From a small, Arkansas-only brewery to being available in over 20 states. This is the story of an underdog, the story of a company redefining itself into an award-winning, regionally-acclaimed hard beverage brand. We are Scarlet Letter Beverage Co., boldly made in Springdale, Arkansas.

Before the idea of Scarlet Letter existed, we were Core Brewing & Distilling Co., founded by Jesse Core in 2010. As a young, eager, and hungry entrepreneur who loved beer and his home state of Arkansas, Core was founded as one of the first craft breweries in Arkansas. Brewing beers such as Arkansas Red, Toasted Coconut, and ESB, Core rose to one of the most popular breweries in the state. For over a decade, Jesse and his team trailblazed a model for future Arkansas breweries, so much so that by 2023 there were over 40 breweries in Arkansas.

By 2014, something new, and dare we say bold, was taking over the beer world. New sales data showed that craft beer was declining, and health and fitness were now driving millions of people’s beverage choices. The hard seltzer industry had been around for decades; however, with this new demand for holistic alcoholic beverages that weren’t high in calories or carbs, hard seltzer saw the biggest jump anything in the alcohol industry had ever seen. By 2016 brands like White Claw, Truly, and Bon & Viv were worldwide empires, and seltzer became the new spiked obsession almost overnight.

Over the years, Core was negatively affected by a couple of things: 1) The growing number of craft breweries in Arkansas, and 2) A booming seltzer industry that Arkansas hadn’t even begun to explore. Due to craft beer sales declining nationwide and untapped potential in seltzer, Core decided to pivot, take advantage of its operations, and enter the new world of hard seltzer. To be clear, beer will always be a part of our culture and passion. Craft beer is the reason why Jesse left corporate America to jump into entrepreneurial life! However, as entrepreneurs must do, we were ready to take advantage of the new consumer trends. By the end of 2018, Core was transitioning to Scarlet Letter Beverage Co.

In 2019, we released our first batch of vodka-based hard seltzer: Scarlet Letter Cucumber, Lime, Ginger, & Hibiscus, now known as Scarlet Letter Red. This batch was meant to be a one-time release; however, its popularity was undeniable, and we realized this could be something big. By the summer, we had brewed several more batches of Scarlet Letter, debuting new flavors Scarlet Letter Purple, Scarlet Letter Green, and our Scarlet Letter Variety 12-pack. Momentum was building…

Demand continued to grow as we were all in for a hell of a 2020. In January, we began selling in liquor and grocery stores across the region. Perfect timing! We all know what happened next… In March, the world stopped. Offices were closed, streets were empty, and bars were dry. Yet the demand for Scarlet Letter continued to grow. During Covid, Scarlet was not only fortunate enough to continue to sell seltzer, but with people cooped up in their homes, and drive-thru liquor stores thriving, Scarlet Letter sales more than tripled throughout the Covid summer!

By the end of 2020, Scarlet Letter was an award-winning hard seltzer brand available in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, & Colorado. New limited-release flavors had entered our portfolio, such as Scarlet Letter Blue, Scarlet Letter Cranberry, and in 2021, Scarlet Letter Pink. Going into that summer, Core and Scarlet Letter were both extremely recognizable brands and “partnered” to throw Arkansas’ first seltzer festival, SeltzerFest. The rest of 2021 was full of innovation and sales growth, taking advantage of the world opening back up. People were thirsty, and Scarlet Letter was ready.

By 2022, Scarlet Letter had broken every previous Core sales record ever recorded due to its growth into a regionally recognized hard seltzer brand. In March 2022 Scarlet Letter released its 10% ABV Party-Pack seltzers and saw more popular limited releases, such as Scarlet Letter Pride, Scarlet Letter Gold, and Scarlet Letter Black Cherry. The second annual SeltzerFest was an even bigger success than the first, but something behind the scenes was brewing. Something that would make Scarlet Letter unstopable. We were about to become a national brand.

In 2023, two massive things happened within the company. Scarlet Letter again pivoted to rebranding their seltzers to “hard beverages” in new 12 oz. sleek cans. Scarlet Letter also partnered with Sam’s Club to create Member’s Mark Spiked Seltzer. This began our nationwide expansion, as Scarlet Letter and Member’s Mark Spiked Seltzer expanded into over 20 states, including long-awaited demand in Texas, Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana, California, and Illinois. Scarlet Letter still continues to grow into new markets, and demand continues to rise. We are honored to be an Arkansas business, and while we have come a long way since our Arkansas-only craft brewery days, we don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

The Year of Innovation! Scarlet Letter Cocktails, new flavor profiles, Non-Alc, expanded partnerships, and convenient packaging sizes. Keep an eye our for new releases, products, and opportunities throughout 2024!

Thank you for your tremendous support of our Journey, you mean more to us than you could ever know! Cheers from the Scarlet Letetr Beverage Co. team!