SpikedSeltzer was created in 2012 by Nick Shields, who began formulating five gallon batches out of his garage in Westport, CT. The unique beverage, which he made by combining disciplines of brewing and winemaking, focuses on simple and natural ingredients. The goal was to create a clean, crisp, bubbly drink that lacks the sugary sweetness of wine and the heaviness of beer. After refining nearly 100 batches, the original hard seltzer was born.
Nick and his longtime friend and business partner, Dave Holmes, brought SpikedSeltzer to market in 2013, creating the hard seltzer category. SpikedSeltzer grew from five gallon batches to more than 500,000 case equivalents from 2013 – 2016.
Nick Shields knows beverages. Nick’s first job after college was managing production for Nantucket Nectars, a thriving, upstart juice company in Boston, and continued that entrepreneurial experience with winemaking at Wolffer Estate on Long Island. He went on to study food science at Cornell University, fermentation science at UC Davis, and even developed products for beverage titans Pepsi and Cadbury Schweppes. Nick’s great-great-grandfather, Rudolph Haffenreffer, founded Boston’s Haffenreffer Brewery in 1870. As a 5th-generation brewer, Nick always knew he would eventually return to the family business of brewing. His goal? To create a new kind of beverage by combining disciplines of brewing, winemaking, and natural flavors. After refining nearly 100 batches, SpikedSeltzer was born.
Dave Holmes doesn’t like to sit still. He worked in the financial industry in New York since graduating college, with the exception of spending 4 years as a timber frame builder in rural Maine. After working at a New York hedge fund for 7 years and turning around bankrupt companies, Dave decided to venture in search of opportunities to build businesses from the ground up. Dave has followed the evolution of his long-time friend’s creation since the very first batch. He jumped at the opportunity to help take SpikedSeltzer to market.
When they can, Nick and Dave both ride the currents in small planes and rowing shells.