What Is White Claw?

Hard seltzer has exploded in popularity in the past few years, and there’s no more popular brand than White Claw. And yet, a certain mystery abounds concerning this beverage. Even if you’re a big fan, you may find yourself asking: What is White Claw? Is White Claw beer of some kind, or, if not, what kind of alcohol is in White Claw? I too was once ignorant of the truth of the Claw, and I will now happily enlighten you.

First off, if you’ve ever wondered where this beverage gets its name, the name White Claw “takes its inspiration from the legend of the White Claw wave—when three perfect crests come together to create a moment of pure refreshment,” says Lexicon Branding. And if you’re wondering who owns White Claw, the answer is the Mark Anthony Group, also responsible for creating Mike’s Hard Lemonade, another category-challenging alcoholic beverage.

So, what the heck is White Claw made of? Like Mike’s Hard Lemonade, it’s a malt beverage. To be more specific, a 12-ounce can of Black Cherry White Claw contains 100 calories, 20 mg of sodium, and 2 g of carbs. The ingredients list includes: purified carbonated water, alcohol, natural flavors, cane sugar, citric acid, natural cherry juice concentrate, sodium citrate. How much alcohol is in White Claw? It’s usually 5%, except for some special varieties, which I’ll go into a bit below.

(FYI, if you’ve ever been confused about this beer/spiked seltzer thing, you’re not alone. According to Wikipedia, White Claw was originally classified as beer for importation reasons, but Custom and Border Patrol successfully sought to change the classification because it “does not have the taste, aroma, character or appearance of beer” and “is not named beer, and importantly, is not sold or marketed as beer.”)

As White Claw has grown in popularity it has also expanded into a truly jaw-dropping number of products. Let’s run it down, shall we?

Classic White Claw comes in (takes deep breath) Black Cherry, Mango, Watermelon, Natural Lime, Ruby Grapefruit, Raspberry, Lemon, Tangerine, Strawberry, Blackberry, Pineapple, Passion Fruit, and Peach. Then there’s the extra fancy “Surf” version that includes Citrus Yuzu Smash, Tropical Pomelo Smash, Watermelon Lime Smash, and Wildberry Acai Smash. 

Then of course, there’s White Claw Surge, which has 8% alcohol and two grams of carbs per can. These come in blue cans and flavors of Blackberry, Natural Lime, Blood Orange, and Cranberry. 

There’s also what they call REFRSHRs, which come in lemonade and iced tea. The iced tea version is available in Lemon, Peach, Mango and Strawberry, while the lemonade version is available in Limon (with a hint of calamansi), Blood Orange (with a hint of raspberry), Blackberry (with a hint of red cherry), and Strawberry (with a hint of kiwi). Finally, there is now White Claw vodka in unflavored, Black Cherry, Mango, and Pineapple varieties. 

At this point, it does not seem that you can buy an official t-shirt or any other apparel celebrating your love of White Claw, which to me seems like a missed opportunity, but far be it for me to tell White Claw how to do their jobs. They’re obviously succeeding spectacularly. 

best white claw flavors

Best White Claw Flavors

Now that you know what White Claw is, find out what the best White Claw flavors are. We tasted all the White Claw flavors and are confident in this ranking.

About the Author

Matt Crowley

Matt Crowley is a comedy writer living in Los Angeles. He likes maple-flavored snacks, loves every kind of cheese, and is slowly learning to accept mushrooms.

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