but are looking for the attributes that hard seltzer delivers," she says. "Leinenkugel’s Spritzen brings the best of both together without having to sacrifice on either end. As soon as people learn that it’s beer with a splash of seltzer, they want to try it.”