Resist the Surge: Do We Really Need a White Claw With a Higher Alcohol Content?

White Claw recently launched Surge — a 16oz can of hard seltzer with 8% ABV

April 16, 2021 8:35 am
White Claw Surge Cans
The high-ABV hard seltzer trend is silly.
White Claw

White Claw sent the internet into a frenzy on Tuesday after the cult-favorite hard-seltzer brand announced a new product called Surge — a seltzer with a higher alcohol content to be sold in 16oz cans. The line includes two flavors, Blood Orange and Cranberry, each with 8% alcohol by volume and 220 calories, a bump up from White Claw’s original seltzer, which boasts 5% ABV and 100 calories.

The announcement of a boozier White Claw couldn’t have come at a better time. The internet immediately started to envision a Hot Vax Summer coupled with a harder hard seltzer: it’s gonna get craaazzzzy!!!!

“Summer about to be entirely lawless,” tweeted @MorningBrew. “White Claw Surge dropping as Americans are getting vaccinated is Thanos getting that last infinity stone. There is no way this ends well,” tweeted another Twitter user. Writer Madeline Wells even discussed the implications of a 2021 White Claw Surge Summer for SFGATE and how she can’t wait to down the Surge.

“I haven’t been to a party in 13 months. I want to crack open a cold one at a backyard barbecue or dare my friends to order this goofy-ass drink at a dive bar. I want to see someone shotgun a White Claw Surge. I want to sit in the sun and drink two or maybe even three of them,” she wrote.

As someone who considers themselves something of a hard seltzer aficionado and an unapologetic fan of the Claw, the news of White Claw Surge didn’t really spark any wild summer fantasies for me, and honestly, I find the whole thing to be kinda dumb. I also have high expectations for this coming summer and I plan to celebrate the nearing end of the pandemic with lots and lots of Claws. Once I’m fully vaccinated I am going to get obliterated, hopefully at my favorite bars with my favorite people, but I don’t need a White Claw Surge or any other harder hard seltzer to get where I wanna go.

White Claw the latest in a growing line of brands to come out with a high-ABV spiked seltzer. Pabst Blue Ribbon was actually the first to do it all the way back in 2019 when it released two 8% ABV seltzer flavors called Stronger Seltzer. In early March of this year, Truly Hard Seltzer launched Truly Extra — a bigger, boozier version of their classic hard seltzer, also with 8% ABV. And now with White Claw’s stamp of approval, this is shaping up to be a summer of high ABV seltzers, as we will undoubtedly see more brands follow suit.

But the thing about a boozier hard seltzer is that it defeats the purpose of why many of us like to consume hard seltzer. For one, it’s a low-calorie option, as the majority of hard seltzers clock in at around 100 calories, and while it’s not a crazy jump, White Claw Surge and Truly Extra both have a higher calorie count at 220. Though, one clever Twitter user calculated one White Claw Surge is equivalent to 2.1333 cans of original White Claw, so I suppose it mostly evens out. Still, if you’re counting calories, a harder hard seltzer might not be your first choice, or at that point, why not just go for a juicy IPA?

The reasons I have become such a stan for spiked seltzer are that they’re light, clean-tasting, super refreshing and you can drink a bunch of them without prematurely blacking out. And while I have yet to taste White Claw Surge (and White Claw if you’re listening, I would love to be proven wrong so please send me some), I’ve tasted Truly Extra and I legitimately could not get past the first few sips. It’s simply too strong and the taste reminded me of when I used to chug Gold Four Lokos back the woods in high school. Why would I want to relive that when I can just consume multiple regular, non-disgusting hard seltzers and get the same amount of drunk?

Plus if you really wanna get fucking wild this summer and show off what a hard-ass drinker you are, show up to the backyard function with a can of Four Loko that’s got a whopping 16% ABV. Now that sounds like a Hot Vax Summer.

Of course, I do not know what White Claw Surge tastes like, and maybe it is just as refreshing as a normal White Claw. Maybe I will fall deeply head over heels in love with it and get terribly drunk on it this summer. But I have been scorned by too many high-ABV malt beverages before, and I can’t foresee any situation wherein the first drink I’ll order once I reenter society will be a White Claw Surge.


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