Unless you’ve been living under a rock this summer, then you know that hard seltzers are the new hit alcoholic drink with, well, everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, or what sort of lifestyle you live, it’s hard to deny that these adult beverages have come in like a wrecking ball and taken over the cooler at pretty much every family gathering and BBQ this year.
I’m not entirely sure why this craze has taken over the country, but I’m guessing it has something to do with the immense popularity of drinks like LaCroix and other sparkling waters that have started to replace sugary soft drinks in the refrigerators of a lot of Americans.
As people wise up to the fact that sugary drinks, while absolutely delicious, are definitely not healthy, and probably poisoning our bodies, they are beginning to switch over to alternatives, like flavor waters that have no sugar and are just plain disgusting.
I am not a fan of LaCroix in the least. I’ve tried other brands of flavored carbonated waters like Bubly as well, but I just can’t get past the fact that it’s not sweet.
When I take a sip of something carbonated like these drinks, I’m immediately expecting that sugar rush I get when I drink pop, but when that rush never comes, I’m just left with a bad taste in my mouth that I can’t over, and it totally ruins any possibility of finishing the can.
But, I know I’m in the minority here, at least I am with my group of friends and most people I know. A lot of them drink LaCroix or Bubly on a regular basis and love it. My wife being one of those people. But it’s just not for me. And it’s because of that, that I was extremely surprised when I tried one of these new hard seltzer drinks and actually enjoyed it…
What is Hard Seltzer?
Hard Seltzer is exactly what you think it is, it’s alcoholic seltzer water, usually flavored. But what’s the difference between one of these new canned beverages and just a vodka seltzer (or soda)? Well, to start, these drinks are not just seltzer water with vodka added, despite what some people may think.
The alcohol in these hard seltzers like Truly and White Claw come from cold-brewed sugar as opposed to just adding in a spirit liquor later. It’s a very similar process to making beer or liquor, but instead of fermenting barley or grains to get the alcohol, sugar is fermented instead. And then to get the various flavorings in the drink, concentrated fruit flavorings are added.
By adding flavoring using fruit as opposed to artificial sweeteners, and other sugars, these beverages can keep the calorie and carb counts lower while keeping the alcohol content around 5%. So for those that are not wanting to drink the extra calories or carbs that come with a beer, but still want a delicious adult beverage in a can that’s easy to transport, these drinks make a perfect compromise.
When you look at the two major players in the space right now, the two that we’re comparing in this article, White Claw comes in at 100 calories with 2g of carbs/sugar and 5% alcohol. Truly comes in at 100 calories, 2g of carbs, 1g of sugars and 5% alcohol.
It’s basically a wash in regards to the nutritional aspect of the product. Either one is going to be a better option that something like a Bud Light, which has 110 calories and 6.6g of carbohydrates. And while it’s not that big of a difference, if you’re day drinking in the summer and start putting back quite a few of these, those numbers could add up.
Really though, the most important thing when it comes to which one of these drinks to choose, is the taste. And even that will come down to your own personal preference.
Truly and White Claw are like the Coke and Pepsi of the Hard Seltzer world at the moment. There are definitely other options out there, which may actually taste better, but these two companies are currently pushing the hardest when it comes to their marketing.
So now, let’s take a look at which one tastes better.
Truly vs. White Claw – Taste Test
I want to start off by saying that these are the only two hard seltzer brands that I’ve tasted to date. I know that there are a bunch more on the market, and more are popping up every day, but these two brands are literally the only ones I’ve ever tasted up to this point. So while there may be something out there that is better, I have no comparison, and we’re only going to be looking at Truly and White Claw today.
So which one is better?
In my opinion, White Claw.
I picked up a berry variety pack of Truly and a variety pack of White Claw and compared flavors that were pretty close. Both brands don’t have all of the same flavors, but most of them are pretty close. And in pretty much all cases, I found White Claw to be smoother and taste better.
White Claw just seemed to have more flavor to them than most of the Truly’s did. When I drank the Truly it just tasted like LaCroix to me, just water with like a tiny drop of flavoring that did nothing for me. Where as the White Claw seemed to have a larger drop of flavoring, if that makes sense.
Basically the White Claw just tasted fruitier and had more flavor in general. Which could be due to the fact that White Claw has 2g of sugar and Truly only has 1g… you can definitely taste the difference.
I did not get a chance to taste the other variety pack of Truly though, which people do say has some better flavors, so maybe those will stand out a little more when compared to White Claw, but I’m not sure.
Either way though, I could sit and drink both of these beverages all day and not feel bad about it. They aren’t like those Henry’s Hard Sodas (the orange is delicious), or Mike’s Hard Lemonade or anything, since there is a far less sugar in these hard seltzers. So you don’t even up feeling sick after drinking just a couple of them. They are the perfect summer drink if you’re not a fan of beer, or just want to switch it up from beer. They transport easily in cans, they come in flavor variety packs so you don’t have to drink the same flavor all day, and since it just looks like water, you can easily pour it into a water bottle or Yeti and walk around sipping on it all day and no one will be the wiser.
You can also pick up some thinner slim can koozies that will fit these types of cans perfectly, to ensure that they stay cold while you drink!
- FITS ALL 12 OZ SLIM CANS: hate warm beer? This Hopsulator keeps it icy-cold, no matter how hot your party gets; works with all slim-style 12 oz beer, energy and soda canned drinks (doesn’t fit...
- 20X COLDER: the Hopsulator features double-walled stainless steel with an extra copper layer that keeps your drinks 20x colder than a standard neoprene can cooler, so that your last sip has the same...
The Drink of the Summer
It’s no secret that White Claw and Truly have become the summer drink of 2019. Everywhere you go people are talking about “The Claw” or there are memes out there dedicated to white girls and White Claw. And they are definitely bringing a bit of variety to the alcoholic canned beverages out there.
I feel like the last couple summers Rose was all the rage, whether that was straight up Rose or Frozen Rose (Frose), and before that people were all about Not Your Father’s Root Beer, but this summer has definitely been dominated by hard seltzers. I’m curious to see how long these guys can ride this wave. Will the fad die out next summer when something new pops up, or do you think these hard seltzers are here to stay?
I’m not sure.
I think these beverages are still going to be around next summer, but I don’t think they are going to have the long term appeal of traditional beer. And I’m only basing that on other fad alcoholic drinks that seem to have come and gone in just a few years…. things like Zima, Lynchburg Lemonade, Hard Sodas, Wine Coolers, etc..
I guess only time will tell…
Do you have a favorite hard seltzer that isn’t Truly or White Claw? Let us know in the comments.
Update: We’ve completed our blind hard seltzer taste test, find out who the winners are!