SYSTEM Seltzer offers solution for modern drinkers

By Anna Lardinois, Startup Storyteller

SYSTEM Seltzer knows how you like to drink, even if you don’t know the brand, yet.

Matt Sievers and Anthony Spina noticed that over the course of a backyard barbeque or a gathering at the beach, their friends would instinctively change the ABV (alcohol by volume) of the drinks they were consuming throughout the event.

Self-regulating alcohol consumption by ABV is a responsible way of drinking but requires the drinker to have access to a variety of different beverages. That option is not always available, especially at smaller gatherings.

Sievers and Spina thought there should be an easier way for everyone to have the drinking experience they want. That idea led the pair to found their own company and create a beverage solution that includes everyone, even those who choose not to consume alcohol.

Launched in 2021, SYSTEM Seltzer became the first company to offer a multi-pack of beverages that contain a variety of ABVs.

“We’re really excited about the inclusive drinking system we created, hence the (brand) name SYSTEM. We’re the first brand to ever put three different alcohol levels in one package. Every other seltzer brand was so focused on flavors and variety packs of different flavors,” Sievers said.

“We kind of took a step back and said, ‘how can we stand out?’ The seltzer market is crowded. There’s a lot of brands out there, but in order to differentiate ourselves and stand out, we realize we’d need to do something completely different,” he continued.

“It wasn’t just about doing something different just for the sake of doing something different. We saw consumer drinking habits shifting and changing, even in a high consumption market like Wisconsin. Seeing this kind of shift that was happening, we thought ‘why not put a 0%, (a) 5% and an 8% together?’ so there’s literally something for everyone for every occasion,” he said.

Each pack of the electrolyte-charged hard seltzer contains cans that have ABVs of 8%, 5% and 0%. All of the versions of seltzer are low in sugar, carbs, and are gluten-free. The all-natural product comes in flavors mango, black cherry and a newly launched lemon-lime variety offered only in 5% ABV.

Hard seltzer is a burgeoning market, with an estimated $14.1 billion in revenue generated from the beverages in 2020, and an expected annual growth rate of 18%. The industry is dominated by beverage powerhouses like Molson Coors, Boston Beer Company, and Mark Anthony Brewing.

Sievers and Spina, who have worked with well-known brands that include Pabst Blue Ribbon and White Claw, know their competition, and are betting their unique offering will make them stand out among the industry giants.

“It was at that point in the pandemic where I think a lot of people wondered ‘What am I going to do next?’ My business partner, Anthony, and I talked a lot during that time,” Sievers said.

“We could have gotten other jobs with other brands and shared our ideas with them. But you get that one moment in life when you say

Let’s shoot our own shot. Let’s do our own thing. Let’s do something unique. And there’s no time like now,

he said.  “So, we went for it. In a time where things were closed down, we thought this is a great time to build something while everyone’s kind of at home doing their own thing.”

It is not just Sievers and Spina who believe in SYSTEM seltzer.

The company was able to raise $293,500 in crowdfunding, and they hope that number grows.

“VC’s want to see around $1,000,000 in revenue and we just obviously don’t have that as a startup,” Sievers explained. “We also had so many friends and families, former colleagues, people that we’ve worked with, just people within the city that we’re excited and wanted to get involved.”

“Crowdfunding allows us to tell the story, too. You create natural ambassadors within it. If you own a little piece of something, you’re going to be excited to speak about it,” he said.

Manufactured in Wisconsin at Potosi Brewery, SYSTEM Seltzer hit Midwestern shelves in April. Veteran brewmaster Randy Hughes is the architect of the beverage that recently won awards at Seltzerland Chicago 2022.

“I think people that are seltzer drinkers really enjoy it for a couple of reasons. It has lower carbonation, which makes it a little bit easier to drink than some of the other ones and the flavor is right. People just love the way they taste. Plus, the options of the zero, five and eight percent ABV is really unique. It is a unique flavor and a unique brand,” Sievers said.

The company plans to release new flavors, as well as a line of CBD infused drinks later this year. As SYSTEM Seltzer continues to grow, the founders hope to raise $1.5 million to support those efforts.  Sievers say the company remains open to all avenues of raising capital.

To learn more about SYSTEM Seltzer, connect with them here.

Founders Anthony Spina (left) and Matt Sievers.

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