Illinois' Seltzerland Event Promises a 'Hard Seltzer Paradise'

St. Louis-area bubble-water lovers can sample more than 100 alcoholic seltzer varieties at the event

click to enlarge A woman sells Seltzer out of a food truck.
Maria Young
Seltzerland will have more than 100 different seltzers for attendees to sample.

Before the New York Times Magazine's glowing recommendation for flavored, effervescent water, before Millennials were bedecking themselves in brand T-shirts,  before ranking every flavor became the thing to do, there was a humble Midwestern household where cans of a beverage called LaCroix were regularly consumed without much comment.

Yes, that's right: my family loved LaCroix before it was popular. We didn't call it LaCroix though. We didn't even call it seltzer.

It was bubble water — something to drink that was healthier than soda or something to mix with chocolate syrup to make a phosphate ("It fizzes up to a wonderful chocolate drink," my mother says).

Inevitably, the rest of the world caught up, approximately in 2015, according to this very in-depth look by Vox. The next inevitable step came in 2016. Yes, I'm talking about White Claw, that kind-of low-cal, refreshing alcoholic seltzer beloved by a lot of people across the U.S. and probably some other countries, too. (Though, oddly, never adopted by my bubble water-loving family.)

click to enlarge Seltzerland attendees pose for the camera.
Maria Young
Seltzerland will have offerings from brands such as Boulevard Brewing Company, Mike's Hard Lemonade Seltzer, Vizzy, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, BuzzBallz and White Claw.

But nothing can be popular for long without imitators, leading to a market positively slammed to the max with alcoholic seltzers —  so many that it's impossible for most bubble-water enthusiasts to even think about trying a sizable share of them.

Impossible — until now. Well, actually, until October 15, when St. Louisans will have the opportunity to try more than 100 (100!) hard seltzers in one sitting during Cannonball Production's Seltzerland, which will take place in GCS Union Ballpark (2301 Grizzlie Bear Boulevard, Sauget, Illinois)Early bird tickets range from $29 to $49 through Labor Day, and attendees can opt into sessions that begin at 11:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m. A portion of the proceeds will go toward Forage Forward, a nonprofit that supports communities in need.

Seltzerland will have offerings from "brands big and small" such as Boulevard Brewing Company, Mike's Hard Lemonade Seltzer, Vizzy, Topo Chico Hard Seltzer, BuzzBallz and, naturally, White Claw. The event will also feature entertainment: DJs, seltzer pong, lemonade ladder golf, cornhole and some kind of inflatable selfie thing dubbed the "bubble booth."

According to Cannonball Productions, altogether it will be a a "hard seltzer paradise." That's might even be enough for my bubble-water-loving fam to make the jump.

About The Author

Jessica Rogen

Jessica Rogen is managing editor for the Riverfront Times. She’s also the editor in chief of Boulevard, a literary magazine.
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