Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

13 Bubbly Hard Seltzers That Are Actually Worth Drinking

Kona Brewing
Kona Brewing

Drinking White Claw is in no way, shape, or form mandatory. The bubbly hard seltzer is almost synonymous with the category, but it’s hardly the most refreshing version on the market. White Claw has dominated, and essentially created, the hard seltzer trend, that seemingly prompted every beverage company to come out with their own version. It’s so hectic now it’s difficult to know who isn’t making one.

Sure it’s easy to pick up a pack of Claws, Truly (which we didn’t forget about), but there’s so much more out there to explore and now is the best time to discover new seltzers.

Related Guides

Kona Brewing Spiked Island Seltzer

A can of Kona Brewing Spiked Island Seltzer on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

OK, so it’s an AB InBev brand. But it’s one that still has an air of independence to it — it’s from Hawaii after all. For starters, the variety pack has a POG (passionfruit, orange, guava) flavor that’s unbeatable. The other three aren’t bad either: Starfruit-Lime, Strawberry Guava, and Tropical Punch. Truly one of the more refreshing collections of seltzers out there, with little artificial backend to it.

BUY NOW

Founders Brewing Mas Agave

A bottle Founders Brewing Mas Agave i=on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Michigan-based Founders Brewing has built an empire on its All Day IPA session beer and a portfolio of tastebud-busting barrel-aged beers. Now an agave-based seltzer has emerged and … it’s delicious. Be warned though, unlike the 100-calorie booze waters, Founders does add sugar to Mas Agave. The lime, grapefruit, and strawberry-flavored seltzers do still come in at 110 calories.

Arizona SunRise Hard Seltzer

Various flavors of AriZona SunRise Hard Seltzer.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As noted in the intro, pretty much every beverage company is putting out a seltzer now. Enter: Arizona. Famous for the giant convenience store ice teas and Arnold Palmers, the company couldn’t hold back from capitalizing on the seltzer craze. With flavors like Mucho Mango, Cherry Punch, Lemon, and Grapefruit, it’s worth a shot.

Maui Hard Seltzer

Cans of Maui Hard Seltzer with ice underneath.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Well, Hawaii has great refreshing flavors. Like Kona, Maui — an awesome brewery on its own — also launched a seltzer line complete with a POG flavor. The variety pack also includes Citrus, Acai, and Dragon Fruit. Tropical flavors are a win-win in the seltzer game.

Sonic Hard Seltzer

A pack of Sonic Hard Seltzer on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

OK, this one is a bit of a novelty. The fast-food chain Sonic touts its happy hour for refreshing slush beverages at its drive-thru’s. Why wouldn’t eclectic flavors like Ocean Water translate to hard seltzers? Sonic unveiled two variety packs: Tropical and Citrus. A pool party gets a hair more fun with a goofy beverage like this.

Arctic Chill

Cans of Arctic Chill filled with ice.
Arctic Chill

A partnership between Harpoon Brewery and Polar Seltzer, this really tastes as if it could just be another Polar can — because it’s made with Polar! Like a good non-alcoholic seltzer, the flavors are subdued and in the background, and the carbonation is just enough to tickle the tongue.

Topo Chico

Various flavors of Topo Chico in line on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Topo Chico is a gem of sparkling mineral water. While the hard seltzer isn’t served up in the brand’s nearly iconic tall green glass bottles, it’s tasty. Weirdly, the flavors — Tropical Mango, Tangy Lemon Lime, Strawberry Guava, and Exotic Pineapple — aren’t syrupy but still are reminiscent of soda.

Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water

Various flavors of Wild Basin Boozy Sparkling Water in line.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Oskar Blues is a quintessential craft brewery, so their foray into craft seltzer is a welcome sight. For starters, the branding is colorful and attractive with the Colorado Mountains prominent. Beyond that, the clean flavors of unique combinations help set Wild Basin apart. Some of those flavors? Strawberry Coconut, Mango Blueberry, Yumberry, Habanero Pina Colada, and Mango Mai Tai.

Lone River Ranch Water

A variety pack of Lone River Ranch Water.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Ranch Water is probably the cocktail of 2021, traditionally made with tequila, lime, and Topo Chico. But brands are jumping into a canned version. Enter Lone River, a fast-growing canned Ranch Water seltzer brand that just entered 21 states. Pick up and try the variety pack with these agave-based seltzers that just make a whole lot of Texas sense: Original, Spicy (with jalapeño), Rio Red Grapefruit, and Prickly Pear.

