Mike’s Hard, Jose Cuervo and others start summer on a boozy note

By Beth Newhart

- Last updated on GMT

Mike’s Hard, Jose Cuervo and others start summer on a boozy note

Related tags Alcohol Wine Beer Seasonal Cocktail

The first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere is June 21, and the alcoholic beverage industry in the US is ready with a bevy of seasonal launches, promotional campaigns and refreshed packaging.

Mike’s Hard Lemonade​ is attempting to flip the narrative on the typical deluge of dark, serious news this summer with its Happy Feed initiative. It plans to produce and distribute its own limited edition newspaper featuring only positive news stories.

Titled ‘The Brighter Times,’ Mike’s will bring the paper to 10 US cities along with pop-up newsstands. Starting on June 21, it can be found in Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, St. Paul, Seattle, Orlando, Atlanta and Denver.

The newspaper will be laid out with 18 articles in different categories, curated by Instagram influencer ‘Tanks Good News’ who specializes in storytelling. The Brighter Times will be one part of Mike’s summer campaign ‘Drink on the bright side.’

Sanjiv Gajiwala, senior VP of Marketing at Mike's, said “We've identified news fatigue as a real issue and have addressed it through amplifying good news in unique ways. In creating our own newspaper, we also did it in Mike's style—integrating internet culture and unexpected surprises to make a statement in a way that resonates with our audience."

Barefoot Wine​ is participating in Pride month for a second year by bringing back its ‘Barefoot Bestie Labels’ program on Moscato, Rosé and Merlot varietals. The labels are patterned with rainbows and can be customized is support LGBTQ+ pride throughout June.


Barefoot said that for every label ordered, it will donate $1 to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, an organization providing medication, healthcare, meals and counseling.

Anna Bell, VP of marketing at Barefoot, said "For over thirty years, we have been committed to being an ally to the LGBTQ community. This pride season, we are honored to partner with Broadway Cares to support its many important initiatives that improve and celebrate the lives of all people."

Pabst Blue Ribbon​ is bringing its light beer, PBR Easy, across the US this summer to shoot a series of short form documentary videos of creatives. The ‘Community Days’ project will spotlight a surfer in New York on June 22 and host a beach clean-up event.

On July 13 the crews will move to Chicago to work with a mixed-media artist on installing a public mural. The final stop will be Detroit on July 26 to partner with the founder of a local composting and waste collection company.

Ali Davala, senior brand manager at Pabst Blue Ribbon, said "America is full of amazing people and communities. This summer Pabst Blue Ribbon Easy is celebrating those of us who get outside and get their hands dirty while working to better their communities.”

“Joe, Juan and Pashon's stories remind us that we can all make a difference, and our hope is that by sharing these stories, we can inspire others."

Bonterra Organic Vineyards​ says it has developed California's first nationally available organically farmed wine in cans, launching in Sauvignon Blanc, Rosé and Young Red varietals.


Rachel Newman, director of marketing for Bonterra, said "With summer knocking on our door and festive outdoor occasions on the rise, the release of our Bonterra cans allows fans to make the most of this summer's best moments.”

The company said the public’s growing interest in canned wine and organic products was a ‘strong pull’ in the decision for this launch, and that the Bonterra brand has grown 69% since 2012. Produced in Mendocino County, California, the 250ml cans are available nationally in four-packs.

Jose Cuervo​ taps into summer drink trends with its latest launch, the Sparkling Rosé Margarita Cans. The company says they are lightly sparkling and “bring rosé wine notes of sweet red fruit and melon, finishing with a refreshing margarita lime tang.”

Jose Cuervo rose

The cocktails are now available across the US at select grocery and liquor stores, packaged in boxes of four 200ml slim cans.

Claffey’s Frozen Cocktails​ is ramping up distribution of its alcohol-infused popsicles this summer thanks to a new partnership with McClary Innovation and expanded facilities. Claffey’s expects this to increase its production capacity by more than 500%.


The boozy desserts are currently available at select Costco locations, as well as Total Wine and More, Cost Plus World Market and other retailers. They are sold in a 12-pack of flavors like Apple, Cherry, Lemonade, Blue Raspberry, Mango and Grape.

Charlie McClary, CEO of McClary Innovation, said “We have international distributors in line as well as North America growing drastically. With the new production facility now online we will have no problem meeting demand and the ability to scale up quickly."

Iron Fist Brewing​ starts serving it first seasonal beer on June 21, That Summer Feeling. It’s a Hazy Wheat Ale that has the bitter flavor turned up to an 11, according to Brewmaster Tom Garcia.


“Most breweries make this hybrid beer at a medium to low IBU range - think 35. We balanced the beer with a 75 IBUs to give it a unique punch. We put the equivalent of bitter tropical sunshine in a pint,”​ he said.

That Summer Feeling is a hybrid of a Hazy Pale Ale and American Wheat, and Iron Fist says it is “big on dank hop and tropical fruit flavors and brewed with massive amounts of Galaxy hops and a touch of Amarillo.”

The beer will be on draft all summer exclusively at Iron Fist taprooms in California, followed by two more seasonal releases in September and November.

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