Dining and Drink

3 local drinks to add to your cooler this summer

Stock up and carry-in with these canned refreshers

If you've been guzzling Summer Shandys and White Claws since June (no shame in either), chances are your taste buds might appreciate a change of pace. Madison breweries and drink companies have caught on to the hard seltzer and canned cocktail craze this summer and have created some local libations to include in your cooler lineup. Switch things up with these fresh releases from Ale Asylum, Wisconsin Brewing Co. and Plain Spoke Cocktail Co.

Ale Asylum's Stray Forth Hard Seltzer
Through a collaboration with a local creative and branding agency, Planet Propaganda, Ale Asylum has ventured out of its beer-making territory by introducing its first hard seltzer, Stray Forth. This drink's calorie count compares to that of a White Claw (both contain 100 calories and are 5% alcohol by volume). And Stray Forth seltzers come in several whimsical flavors — "Clairvoyance" combines guava with hibiscus, while "Enchant-mint" blends cucumber and blackberry, to name two. The varieties hit stores including Trixie's Liquor and Steve's Wine | Beer | Spirits on Aug. 8, so you can pick up a six-pack for the weekend ahead.

Wisconsin Brewing Co.'s Re:Fresh Radler
For a light, sweet fusion of real fruit soda and traditional lager, try the Re:Fresh Radler from Wisconsin Brewing Co. Now in its second summer, this beverage comes in grapefruit, raspberry-lemon and, new this summer, cherry-lime. The gluten-free radlers emerged as part of a program called Campus Craft Brewery, in which University of Wisconsin–Madison students work with Wisconsin Brewing Co. brewmasters to develop new products. Looks like these students knew that light, bubbly beverages were going to be all the rage.

Plain Spoke Canned Cocktails
Plain Spoke Cocktail Co.'s canned mojito launched last week, joining the company's canned Moscow mule and Bourbon Smash. These drinks include all natural ingredients and real liquor rather than malt, bringing the taste of a freshly muddled, hand-crafted cocktail directly to your cooler. Be wary, however, as Plain Spoke's cans contain 10% alcohol by volume as opposed to the Re:Fresh Radler's 4%. These convenient libations come in packs of four at various locations around Madison, so tote the bar along with you to your next beach, barbecue or boat outing.

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