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March 31, 2023

Wormtown releases new line of gluten-free alcoholic beverages

Orange, yellow and red cans of the alcoholic beverage SHOOK backdrop some slices of pineapple, cherries, limes and cranberries. Photo | Courtesy of Wormtown Brewery Wormtown Brewery released a new alcoholic beverage line called SHOOK.

Wormtown Brewery has a new project: SHOOK. The Worcester brewery announced its new line of alcoholic beverages on Thursday. 
SHOOK are drinks made out of fermented cane sugar and fruit juice. Coming in at 8% ABV, they’re potent and gluten free. The initial two flavors are cocktail inspired: Mai Tai and Cape Codder.

SHOOK will be sold in four-packs of 16 oz. cans at the taproom and in the New England market. The beverage will also be available at Polar Park.

SHOOK grew out of experiments at the Wormtown Brewery in 2020. The brewery team was looking at creating a new drink with a neutral base that would also be gluten free, which not all seltzers are because some use malt for fermenting. The team at Wormtown found fermenting cane sugar gave them a solid base to work off of and build flavors onto. SHOOK has been sold at the Wormtown taproom, and its popularity encouraged the brewery to release it as its own line with new flavors like lemonade and tea coming into the market soon. 

“People are looking for drinks outside of beer and malt,” said Avanah Weix, Wormtown brand strategist. 

The team at Wormtown sees potential for SHOOK to create a new market for drinkers looking for something with flavors that aren’t hard seltzers or canned cocktails, at a reasonable price point.   

Hard seltzer enjoyed a meteoric rise in 2019 through 2021, but sales fell off in 2022. Sales numbers were strong and biting into more of the beer market, but at the same time, a new hot-shot in the beverage category arrived: canned cocktails. They were the fastest growing category in the beverage industry in 2021. SHOOK falls somewhere between the two categories, which is what gives Wormtown hope that they can fall into the market for both and satisfy multiple consumers.

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