The iconic and local brewing company, Blue Point, is pleased to introduce LIIT, a fresh take on a hard iced tea. The summer is heating up and this is the perfect award-winning beverage to bring on your next boat day or trip to the beach. LIIT, or Long Island Iced Teas, is a hard sparkling tea made with clean, natural ingredients. The flavors include mango, lemon, and raspberry lime and they’re all made with 100% real tea.
“In typical Blue Point fashion, while everyone is rushing to innovate within the seltzer space, we’ve been busy looking towards what’s next,” said Blue Point general manager Carrie Shafir. “Our hard sparkling teas are for the consumer who wants a little more than what a hard seltzer is giving them, without sacrificing on the ‘better-for-you’ qualities.”
LIIT’s name is intended to pay homage to Blue Point’s home base of Long Island and the long-time favorite cocktail. Believe it or not, the similarities end there! What’s more appealing about LIIT is the low calorie option for health-conscious drinkers. Each 90s-inspired can is made with natural ingredients, contains five grams of sugar, has 120 calories and is naturally gluten-free! There’s no hard spirits in LIIT, rather the alcohol content comes from the natural fermentation of cane sugar. LIIT is brewed with completely decaffeinated tea and has a 5% ABV.
LIIT can be purchased in a 12-pack can variety pack that contains all three flavors, exclusively on Long Island. Starting August 1, LIIT can be found throughout New York State in addition to several Northeastern states, including Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Blue Point plans to expand its distribution in 2021.
I spoke with general manager Carrie Shafir to learn more about their recent release.
Blue Point is a Long Island staple. Can you talk a bit about how the community has impacted the choices you’ve made as a company and the products you’ve put out?
BP: Blue Point has deep roots on Long Island — 22 years of roots to be exact, which is a long time in the world of craft beer. Long Island is a true conglomerate of so many different people and landscapes and our beer portfolio has always reflected this with diverse options and constant rotation. But at the end of the day, our philosophy is about approachability, and our beers are meant to be shared with anyone and everyone. LIIT is a great example of this. For our first major innovation beyond beer in our history, we’ve produced this refreshing, joyful, not-too-sweet tea. We couldn’t be more excited to finally share it.
Our attention to sustainability is also a reflection of our commitment to our community. Save the Great South Bay has been a long-standing partner, and a lot of our oysters that we sell at our pub come from local oyster farms.
Why did Blue Point choose hard sparkling teas as their next move? Can you speak to the behind-the-scenes innovation that went into the product?
BP: We have had many, many internal discussions over the last few years about breaking out of the beer category and how to do so in a way that stays true to our brand values. We really felt like we should be looking towards ‘what’s next’ for consumers, instead of trying to jump onto the seltzer train. Tea is incredibly versatile; there is a wide variety of flavors and blends to explore. It’s a natural way of changing up flavors without adding to calories, or introducing any artificial ingredients.
Our hard sparkling teas are for the consumer who wants a little more than what a hard seltzer is giving them, without sacrificing on the ‘better-for-you’ qualities. We’ve only scratched the surface with innovation around this. We have a ton of different tea infusions and flavors that we plan to start testing in our tasting room later this year.
What is the core, foundational aspect of Blue Point that remains unchanged despite all the new products you’ve put out over the years?
BP: When all is said and done, we really just want to kick back with a can of Blue Point, friends & family and some good music. Whether it be at the brewery, on the water, or in our backyards, that will never change. It’s our heartbeat.
Blue Point Brewing Company is located at 225 West Main Street in Patchogue. For more information, visit www.bluepointbrewing.com.