2021 Ultimate Craft Cooler – What we were grabbing out of the cooler this summer.

Well, it was another year that our travel was limited, so we were not on the road attending festivals, industry trade shows and conferences to keep on top of what is happening in business and industry.  One thing that we did keep track of was what we were drinking from last year’s Ultimate Craft Cooler project, and these are the ones that stood the test of time and were in our coolers this summer.


Main Squeeze | Grapefruit Ale | 5.0% ABV | 12 IBU

Alley Kat Brewing Company | Edmonton, AB, Canada | https://www.alleykatbeer.com

Alley Kat Brewing is Edmonton, Alberta’s Oldest Craft Brewery. Making flavourful and tasty craft beer since 1995.  Spotlight on Business Magazine featured Alley Kat Brewing in the February 2020 Issue (https://online.flippingbook.com/view/1034784/16/).  

Alley Kat Brewing Company’s Main Squeeze natural citrus notes of the grapefruit are complemented by Cascade hops, both for bittering and for dry-hopping.  They use fresh ruby red grapefruits, which are squeezed fresh in-house for every batch they brew.  Plus, they use the juice at the end of the mash, and throw grapefruit rinds in at the end of the boil. One batch uses about 75 grapefruits.  It is perfect for anywhere you go regardless of the season, and like our cooler, needs to be in yours whether it is at the campsites, dockside or your backyard bbq get together!


Earl Grey Mule | 6.9% ABV 

Black Diamond Distillery| St. Albert, AB, Canada | https://www.blackdiamonddistillery.com/

The award-winning Black Diamond Distillery is located in St. Albert, Alberta, co-owners, Andrea and David Scade feel strongly about producing all their own alcohol. They don’t believe that true craft spirits can be produced using shortcuts like flavour additives or mass-produced spirits. While certainly not the most profitable or efficient means of production, they have strived to stay true to the quality and authenticity of what they produce, using natural, pure, organic (when possible) ingredients. The couple is proud of what they create and never waiver from the truest form of their craft and are focused on the belief that their customers deserve the best experience we can give them, their friends and family.

Spotlight on Business Magazine had the honor to feature Black Diamond Distillery in our August 2020 Issue (https://online.flippingbook.com/view/637833/44-45/) and know that they are a good thing as they head for this award-winning distillery as they expanded their market exposure.

Black Diamond Distillery’s Earl Grey Mule is made with all natural ingredients; filtered water, Earl Grey Vodka, ginger-pepper syrup [water, ginger, black pepper, beet sugar] and lime juice.  This perfectly mixed ready-to-drink canned cocktail is ready for any event.  We hope you love it as much as we do as we know that we will be ordering more of these that is for sure!!!


Twister |6.0% ABV 

Coldstream Clear Distillery | Stewiacke, NS, Canada | https://www.coldstreamclear.com

Coldstream Clear Distillery’s latest ready to drink canned beverage hit the market just at the end of the summer and has been a hit with consumers and our editorial team making its way to our 2020 Ultimate Craft Cooler.

If the can does not get your attention what is inside will.  The Twister is loaded with vibrant natural flavours of mango, pineapple, and cherry along with smooth carbonation with fruit sweetness that is both refreshing and extremely delicious.  It will have you wishing that we could restart summer all over again, so that you could have this in your cooler all summer long and twist the nights away.


Gin Twist | 5.0% ABV

Colliding Tides | Charlottetown, PE, Canada | https://collidingtides.com

Colliding Tides, which is a division of PEI Brewing Company out of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island was established in 2013.  However, the Colliding Tides brand came on the market in 2019 and it has been making waves ever since.  The name of the brand comes from a wild phenomenon that happens off PEI’s East Point and North Cape twice a day. Two tides blend together in a mixture of Mother Nature’s making and what inspired them to create these small batch craft cocktails. 

Colliding Tides Gin Twist is made with a touch of PEI gin with just a hint of lemon and then carbonated to perfection.  Nobody on our editorial team is, or should I say was, a Gin fan so you can imagine our surprise when we cracked this can open and had a few drinks.   


Hard Seltzer |Black Cherry | 5.0% ABV

Colliding Tides | Charlottetown, PE, Canada | https://collidingtides.com

Colliding Tides does it again with their Black Cherry Hard Seltzer, a perfectly mixed ready to drink vodka beverage that is a supremely refreshing hard sparkling water with clean, simple black cherry flavours and best of all no sugars, carbs, or preservatives.

Colliding Tides is definitely a ready to drink beverage that needs to be on your must have list and in your cooler or fridge all year long, but you might want to save these ones for yourself as they are that good and why they are in our Ultimate Cooler again for 2021.



Golden Ale | Golden Ale | 4.0% ABV | 20 IBU

Hawk Tail Brewery | Rimbey, BC, Canada | https://www.hawktailbrewery.com

Spotlight on Business Magazine featured Hawk Tail Brewery in our July 2020 Issue https://online.flippingbook.com/view/111972/34-35/.  As many readers will know, Alberta is home to many farmers who produce a variety of grains that they supply to beer producers all over the world.  Located in Rimbey, Alberta, Hawk Tail Brewery was founded in 2018 by five owners with a collective passion for craft beer.   They draw their brewing inspiration from the Alberta wild to fuel their collective passion for making amazing craft beer for the people of Alberta and beyond.  

Hawk Tail Brewery’s Golden Ale offers a light and refreshing beverage perfect for any event or meal.  It has nice color, just a bit hazy with undertones of berries with a hint of citrus.  This beer is like having summer in a can and that is why it has made its way back to the Ultimate Craft Cooler for 2021.


