Jim Beam Is Joining The Canned Cocktail Train

One of the hottest trends to come out of the quarantine days of the pandemic is portable cocktails. Restaurants across the country added premixed drinks to their to-go menus in an effort to survive the shutdown, and many states updated their laws to allow the sales and support local restaurateurs. Not surprisingly, cocktail fans across the country fell in love with the concept, so much so that even after quarantine ended, the market for portable mixed drinks continued to grow. CNBC shares that the popularity of canned cocktails outpaced hard seltzers and beer over the last year. 

Brewers and distillers saw the growing trend and jumped into the canned (aka "ready-to-drink") cocktail game. Those distillers include some of the biggest spirits names in the business, like Jose Cuervo, Jack Daniels,  Bacardi, and Tanqueray. This week, another giant name in alcohol announced that it was joining the fun: Jim Beam made an Instagram post revealing a new line of canned cocktails called Kentucky Coolers. The company shares that the flavored Coolers "sip like summer." 

The malt-based drinks are southern and summery

Jim Beam's new canned RTDs (that's "ready-to-drinks") will be available in four flavors to start, and they have summer vibes written all over them: Black Cherry Lemonade, Sweet Tea Lemonade, Strawberry Punch, and Citrus Punch, which is a blend of mango, orange, and grapefruit. However, these drinks do not contain Jim Beam's signature bourbon, they instead are malt-based which is essentially alcohol created from fermented cereal grains. In a press release, Jim Beam says that "there are gaps in the current flavor profile offerings" when it comes to canned cocktails, and the company clearly hopes that these fruity, 120-calorie drinks will fill this void.

Jim Beam created its Kentucky Coolers in partnership with Boston Beer Company, a distiller who knows a thing or two about capturing fruit flavor in a can. Its brands include Sam Adams beer, as well as more fruit-based lines like Angry Orchard Cider, Twisted Tea Hard Iced Tea, and Truly hard seltzers. 

Kentucky Coolers are available across the country now, in six-packs, cases, and individual cans.