The Northumberland-based maker of RIDE, the first hard seltzer (a refreshing blend of alcoholic sparkling water and natural fruit flavours) fully made and canned in Britain, has followed the global success of its lockdown launch with new work for other brands, securing jobs.
New contracts to provide hard seltzer base formulas and can other producers’ drinks follow the launch of a fifth RIDE flavour and the new brand’s rapid growth at home and abroad. The new contracts secure 13 jobs at RIDE’s parent company, Allendale Brewery, despite Covid-19’s ongoing challenges to the hospitality industry.
Produced alongside the brewery’s internationally award-winning craft ales, RIDE’s growth has exceeded expectations many times over, enabling the company to welcome back staff previously furloughed because of the pandemic.
“We have been surprised and delighted by demand from other brands – a direct result of the success of RIDE – to create hard seltzer bases and can other seltzers and ready-to-drink products such as gin and tonic,” says RIDE co-owner Lucy Hick.
“Thanks to the investment we made in our canning plant in order to accommodate RIDE, we can offer versatility and flexibility, producing large and small batches for other brands in a range of sizes, including 330ml sleek and standard, 440ml and 250ml slim.
“Our base here in the North Pennines is rural and historic, but our canning capability is state-of-the-art. We knew it was a risk, investing in a brand new product and an expanded canning line during lockdown, but the rapid success of RIDE, and the associated new business it has brought to us, is transformative; keeping our people in jobs despite the impact of the pandemic on the hospitality industry.”
Available in sleek 330ml cans and on draught in keg, the all-natural RIDE formula – which is artificial sweetener-free, low carbohydrate, low calorie, gluten-free, and vegan with natural fruit flavours – appeals to a growing market of drinkers who want a healthier, lower calorie alternative to other alcoholic drinks.
RIDE is hand-crafted in small batches, canned on-site, and made with all-UK ingredients. Its unique balance of fresh, natural flavours and ingredients is refreshing, delicious, 4% alcohol and contains just 86 calories per sleek 330ml can. In addition to shops and pubs in the UK, RIDE’s rapidly growing markets now include Japan, Norway, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden and the Cayman Islands.
RIDE is made at a Victorian lead-smelting mill on the banks of the River Allen in the North Pennines, home of Allendale Brewery, which Tom founded in 2004. It is now available in five natural fruit flavours – Mango & Passionfruit, Black Cherry, Blood Orange, Persian Lime, and a new flavour – Tropical Guava.
“We’ve never seen a product grow so quickly in popularity at home and abroad,” says Lucy. “Now it’s brought us additional contracts which are helping to secure the future growth of the business, and secure jobs. And all from a lockdown launch. It’s exceeded all our expectations.”