A Fort Worth brewer was looking for a way to stand out in the crowded, fast-growing seltzer market.
The answer? Offer a hot dog water-flavored seltzer.
“A hot dog-flavored beer almost makes sense, but nobody saw a hot dog seltzer coming,” said John Laughman, head brewer at Martin House. “That was kind of our way of just cranking up the absurdity of it.”
Fort Worth-based Martin House Brewing Company is known for developing unique beers such as Best Maid Sour Pickle Beer, Murph Juice (a BBQ sauce beer), Buffalo Wangz and an “Elf”-themed beer brewed with spaghetti, syrup and M&M flavors. So the company decided to bring that creativity to its new line of seltzers and create a bit of buzz.
The result is Awesome Sauce: Bun Length Hot Dog Water Seltzer, a 5.2% ABV limited-edition beverage that will be introduced at the brewery’s Glizzy Fest, an event set for July 16 honoring the hot dog. Glizzy is slang for hot dog, according to the Urban Dictionary.
The inspiration for a seltzer flavor came from rocker John Cougar Mellencamp, sort of, said Laughman.
Shugg Cole, the brewery’s marketing director, showed the Martin House crew a You Tube video of Tom McGovern singing the John Mellencamp song “Jackie and Diane,” except the only lyrics are the famous opening line “suckin’ on a chili dog.”
“We just started listening to that a bunch, and so we had hot dogs on the mind,” said Laughman.
There will be a John Cougar Mellencamp cover band, TexasFool, playing at Glizzy Fest.
Martin House had recently launched several new seltzers with flavors such as Wild Watermelon, Roaring Grape and Blue Raz.
Seltzer is brewed much like beer, but doesn’t use two main ingredients found in beer, barley and hops, said Laughman.
Seltzers have been growing in popularity in recent years with brands such as Topo Chico and White Claw among the most well-known. Seltzers generally have a lower calorie count than beer. In 2021, sales of seltzer reached $8.95 billion, up from $5.5 billion in 2021, according to Grand View Research.
People are ordering more seltzers in recent years, particularly in the hotter months of the year, Nickel City manager Catherine Hennessy said.
“Especially during the summer everyone wants to know what seltzers we have because beer is too heavy or they’re on a diet,” she said.
Seltzers are very popular among the South Main and Magnolia Avenue crowd served by Nickel City, she said.
They knew they would get some attention with the hot dog water-flavor seltzer and stand out in a crowded field of seltzers, Laughman said.
Brewing the seltzer led to a lot of hot dog eating by the Martin House crew, Laughman said. They could have tried to recreate what a hot dog tastes like or, alternatively, just throw a lot of hot dogs at the brewing process, he said.
“That is what we did. I bought 52 pounds of hot dogs. We boiled them up. We pulled the hot dogs out and the whole staff ate a big bunch of hot dogs,” he said.
They then pumped the leftover water into their seltzer base.
Martin House is only making a total of five barrels of the hot dog water-flavored seltzer and only producing 420 cans and introducing the flavor at the Glizzy Fest held at the Martin House Brewing Backyard.
There will be 25 other beers and seltzers on tap at the event if hot dog water seltzer isn’t what people are seeking, said Laughman.
“It’s a limited edition, but we know it’s going to have a lot of interest,” said Laughman. “This was our way of kind of standing out of the very dense seltzer crowd that’s going on right now.”
If You Go
When: Noon-5 p.m. July 19
Where: Martin House Brewing Backyard
What: The release of their new seltzer, Awesome Sauce: Bun Length Hot Dog Water Seltzer. Tunes provided by Texas Fool, a John Cougar Mellencamp cover band.
Other Festivities include:
– Three food trucks (two hot dog and one sausage/bbq)
– Hot Dog Eating Contest
– Weiner Dogs (with a puppy pool to cool off)
– Craft Vendors
– Special Seltzer Launch
Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.