Seth & Riley’s (S&R’s) Garage flavored beer (?) from Carlsberg

Seth & Riley’s Garage is a relatively new brand of beer beverage, introduced to the Polish market by the Carlsberg Group.

Bottle of Seth & Riley's Garage Hard Lemon drink
Source: manufacturer’s materials

Why a beer drink and not beer?

You’re probably wondering why the quotation marks and question marks. Well, the front of the package already says beer drink rather than “beer”. This is because S&R’s Garage is. not beer, but a mix of beer and a flavored beverage. So here we have a kind of beer cocktail, of which beer is only the base – exactly the same as in the case of radler or shandy styles.

Where are Garage beers brewed?

Seth & Riley’s Garage Series beverages are produced in several locations: mainly in Russia – at the Carlsberg Group’s Baltika brewery, located in St. Petersburg. Their production started there already in 2014.

Another place where these drinks are produced is Finland, specifically the Sinebrychoff brewery.

There are also versions brewed in Ukraine and, reportedly, also in Poland.

To whom is it directed?

Garage beer is available in clear glass bottles, closed with a cap a’la Tymbark, pulled off with a pin.

Therefore, it does not require the use of an opener. This is one of the features of this product, which makes the target group partygoers – both those enjoying the charms of the boulevards along the Vistula or Warta, as well as followers of house parties.

The Garage line of drinks should also gain fans among followers of sweet beer-based drinks such as Redd’s, Desperados and Somersby.

I don’t think this product will find enthusiasts among lovers of a good hoppy IPA or a powerful, roasted RIS.

Bottle of Seth & Riley's Garage Kamikaze drink
Source: manufacturer’s materials

Flavor variants

Carlsberg’s new brand of flavored “beers” comes in three flavor variants. The lemon version debuted in Poland in 2018, while two drinks inspired by popular cocktails were added in 2021.

  • S&R’s Garage Hard Lemon Drink – a mix of beer and lemon-flavored drink
  • S&R’s Garage Strawberry Margarita – a mix of beer and soda with tequila and strawberry flavors
  • S&R’s Garage Kamikaze – a mix of beer and soda with flavors of blue curacao liqueur and lime

Other flavors, not available in Poland

Interestingly, the Baltika brewery also produces other flavored versions of Carlsberg juices. They are:

  • Hard Black Cherry
  • Hard California Pear
  • Hard Lingonberry
  • Hard Lemon Tea flavor with lemon tea
  • Dragon Fruit Mojito with flavors of dragon fruit (pitai) and lime and mint
  • Hard Lemon Drink in a non-alcoholic version – it is surprising that this item has not been introduced in our country, but it is probably a matter of time

Finland, meanwhile, still produced ginger and orange peel-flavored versions, and is currently producing a grapefruit-flavored Garage.

In Ukraine, on the other hand, there are flavors of Sicilian orange, Indian spicy mango and…. grandmother’s compote of cornflower mixed with tonic!

Ingredients and parameters

All beers in the series available on the Polish market have an alcohol content of 4.6%. Interestingly, the manufacturer also lists the energy value of its products: in the case of Hard Lemon Drink it is 240 kcal, while the other two are slightly less caloric and provide the body with 200 kcal.

As for the composition we find in the bottle, we are under no illusion that we will find here only the classic raw materials: water, barley malt, hops and yeast, as well as the addition of freshly squeezed juice.

As for the beer part, it’s pretty good – there’s no word on glucose-fructose syrup, suggesting that only malt was used in the wort mashing process. Unfortunately, we have to swallow the added sugar.

In the second part – “juice” – in turn we find Natural flavors , a little juice from concentrate, stabilizer (gum arabic), acidity regulator (citric acid), colorant (brilliant blue in Kamikaze and natural carrot concentrate in Strawberry Margarita), antioxidant (ascorbic acid – vitamin C) and – above all – even more sugar, but also stevia, which is healthier than it.

Where to buy Garage “beer”?

Since the drinks are sold by the Carlsberg conglomerate, there is no problem with their availability. They can be purchased in both large supermarkets and smaller chains.

There is a good chance that you will also find them on the shelf of a neighborhood store.

Bottle of Seth & Riley's Garage Strawberry Margarita drink
Source: manufacturer’s materials

How does it taste?

Since I am not a fan of this type of drink and my opinion would not be honest, I will use the popular app Untappd , which aggregates the ratings of beer lovers.

The data shows that only Hard Lemon Drink exceeded the average of 3.00, while Strawberry Margarita and Kamikaze oscillate around 2.50-2.65. This means that cocktail-inspired versions are rated worse than competing brands.

So is S&R’s Garage worth being tempted by? I may try the lemon version, however, I will certainly forgive the others.

Kraft goes the same way

Interestingly, cocktail-inspired beers are also becoming popular in our kraft backyard. Funky Fluid Brewery served gin-inspired beers during the Warsaw Beer Festival and aperitivo, which when combined became a kind of beer negroni. In contrast, a while ago The Artezan brewery also reported that it is releasing an experimental beer styled as an Aperol spritz. Will this be a new trend in Polish craft brewing? We’ll see.