A Complete Guide to the New Spiked Seltzer Releases of 2021
White Claw and Truly are no longer the only games in town
Sometimes I wish we could go back to 2019. Not because it was a time free of deadly viruses, social distancing and mask-wearing but because hard seltzer was but a burgeoning alcoholic beverage. It was a time when I actually had to explain why loads of young people were consuming the spiked carbonated drink and what it meant to get “White Claw wasted.” Back when we only had three hard seltzer brands to choose from and speculated if it was all just one big bubble waiting to pop.
Two years later, we’ve learned a lot of things, one of them being that hard seltzer certainly isn’t going anywhere. Since 2019, the market has only gotten more crowded, with craft breweries, big-name beer and liquor companies and independent hard seltzer brands all producing their own take on the refreshing, light-tasting boozy beverage. Meanwhile OG brands like White Claw and Truly have made some serious bank. According to Vinepair, by the end of December 2020, White Claw announced sales of $2 billion while Boston Beer’s Truly hit $956 million.
Despite it being a fairly new market, the hard seltzer sphere is constantly and quickly evolving. Already in 2021, we’ve seen celebrities launch their own spiked seltzer brands, ushering in the inevitable rise of celebrity hard seltzer. Additionally, this summer is already shaping up to be the summer of spiked lemonade and iced tea seltzer (which, not to toot our own horns, we predicted last year.)
There’s a lot going on, and to help you navigate your grocery store’s overflowing boozs section below we’ve listed some of the new hard seltzer offerings you might come across and even heavily consume in the coming warmer months.
The much-anticipated third White Claw installment has finally dropped. The brand’s flavor collection No. 3 includes three new flavors: Strawberry, Pineappl and Blackberry, plus our old friend Mango. Like every White Claw pack, each 12oz can in the new pack has 100 calories, 5% alcohol and 2g of carbs.
I’ve been able to try this new variety pack and I am … underwhelmed. But I don’t hate it. Pineapple has the same tropical flavor as Mango, Strawberry is weirdly similar to the brand’s Raspberry flavor, and Blackberry doesn’t have much of a taste at all, which I actually enjoy since I prefer my hard seltzer lightly flavored. I will give White Claw credit here, though, for this pack’s can designs which seem to play with color a bit more. No hate to White Claw (she’s still my #1) but maybe slow things down a bit.
In addition to the No. 3 pack, White Claw also released Hard Seltzer Iced Tea, which includes four flavors (Lemon, Peach, Mango and Raspberry) and 5% ABV, and lemme say, White Claw you have outdone yourself. I picked up a case of these recently and was pleasantly surprised. I’ve had my doubts towards hard iced tea seltzer in general, mainly because I’m not really sure what to expect from a carbonated iced tea. But White Claw, at least, has produced a refreshing, light beverage primed for the summertime.
In early March, Truly Hard Seltzer launched Truly Extra — a bigger, boozier version of Truly’s classic hard seltzer. As someone who had the opportunity to test what is basically Truly’s version of a Four Loko, it definitely packs a punch and definitely tastes a bit like cough syrup. These two 16 oz. cans are available in flavors Black Raspberry and Peach Mango, have 8% ABV and surprisingly, only 1 gram of sugar.
Truly was one of the first big-name seltzer brands to hop on this growing seltzer/iced tea trend with the release of Truly Iced Tea Hard Seltzer at the start of the new year. Featuring flavors Lemon, Raspberry, Peach and Strawberry decked out in boujee golden cans, you’ll get a nice hint of fruit in combination with real brewed tea.
Rapper Travis Scott’s highly anticipated new spiked seltzer brand CACTI hit shelves in late March and promptly sold out on the online store. The eight-time Grammy nominee’s first ever beverage venture is in partnership with Anheuser-Busch, and while it might be the first celebrity hard seltzer we’ve seen, it certainly won’t be the last. Scott’s Agave Spiked Seltzer is made with 100 percent premium blue agave from Mexico, comes in flavors Pineapple, Lime and Strawberry and features some pretty dope packaging.
How do you catch up to White Claw and Truly? Use the cult mineral water as your base then spice it up with flavors like Tangy Lemon Lime, Exotic Pineapple, Strawberry Guava and Tropical Mango. Lots of people are very excited for this one.
Everyone’s favorite cheap wine brand (or maybe just mine), Barefoot released two new refreshing Hard Seltzer flavors — Blueberry & Lemon and Watermelon & Lime — and if they’re anything like the brand’s delicious, wildly affordable bottles of wine, I will be chugging, er, sipping these all summer. These two new flavors are exclusively available in the Barefoot Hard Seltzer Sun Perfect Favorites Variety Pack, a collection of four hard seltzers each crafted with sparkling water, grape wine and natural flavors.
Michelob ULTRA has stepped into the seltzer game, but they’re not delivering just any old hard seltzer, they’re giving us USDA-Organic certified seltzer, making it the first-ever national USDA certified organic hard seltzer to hit shelves. And while that tidbit is pretty cool, I’m mostly intrigued by these flavors: Cucumber Lime, Spicy Pineapple and Peach Pear. With 4% ABV, only 80 calories and zero carbs, this might become the go-to- seltzer for your friend who’s working a little too hard on their summer bod.
Bud Light almost broke our brains last year when it announced it would be releasing its own spiked seltzer. Turns out it’s not half bad and was a pretty smart move on the company’s part. Bud Light Seltzer quickly became a top-seller in the hard seltzer category and in a press release VP of Marketing, Andy Goelerin mentioned it was also a top-seller in the history of the brand. It makes sense then that Bud Light would expand its seltzer offerings with the Out of Office limited edition variety pack that launched in February. The OOO pack mixes bubbly seltzer with classic vacation drinks featuring tropical flavors Classic Lime Margarita, Watermelon Mojito, Strawberry Daquiri and Mango Mai Tai.
Joining the ranks of Truly Lemonade, Bud Light is once again expanding its seltzer options with the recent release of its own seltzer lemonade. The variety pack includes refreshing original, strawberry, black cherry and peach-flavored bubbly lemonades that contain 5% ABV and 100 calories.
If you’re a fan of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, we have some good news: the popular boozy lemonade brand has finally launched its own spiked lemonade seltzer. Available in a 12-can variety pack of four zesty flavors (Lemon, Strawberry, Mango and Pineapple). If you’re looking to try this latest booze trend, you may as well turn to the people who started it..
Over the past several years, PBR has definitely pushed boundaries with some of its product launches. Adding to its unique collection of hard coffee, spiked seltzers with 8% ABV and a boozy peach iced tea, we get PBR’s Hard Tea Seltzer Variety Pack, which comes with four all-natural hard tea seltzers: Pineapple-Passionfruit, Lemon, Raspberry and Peach.
Tequila brand Hornitos recently announced it was joining the ever-growing ready-to-drink space with two tequila hard seltzers: Lime and Mango. So, obviously, if you’re more of a tequila kinda guy these might be your ideal summer cocktail, since these seltzers are made with real Plata Tequila.
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