Calls for a boozy spin on the beloved tropical lime-flavored beverage were answered last week when Hard Mtn Dew unveiled it as a 'surprise' flavor.
In August last year, PepsiCo and Boston Beer Company announced plans to release "Hard Mtn Dew," a new five-percent ABV spin on the classic Mountain Dew soda brand. While the original announcement named three flavors in the spiked seltzer lineup—Classic flavor, Black Cherry and Watermelon—fans were quick to note that one of the brand's most-loved flavors was curiously absent: Baja Blast. Their calls for a boozy spin on the beloved tropical lime-flavored beverage were finally answered last week when Hard Mtn Dew unveiled it as a "surprise" fourth flavor.
According to CNN, Baja Blast was first launched in 2004 as a Taco Bell exclusive in what was a first-of-its-kind deal between a fast food chain and a beverage maker. Made to complement the chain's Mexican-inspired food, the companies said in a statement at the time that they hoped the new flavor would "give customers a compelling reason to purchase a beverage when they order food, rather than leave and drink what they have at home." Baja Blast proved to be such a big hit with customers that PepsiCo eventually started selling it seasonally at stores about a decade later.
Don’t worry. We didn’t forget. pic.twitter.com/mjJEmVsF2G— Hard Mountain Dew (@hardmountaindew) January 28, 2022
"We know that adult drinkers' tastes are evolving, and they are looking for new and exciting flavorful beverages," Boston Beer CEO Dave Burwick said in a statement announcing the Hard Mtn Dew lineup, reported Food & Wine. "The combination of our experience in brewing and developing the best-tasting hard seltzers and hard teas, and Mtn Dew, a one of kind multi-billion dollar brand, will deliver the excitement and refreshment that drinkers know and love." In the press release, Boston Beer and PepsiCo said they decided to team up because they "understand the importance of delivering new, breakthrough innovations to address the changing tastes of drinkers" and added that the boozy beverage—set to hit shelves in early 2022—will be "marketed to adults of legal age and merchandized consistently with other alcohol beverages."
"For 80 years Mtn Dew has challenged the status quo, bringing bold flavors and unmatched beverage innovation to millions of fans," Kirk Tanner, CEO of PepsiCo Beverages North America, added in the release. "The Boston Beer Company partnership combines two recognized leaders in our respective industries to address the changing tastes of drinkers and we are thrilled at the opportunity to create Hard Mtn Dew that maintains the bold, citrus flavor fans know and expect."
Another case of soft drinks going hard: Mountain Dew's Baja Blast, the beloved tropical lime-flavored beverage that originated at Taco Bell, is being made boozy. https://t.co/mP42Bz838W— Tom Vierhile (@TomVierhile) January 28, 2022
PepsiCo and Boston Beer also pointed out that they share an interesting connection with the Baja Blast flavor. Burwick, the current president and CEO of Boston Beer, was previously PepsiCo's chief marketer back when the now-fan-favorite flavor was created in 2004. According to the beer company, he was "instrumental" in the flavor's creation. All Hard Mtn Dew flavors will reportedly be available as a 12-can variety pack launching in "a limited number of states" starting next month. The 100-calorie cans will be caffeine-free and feature zero added sugar. As for whether Hard Baja Blast will be available at Taco Bell, a spokesperson said that for now at least, it won't. The brand is instead focusing on the retail rollout but said it could eventually land at the Bell somewhere down the line.