The popularity of canned, boozy coffee is the natural combination of a few popular trends. Not only are we drinking more coffee, how and when we’re drinking coffee is also changing. According to Nielsen data, retail sales of canned, prepared cocktails are up 95.3% from November 2018 to 2019. Sales of ready-to-drink coffee are also continuing to grow, with retail sales hitting over $3 billion.

“Historically, we view coffee as a functional beverage we drink in the morning for a pick-me-up,” said Darren Seifer, Food & Beverage Industry Analyst for The NPD Group. “More recently, we’ve noticed consumers are having coffee not just for functional reasons, but for enjoyment. It seems to be opening up a world of companions that’d go along with it.”

Hard coffee is like a pair of sneakers that go with your entire wardrobe — it’s versatile. “Sometimes after work, you want a drink and a coffee because you’re tired,” says Phil Rooney, CEO of Fundamental Beverages, which produces the Newground Hard Nitro Cafe Latte. “Or it’s morning and you’re hungover on vacation, and you’re going skiing all day and you want a little hair of the dog to get you going.” Ski bums aren’t the only ones who could benefit from a buzz and a boost. “Maybe tailgates! Maybe brunch!” said Newhouse. “Or early afternoon when you’re trying to get ready for a fun night out.”

Now that you know how it’s made and when to drink it, we’ll tell you the major brands to look out for when you go to the supermarket or liquor store.

Hey look, it’s a hard coffee not made by a beer brand! Despite a retail price point in line with the other offerings (~$10 for a four-pack), Newground uses premium ingredients imported from Holland, including a proprietary malt base and cream from Dutch farms. The quality is evident from the first sip — it’s the creamiest of all the brand offerings. The nitro lends a feeling of drinking a boozy coffee milkshake, though the coffee flavor could be stronger. Add a dash of cold brew from your fridge if you want a stronger kick.

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