Food & Drink
Meet the Local Makers Behind These Boozy Canned Drinks
There’s something delicious brewing in Marin, and it seems to be specifically bubbling up in Mill Valley. With canned alcoholic drinks gaining popularity as the libation of choice, the female founders of two local beverage companies have tapped into that trend, standing out with a dedication to flavor and quality.
Meghan DeRoma, Christine Peck and Alexi Cashen, the co-owners of St Hildie’s Botanical Spiked Seltzers, first conceived the idea for their brand in March 2020. After noticing how many people were reaching for cans of spiked seltzers in an effort to consume something with fewer calories and less sugar, they realized there was a lack of nutritional labels on these drinks. Sensing a window of opportunity to create a transparent brand that fit into this niche market, they began to look for a way to do it better.
“We knew we could make something delectable and considerate, which was not what we were seeing on shelves,” says Cashen. “Something elevated.” Thus, St Hildie’s was born. Named after 12th-century mystic and polymath Saint Hildegard von Bingen, these fizzy creations honor a muse who wrote at length about using plants for holistic health.
“As a nod to the real St. Hildie and our own high standards, our spiked seltzers are made with all real botanical ingredients, juice and extracts, for a light-but-complex and balanced imbibe,” explains DeRoma.
St Hildie’s currently offers three crisp and lightly fruity Tincture Tonics to choose from: Guava Ginger, Lemon Turmeric and Elderberry Hibiscus, every can sporting a colorful label that corresponds to the flavors within. “Each Spiked Seltzer is made to be its own tiny universe of flavor experience,” says Peck. “And each recipe includes our blend of extracts of lemon balm, holy basil and eleuthero.”
Meg Edwards and Robyn Sebastiani, the co-founders of West Shore Wine Co., also began their venture as an effort to fill a gap in the alcoholic beverage market. Officially launched in November 2021, this small-batch wine company has been gaining fans with its California-grown, -canned and -packaged bubbly rosé wine.
“When I became a mom, I felt like my life totally changed and my priorities changed, but I still wanted to be able to meet up with friends and have an occasional wine on the go,” says Edwards. Dissatisfied with the canned wines available in stores, and preferring not to drink beer, Edwards and Sebastiani opted to create something portable, convenient and aligned with their taste preferences. The women were able to connect with friends and colleagues from within the local wine industry to bring their dream to fruition, and they launched West Shore with a dry rosé, adding a bit of fizz to boost the refreshing qualities of the wine.
“It’s for everyone, but we made the wine with our demographic in mind to fit into our lifestyle,” says Edwards, adding, “We wanted to find something that’s fresh, bright and fun and embodies the NorCal lifestyle that we love.” And these cans fit the bill: the West Shore team worked with a graphic designer to come up with a label expressing the vibes of the drink. “I came to her with a color-washed vision, like a sunset meets the ocean, and she was able to bring it perfectly to life,” Edwards says.
Both companies are planning on expanding offerings, with West Shore considering making a white wine, while St Hildie’s is working on creating new flavors, including seasonal offerings. The beverages can be found at a handful of local retailers, but can also be purchased on the brands’ respective websites. And one thing is for sure: no matter how long the can fad lasts, these women know how to make a good drink, and that’s giving them staying power.