¡Celebremos! For Huntington Beach, Calif.-based SouthNorte Beer Co. there’s many reasons to celebrate as the craft brewer is taking its love and passion for the flavors of Mexico to another level.
“SouthNorte was born out of the explosion of Mexican product popularity in the U.S.,” says Alexa Gallegos, marketing manager for SouthNorte. “In 2016, there was a demand for crafted beers that were inspired by the flavors of Mexico and we sought out to fulfill this need. We wanted to enter the category with a highly sessionable, crisp beer that is full of flavor, all while following popular brewing styles from Mexico.”
To help SouthNorte stand out in the crowded craft beer market, Gallegos explains that the craft brewer has stayed true to its essence and approach by developing its portfolio with a different perspective.
“We’ve tapped into the flavors of Mexico, taking familiar flavors consumers have come to learn and love, and modernizing them to cater to today’s society,” she says.
The company’s import-style lagers are designed “to authentically deliver premium crafted experiences to consumers so they can satisfy their ‘thirst’ for discovery, one sip at a time,” Gallegos adds.
Currently distributed in Southern California and in Arizona, SouthNorte’s beer portfolio features Sea Señor!, a classic Mexican lager that is its top SKU; Sea Chelada, a michelada; Sea-Reina, a dark lager; Agavemente, an agave lager; ¡Ay! Chelita, an IPA, and No Guey!, a Mango IPA.
The company is looking to expand its distribution footprint throughout California as well as nationally in next 18 to 24 months, Gallegos notes. However, growing in reach for craft beers is not the only big news for SouthNorte. The company also is looking to take its flavors of Mexico inspiration to another beverage alcohol market.
“Consumers are looking for something other than a seltzer, leaning toward ultra-premium [ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails that contain real, quality ingredients,” Gallegos explains. “Right now, the ready-to-drink category is growing exponentially. Understanding the landscape and consumer desires, we saw an opportunity to be able to evolve, authentically crafting tequila-based cocktails inspired by the flavors of Mexico.”
Noting that the pandemic altered consumers drinking habits as well as the beverage alcohol industry, SouthNorte felt that the move into RTD cocktails was a natural evolution, Gallegos says.
“Consumers are actively seeking premium canned cocktails, a distinct crafted experience and tequila-based beverages, all three of which resonate with our brand essence,” Gallegos explains. “Our three cocktails, made with real tequila and fresh fruit juice, are a perfect complement to our existing, well-rounded beer portfolio.”
As part of its canned cocktail rollout, the brand debuted Mexican Mule, Paloma and Matador, which are “inspired by the flavors of Mexico and provide an authentic drinking experience that delivers flavor profiles consumers desire,” Gallegos explains.
Harnessing the company’s creativity as a distinct and innovative beverage alcohol company, SouthNorte wanted to brand out of the traditional cocktail realm.
“Wanting to go beyond your traditional Margarita, we sought out to find unique cocktail varieties that were authentic to our brand essence ― crafting beverages inspired by the flavors of Mexico,” Gallegos says. “Each of our tequila-based cocktails touches upon a different flavor profile: sour (Paloma), spicy
(Mexican Mule) and sweet (Matador). The three varieties are designed to deliver a premium experience with familiar flavors consumers love at a competitive price point.”
These new canned cocktails will mimic the company’s beer distribution footprint with availability in Southern California and Arizona ― as well as its state and national expansion plans in the next 18 to 24 months.
With the flavors of Mexico continuing to gain traction, SouthNorte looks to fulfill that need state through its craft beers and canned cocktails.
“SouthNorte will continue to innovate, seeking out opportunities to craft new products and build its portfolio,” Gallegos says. “With the recent success of our seasonal beer, Pan a Flores, we look to brew more specialty items to accompany our award-winning lager, Sea Señor!. Additionally, we plan on expanding our presence in the RTD category ― adding more innovative canned cocktails to our current portfolio.”