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Step Fully Into Spring With The Best Hard Seltzers That Aren’t White Claw

With spring break and summer rapidly approaching, hard seltzer is going to dominate the drinking conversation. Last year was a revelation for clear booze and the alcohol industry took note. This year, it feels like every other brewery and winery has its own hard seltzer ready to take on the power of The Claw.

Hard seltzers aren’t a monolith, though. Some are made by brewing up sugar cane or malted barley. Some are cut with wine. Most are cut with either real fruit or a fruit essential oil to add flavor and depth to what is otherwise bubbly, boozy water. Besides being shockingly easy to drink, hard seltzer also comes with the bonuses of being low in calories, carbs, and low-ish in alcohol by volume. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t calories in the drink. Hard seltzers average out around 100 calories per 12-ounce can. Comparatively, 12 ounces of Guinness is 125 calories. 12 ounces of Michelob Ultra registers at 92 calories.

All of that aside, there seem to be new hard seltzer options popping off almost weekly. Hell, even Bud Light and Natty Light have gotten in on the action. So to explore the style a little further, we thought we’d call out some of our favorite local, craft, and regional hard seltzers. These aren’t all perfect (whiskey is as close as you can get to perfect, if that’s what you’re after) but they are definitely worth seeking out if you’ve grown weary of the Claw.

Alaskan Brewing Hard Seltzer

ABV: 4.5%
Calories: 95
Brewery Location: Juneau, AK

The Seltzer:

Alaskan Hard Seltzer comes from a long heritage of great craft brewing. This well-crafted brew starts with a base of spruce tips that are then accented by either Lemon-Lime or Cherry Grapefruit. The citrus-forward Lemon-Lime leans more floral as the Cherry Grapefruit is fruitier with a clearer sense of the spruce. Both are worth trying for their depth of flavor and refreshing quality.

Upslope Spiked SnowMelt

ABV: 5%
Calories: 100
Brewery Location: Boulder, CO

The Seltzer:

Upslope’s Spike SnowMelt lives by the Colorado apres-ski attitude. The seltzer has a clear depth that keeps things light and delicious. You can snag SnowMelt in three variations: Tangerine & Hops, Juniper & Lime, and Pomegranate & Acai. For our money, you can’t beat the subtle forest-meets-high-desert nature of the Juniper & Lime.

Maui Hard Seltzer

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POG everything please.

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ABV: 5%
Calories: 100
Brewery Location: Kihei, HI

The Seltzer:

Hawai’i’s Maui Hard Seltzer is the combination of beautifully soft Hawaiian volcanic waters and a cane sugar fermented base, cut with tropical fruits. They offer three main flavors including Citrus and Dragon Fruit, but their star is the six-pack. The mix of passion fruit, orange, and guava flavors bring about a pure tropical essence reminiscent of a New England IPA.

Cloudless Hard Seltzer

ABV: 5%
Calories: 100
Brewery Location: Sheboygan, WI

The Seltzer:

Cloudless Hard Seltzer by 3 Sheeps Brewing keeps things simple and delicious. Their line of hard seltzers touches on classic brewing techniques to make for a refreshing and delightful seltzer. The three styles — tropical, clearly citrus, and wild berry — each offer something a little different. If you’re more into the sweeter edge of seltzer, go for the wild berry. If you’re looking for something closer to sparkling water with a wedge of lime, hit up the clearly citrus.

Fick’s Hard Seltzer

ABV: 5%
Calories: 100
Brewery Location: Sonoma, CA

The Seltzer:

Fick’s out in California’s wine country is making hard seltzer that revels in real fruit juices. This makes for a bright seltzer experience that imbues the California sun in every sip. Their line includes Cranberry, Grapefruit, and Lime, but it’s their Blackberry varietal that stands above the rest with a tart and sweet edge that feels like eating blackberries fresh from the vine.

SeekOut Seltzer

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Keep Calm and Sip On. #SippinSeltzer

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ABV: 5%
Calories: 100
Brewery Location: Corvallis, OR

The Seltzer:

SeekOut Seltzer comes from one of Oregon’s best cider houses. That means, they know how to make fruit delicious in a boozy beverage, which translates perfectly to making seltzer. Their line is one of the more unique ones out there too. Raspberry and Meyer Lemon, Key Lime and Mint, Cucumber and Juniper (this is the one to try), Pineapple and Passion Fruit, and Clemintine and Grapefruit round out the pack.

Barefoot Hard Seltzer

ABV: 4%
Calories: 70
Brewery Location: Modesto, CA

The Seltzer:

Barefoot Hard Seltzer has taken a different tack when tackling the hard seltzer game. Their seltzer is a blend of sparkling water, wine, and natural flavorings, which puts them squarely into wine spritzer territory. But, hey, we’re not here to be sematic. You can choose from Peach & Nectarine, Cherry & Cranberry (a real winner), Pineapple & Passionfruit, or Strawberry & Guava.

Corona Hard Seltzer

ABV: 4.5%
Calories: 90
Brewery Location: Mexico

The Seltzer:

Corona Seltzer comes from a big beer brewer that’s betting hard on the hard seltzer game. The line joins Bud Light and Natty Light with their own line of seltzers that go down very easily. Unless insane people keep confusing the brand with Coronavirus, Corona’s Hard Seltzer may win the summer, given its low price, crisp taste, and nationwide availability. Plus, it comes in a variety pack so that everyone gets a taste of something unique. Each 12-pack comes with three each of Blackberry Lime, Cherry, Tropical Lime, and Mango.

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