White Claw has quickly become the most talked about hard seltzer brand on the market. Launched in 2016, the 100-calorie, two-carbohydrate, 5-percent-ABV fizzy treat now accounts for about half of spiked seltzer sales in the U.S.
Wondering what the hype is about? Here are nine things you should know about White Claw.
White Claw is not vodka or beer.
White Claw is a flavored malt beverage (FMB). It’s made with “a blend of seltzer water, its gluten-free alcohol base, and a hint of fruit flavor,” a brand representative tells VinePair. “The alcohol in White Claw Hard Seltzer comes from fermented sugars derived from malted gluten-free grains.” While this doesn’t exactly clarify things, our best guess is that it’s made with cane sugar, which is listed as an ingredient in several variants.
White Claw is making waves.
America drank more White Claw in the last six months than we did in the entirety of 2018. “At $212.1 million in dollar sales through June 23, White Claw has already surpassed its *entire* IRI sales from 2018 ($196.7 million),” beer writer Bryan Roth tweeted on July 2, 2019. According to IRI, weekly sales of White Claw doubled between April and June 2019.
As of May 2019, dollar sales of White Claw’s mixed 12-packs saw a 320 percent increase compared to the same period in 2018, according to Nielsen. Its growth exceeded that of global beer brands like Guinness and Corona Light, and all craft beers except Blue Moon Belgian White, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Bars are running out of it.
Bartenders and alcohol distributors across the nation say they can barely keep White Claw on the shelves. It’s a common phenomenon: When a bar runs out of White Claw, patrons say it has been “declawed.”
There are laws when you’re drinking Claws.
In July 2019, inspired by the mantra, “ain’t no laws when you’re drinking Claws,” (origin: unknown), comedian Trevor Wallace released a video satirizing the typical White Claw drinker. He also designed and sold more than 1,000 T-shirts emblazoned with the phrase.
Wallace was quickly hit with a cease and desist from the seltzer company, leading to rumblings that he just may switch sides to White Claw competitor Truly Hard Seltzer, produced by Boston Beer.
Like a wave, White Claw is hard to pin down.
White Claw is produced by Mark Anthony Brands, a division of the Mark Anthony Group of Companies that also includes Mark Anthony Brewery and Mark Anthony Wine and Spirits.
Although not the famed Latin singer, this Mark Anthony should still ring a bell: It’s the very same company that produces Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Of course, this information does not appear anywhere on White Claw’s website, packaging, or social media.
White Claw is internet famous.
It’s in bed with Big Beer, but only abroad.
White Claw has different rules outside North America. Although the family-owned Mark Anthony Brands still owns and distributes it here, outside the U.S. and Canada it’s marketed and distributed by AB InBev.
Taste is subjective.
White Claw is currently available in six flavors: Black Cherry, Ruby Grapefruit, Natural Lime, Raspberry, Mango, and Pure, the latter made to mimic a vodka soda.
VinePair was partial to Pure. Blind tastings of other flavors have varied results. A Seattle Times panel called it “Windex-y” with a “strong alcohol taste,” while a Willamette Week review included the phrase “hand soap.”
Beer enthusiasts, on the other hand, beg to differ. Users of the popular beer check-in app Untappd give overwhelmingly positive reviews, with one user writing he “could drink 10,000 of these.”
You can be White Claw.
Come October, or whenever you get your next paycheck and are looking for a little extra attention, you can buy yourself a White Claw costume.