Alcoholic Beverages
Beer and Brewing

What is a malt brew beverage like the fruit flavored drinks sold along side beer are they a flavored beer or diluted liquor product?

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2008-04-30 12:07:40

Flavored malt beverages, such as Mike's Lemonade, Smirnoff Ice,

Zima, Sparks, etc. are malt-based drinks. Although the malt is an

artificial sucrose-based malt, this gives them the ability to be

sold under the beer category, mainly for tax purposes, plus the

companies realized the faster growth potential for smaller

serving-size fruity drinks in a beer setting, as opposed to the

wine cooler craze of the 80s. Wine coolers, though, are wine-based

drinks. They are essentially fortified wine with CO2 and other

fruit flavors added. Because of the grape-base for these drinks,

they are taxed as wine. There are also RTD (ready-to-drink)

cocktails such as Jack Daniels coolers and Kahlua cocktails, etc.

These are pre-mixed, liquor-based drinks that are sold under the

same tax category as hard spirits. (source: more than a decade

working in the alcohol industry...)

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