Whiskey Ginger | 7.0% ABV 

KUPU Spirits | Maui, HI, USA | https://www.kupuspirits.com

KUPU Spirits is a division of Maui Brewing Company out of Hihie, Maui, Hawaii.  “Kupu” which in the Hawaiian language means “to sprout” or “to grow” and that is what we feel is going to happen for the demand for this ready to drink beverage which offers the perfect blend of whiskey and Maui’s existing non-alcoholic Island Soda line. We only wish that it was available on the East Coast, but we are happy to swap beverages with our West coast colleagues.


Bikini Blonde | Lager | 4.8% ABV | 21 IBU

Maui Brewing | Maui, HI, USA | https://mauibrewingco.com

Maui Brewing Company out of Hihie, Maui, Hawaii, was founded in 2005 and is Hawaii’s largest craft brewery, operating 100% in Hawaii.  For Maui Brewing Company, success means having the confidence in their unique citrus, mango, pineapple and coconut beers, and other ready to drink beverages, sharing a true taste of the islands.

Spotlight on Business Magazine featured Maui Brewing Co in our October 2017 Issue (https://online.flippingbook.com/view/361925/58/) and they have not shown any signs of slowing down with product offerings.

Maui Brewing’s Bikini Blonde offers drinkers a clean, crisp and refreshing lager with low bitterness and a caramel malt sweetness which makes it perfect for any occasion and in our Ultimate Craft Cooler every time.


Blue Lobster Vodka Soda | Rocket | 6.0% ABV 

Nova Scotia Spirit Company | New Glasgow, NS, Canada | https://novascotiaspirits.com

The Nova Scotia Spirit Co., located in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, believes that everybody deserves to pour premium quality spirits in their glass and have been delivering just that since 2015.  Whether it is their award winning, small batch spirits, their amazing lineup of ready to drink beverages or their new Painted Boat Beer Co. Lager, they have something to keep you refreshed all year long while spending time with friends and family.

Nova Scotia Spirit Company’s Blue Lobster Vodka Soda – Rocket offers a trip back in memory lane for those of us that have enjoyed a tri-coloured rocket popsicle treat in the past. The Rocket is a perfect blend of Blue Raspberry and Cherry Lemonade, while cutting back significantly on sugar so you can enjoy a few of these and not worry about fitting into your swimsuit or jeans the next day.  It is a fun flavored treat that you can enjoy all year long and that is why it is in our Ultimate Craft Cooler again for 2021.


Blue Lobster Vodka Soda | Pink Lemonade | 6.0% ABV

Nova Scotia Spirit Company | New Glasgow, NS, Canada | https://novascotiaspirits.com

Blue Lobster Pink Lemonade offers a fresh squeezed lemonade punch, with a perfect balance of sweet, sour and tart flavours. Crafted with award winning Blue Lobster Vodka and juice from local fruit, this refreshing blend of strawberry, cranberry and lemonade will quench any thirst with only a fraction of sugar compared to similar coolers on the market.

With a deep rose colour, it’s great from the can, in a glass over ice or shared on the patio in a pitcher. Bring yourself back to summers from the past with Blue Lobster Pink Lemonade.


Crafty Radler | Grapefruit & Tangerine | 4.7% ABV | 5 IBU 

Pump House Brewing | Moncton, NB, Canada | https://pumphousebrewery.ca

Pump House Brewing has been proudly brewed in Moncton, New Brunswick since 1999, Pump House has been named Canada’s “Brewery of the Year” and is a favourite of discriminating beer drinkers across Canada and is available in every province except Saskatchewan and Quebec. Why the name Pump House, well one of the founders is a retired fire fighter from the Moncton Fire Department.  Why should you try their beer? Well, lets just say that you will be sorry if you don’t!

This is the one that we call the “Original” and in our humble opinion it is the best radler on the market bar none, craft or macro brewery.  Pump House Brewing’s Crafty Radler – Grapefruit & Tangerine is the perfect mix of ale and grapefruit and tangerine soda.  Yes, it might be a little cloudy from the added juice, but we don’t mind and feel you will be the same.  The Crafty Radler is not only the taste of summer, but also the smell as once you crack one open the refreshing mixture gives off a smell of ripe, freshly sliced grapefruit with sweet notes of ripened tangerines with every drink.  If this is not in your fridge or cooler then you are missing out in our opinion, enough said!



Marigold | Blonde Ale | 5.0% ABV | 16 IBU

Sober Island Brewing | Sheet Harbour, NS, Canada | https://soberislandbrewing.ca

Sober Island’s nearest neighbour is the town of Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia.  We say this because once you try it you will be looking for it on a map.  Its history dates back to the late 1700s when some no-nonsense folks put down the roots for one of Nova Scotia’s premier logging settlements. Then, very much like now you had to be hard-working and tough-as-nails, and not much has changed.  However, in 2015 it became the home for Sober Island Brewing Company.  The next time you are in Nova Scotia stop by for a visit to the brewery.  You will not be disappointed in the beer or their hospitality.

Sober Island Brewing’s Marigold is an easy-drinking, smooth, and refreshing blonde ale.  The Marigold flower can be found throughout Nova Scotia in early summer, and it calls on sunny days ahead. These bright yellow flowers add as much colour to the landscape as this beer will add to your weekends, wherever your travels take you and why this blonde Ale from Nova Scotia’s rugged ol’ Eastern shore is back on ice in our Ultimate Craft Cooler for 2021.


Let us know what favorite craft beverage was in your cooler this summer as we start working on a potential list of nominees for our 2022 Ultimate Craft Cooler.

Please remember to always drink responsibly! 

by Lee Ann Atwater