Hard seltzer trends have drinkers getting a bigger buzz

White Claw, photo provided by White Claw
White Claw, photo provided by White Claw /

As food and beverage trends evolve, flavor isn’t the only ingredient in the can. With hard seltzer trends, the summer might be a little buzzier. It seems that higher ABVs have become a big part of the conversation. Like the variety of options that beer offers, hard seltzer is looking to expand the choices on the shelf.

From big celebrities to the most popular names, hard seltzer is big business. Even though the aisle is crowded a multitude of flavors and brands, the majority of beverages have a lower alcohol content. Often most cans have between a 4% to a 6% ABV. The idea is that the libation is light, refreshing and a break from all that hoppy beer.

Although many drinkers have a preferred beverage, the reality is that the favorite can become common place. Without stepping too far away from the popular flavor profiles, boosting the ABV content can break the monotony yet keep drinkers loyal to the favorite brand.

How have hard seltzer trends embraced higher ABVs?

A big ABV isn’t necessarily a brand-new idea. Four Loko, offered a 12% ABV hard seltzer option previously. Granted, that brand is known for high alcohol content beverages.

With bigger name brands taking the ABV challenge, the hard seltzer category is taking the conversation in a different direction. Instead of the cooler full at noon and empty at five, these beverages are more single drink, meant to be enjoyed more slowly.

White Claw Hard Seltzer Surge
New White Claw Hard Seltzer Surge, photo provided by White Claw /

Since White Claw Surge took the plunge, it must believe that a bolder ABV is wanted by consumers. As the leader in this beverage space, this brand always looks to be a leader, not a follower.

Although the flavors are approachable, the concept has a different approach. Hopefully, people will not take the opportunity to just slam extra cans for that buzzy feeling.

Also, Truly added a higher ABV hard seltzer. The brand’s “Extra” balances what Truly is known for, low sugar and a reasonable calorie count with refreshing fruit flavors. The mango peach option could be that warm weather, backyard barbecue favorite.

No matter the reasons behind the hard seltzer trends, the reality is that not all cans are the same and it is more than just flavor that is setting brands apart. Just grabbing another can out of the cooler might need to come with a cautionary warning to look before you drink. While you might not mistake a light beer or an IPA, don’t mix up a higher ABV hard seltzer with another one or the day might become a little blurry quickly.

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What is your preferred summer beverage?