Courtesy of Temescal Brewing

La Fizz is a "pamplemousse sparkling ale" that even emulates LaCroix’s iconic packaging.

Mike Pomranz
February 13, 2018

LaCroix has been one of the beverage industry’s biggest recent success stories. The calorie-free, naturally-flavored sparkling water brand has managed to maintain its air of hipness and healthiness while sugary drinks and sodas spiked with artificial sweeteners have struggled. Other brands have tried to emulate LaCroix’s formula: Last week, none other than PepsiCo announced its own flavored sparkling water brand, Bubly, apparently to try to chip away at the LaCroix market. And even a California brewery is taking a cue from LaCroix’s playbook – though in that case, the brewer’s tongue is planted firmly in cheek.

Unveiled to coincide with SF Beer Week, Oakland’s Temescal Brewing is releasing La Fizz, billed as a “natural pamplemousee (grapefruit) zest-infused sparkling ale.” The relatively low 3.8-percent ABV beer is meant to conjure up a similar ease of drinking that you might find from swigging one of LaCroix’s best-known flavors – and the beer’s can even evokes a similar pastiche of pastels. Clearly, La Fizz is intended as a bit of both tribute and parody, otherwise it might find itself with a potential lawsuit.

“There’s a saying that it takes a lot of great beer to make great wine,” Sam Gilbert, Temescal Brewing’s founder, told SFGate, explaining the brew’s inspiration. “At our taproom, it takes a lot of great sparkling water to make great beer. Our staff drinks the stuff by the case, and we sell three varieties of the cans in our taproom to customers who’d prefer a nonalcoholic option.”

For those LaCroix obsessives wanting to see what La Fizz is all about, you’ll need to get to Oakland ASAP. The beer is part of an extremely limited release. Temescal will begin selling six-packs in its taproom today for $13.99, as well as at a small amount of other local retailers starting tomorrow. (It’ll also be available on draft, though the cans are half the fun.) Meanwhile, Gilbert pointed out that such a small release has other benefits – like avoiding any aforementioned legal action. “The beer is a small one-off batch, a tribute with no harm intended,” he said. “We just want to poke a little fun at the water we’re all obsessed with.”

Next time around, why not a true collaboration brew??