Blue Norther Is a Hard Seltzer Bubbling with Texas Pride
“We want to share a piece of Austin with folks around the country,” says Austin M. Pittman of the family beverage business
Photographs by Kimberly Brooke
After a hard day’s work on their ranch near Harwood, Texas, Austin T. and Austin M. Pittman sat down to enjoy a cold beverage on a hot day. The father and son had recently switched from beers to lighter and lower-calorie hard seltzers, but something wasn’t right. They wanted a drink that said “Texas” and “hard work” and, says the younger Pittman, Austin M., “The little can did not seem to match.”
Utilizing past executive experience, business savvy and marketing expertise, the Pittmans set out to make a brand of hard seltzer Texans could take pride in.
“We wanted something that was classic, very Texas … an expression of our heritage and style,” Austin M. says.
They landed on the name Blue Norther. “It’s this cold front that comes with these blue clouds that causes the temperature to drop,” explains Austin T. And in the typical Texas heat, that’s exactly what they aim for their product to do.
Blue Norther distinguishes itself from other hard seltzer companies through its focus on taste, quality and heritage. Noticing a lack of interesting flavors in other spiked seltzer brands, the pair uses only natural ingredients inspired by Texas fruits.
“Everyone is doing great on calories and carbs, ” says Austin M. “We bring something that actually tastes really incredible.”
Real juices and natural agave make for clean and refreshing thirst quenchers in their Agave Lime and Wild Blackberry seltzers. As one customer joked, “Finally, we’ve got something that doesn’t taste like a Glade Plug-in!”
Along with quality ingredients, the father-son duo also brings their rich Texas heritage to the brand as 7th and 8th-generation Texans.
“Our brand has a real story and sense of place, ” Austin M. says. “With other brands you don’t know where it comes from.”
Having a physical location right here in Austin, Blue Norther is a brand that is actually part of the local community. The pair ardently appreciates the Austin area. The prevalence of live music, outdoor-loving lifestyles and thriving local businesses produce a dynamic market within the city’s growing, vibrant community.
While Austin M. has lived in other areas, there’s something special about the place they call home. “Austin calls people to be an authentic, unhindered version of themselves,” he says, noting that as something they want to incorporate and encourage with their brand.
Though COVID-19 has certainly brought challenges to launching a new business, the Pittmans found ways to be creative and grow their network. Prioritizing community health and employee safety, they’ve managed to build a strong online community, which has been extremely responsive and supportive. The Pittmans have also been able to hire a number of people who lost their jobs due to the effects of the pandemic and are excited to have a thriving team passionate for the work they do.
The Pittman team believes in their brand, saying unreservedly that they’ve got a seltzer “that will knock your socks off.” While their first aim is to lay a solid foundation here in Austin, they hope to eventually expand to other major markets in Texas and beyond.
“We want to share a piece of Austin with folks around the country, and help them experience this great place,” says Austin M.
And a taste of Blue Norther does just that.