In the case of Spikedseltzer, the new “beer” launched recently by local brewers Nick Shields and Dave Holmes, it’s not what’s in the clear bottles that make this spirited new drink so refreshingly unique. It’s what’s missing that does. The only similarity the beverage actually has to real beer is its cold fermentation process, which under federal guidelines categorizes it as beer. The citrus-infused drink is low-carb, all natural, glutenfree, and made without malted barley or whey. And as for the taste, think grown-up seltzer— light and bubbly but with 6 percent alcohol. What’s just as intoxicating is its backstory. Nick and Dave are married to childhood pals, Greenwich natives Danielle (Taylor) Holmes and Leila (Jones) Shields. The brewers, introduced by their wives, have been friends for years. When Nick—a fifth generation beer maker whose great-great grandfather founded the Haffenreffer brand—was concocting batches of SpikedSeltzer at home, “Dave was my official taster. He’s been there from the beginning.” Because of their backgrounds (Dave’s a finance guy, Nick’s a food science expert who’s worked for beverage brands including Nantucket Nectars), they decided to launch South Norwalk-based SpikedSeltzer last year. “We complement each other really well,” says Nick. Now, that’s something to raise a glass to!
—Beth Cooney Fitzpatrick