Downpatrick businessman Rory King, a former pupil of St Patrick’s Grammar School, is launching his drinks’ business this week.
Rory hopes to enjoy a sparking success with his range of Grizzly seltzers by making them available across Ireland, North and South.
Rory said: “I spent four years working in the drinks industry for an Irish brand from Navan, County Meath. This took me to New Zealand, Denmark, Canada, Cyprus and New York City.
“It was a fantastic experience and a real learning curve for me in the drinks’ business. I worked abroad for ten years altogether.
“While living in North America, I first came across the Hard Seltzer product and was immediately impressed.
“These are low calorie/ low sugar/ low carbs alcoholic drinks designed to meet the growing demands of health conscious consumers.
“After seeing ‘Hard Seltzers’ fly of the shelves in both Canada and the USA, I had a vision of building a business here in Ireland by taking the seltzer idea back and launching an Irish version.
“With more people striving to live a healthier lifestyle, the concept of a gluten-free ‘Hard Seltzer’ is a no brainer. It is a healthier alternative to drinking alcohol, without compromising on taste.
“After months of Research and Development, I launched Grizzly in mid- June.
“Initially I launched three flavours: Strawberry and Lime, Mixed Berries, and Lemon and Lime.”
Rory explained: “Within the first six weeks, Grizzly is already on the shelves in over 100 shops on the island of Ireland.
“I have a huge ambition to export across Europe within the next six months. It can be found in many supermarkets and large stores now.
“There has been an incredible reaction to the Hard Seltzer drinks so far. I can remember one shop in Canada which sold the Hard Seltzer. People were coming in and buying the cans in their dozens.
“I’m looking forward to the challenges going forward.”