Decoy

Various flavors of Decoy in line on a white background.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Wine brands are also entering the hard seltzer market, from budget wines like Barefoot to higher-end wine brands like The Duckhorn Portfolio. Decoy Premium Seltzer is a wine-based seltzer that clocks in at 5.5% alcohol by volume and just 80 calories — lower than the fairly standard 100 per can for most seltzers. The flavors are interesting, too: Chardonnay with Clementine Orange, Sauvignon Blanc with Vibrant Lime, Rose with Black Cherry, and Chardonnay with Lemon & Ginger.

Willie’s Superbrew

6 cans of Willie’s Superbrew messily lined up.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Willie’s will wet your whistle with a nice smooth seltzer made with real fruit. The line has tasty flavors like Ginger & Lemon and Pineapple & Lime, and since it says real fruit, a drinker can feel a little healthier. Willie’s sometimes gets funky, too, like with its Seltzer Unleashed: Juicy-Hazy-Hopped Seltzer. It’s the seltzer world’s spin on a big juicy hazy IPA, complete with mango, pineapple, guava, and lime and dry-hopped with citra and mosaic hops.

White Claw

Various flavors of White Claw in a white backdrop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Of course, nothing’s stopping you from grabbing a drink of the classic. White Claw is arguably the most famous hard seltzer out there, and rightfully so. Made to hit you with epic refreshment via their naturally gluten-free and clean tasting drink, White Claw comes in five different fruity flavors.

Truly

A pack of TRULY hard seltzer in a white backdrop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Along with White Claw, Truly has dominated the hard seltzer market for years. It’s no surprise as it is pure and clean and contains no gluten, liquor, or spirits. On top of that, it has an alcohol by volume of 5%, made from fermenting all-natural cane sugar.

Editors' Recommendations

Pat Evans
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Pat Evans is a writer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, focusing on food and beer, spirits, business, and sports. His full…
The 11 Best Cucumber Beers for a Refreshing All-Season Drink
cucumber beers best beer 2021

It’s a little surprising that cucumbers and beer don’t have a deeper history. The refreshing gourd, with its signature green and slightly bitter flavor, plays quite nicely with lighter beer styles.
And it's not just beer. Cucumbers are a great addition to cucumber cocktails, seltzers, mocktails, and more. But as a beer, whether it be a tangy sour or refreshing Berliner Weisse, the cucumber becomes king. With beer, cucumber can impart some coolness to counteract the sizzle of the hops and effervescence, or garden-fresh grassy notes to play off of the acid of a sour beer. In other cases, it can offer a melon rind note that reminds us of hammocks and backyard hangouts. 
Even if cucumber is not your thing, though, there's a decent chance you'll like how it operates in the company of hops, malt, and grain. The mashup activates something a little extra in cucumber, a food that's never really been a celebrity but perhaps should be. Long placed under lock and key in the pickle box, the cucumber deserves much more. It's time for its breakout party and these eleven cucumber beers celebrate just that. 

Angry Chair Cucumber Lime Gose

Read more
5 Fine Barrel-Aged Craft Beers To Drink Now
Deschutes Abyss Beer Bottle Shot

As you shift from light lagers and fresh hop IPAs to darker, fuller options, keep barrel-aged beers in mind. These cellared beers offer robust flavor profiles and complexity on par with some of the great wines of the world. Better still, barrel-aged beers are idyllic sippers for cooler evenings. 
What exactly is a barrel-aged beer? Well, a beer that has spent some time in a barrel. Several cozy months (or years) in a wood vessel marries flavors and creates a kind of dynamic synergy most beers lack. The alcohol content tends to be a bit higher and the beer styles themselves are a bit darker and stronger and therefore able to withstand the effects of a barrel.
Any brewer can throw a stout in some French oak for a spell and bottle something palatable. As a result, there are a lot of beers floating about in this esteemed category. Yet, the following barrel-aged craft beers are especially tasty, with their lingering, detailed flavors and involved enough personalities you’ll want to pour them into a bulbous glass so you can really take the whole thing in.

Deschutes Abyss
 

Read more
How Companies Are Closing the Sustainability Loop in the Drinks Industry
closing the sustainability loop drinks industry how companies are in

When there’s talk of real sustainability, closing the loop is a phrase often called into action. It’s a reference to growing ingredients in a way that recycles and reuses everything involved and created in the process. The result is waste-free and quite kind to the environment.
Farmers of all kinds are looking to close or at least tighten up their loops. Whether they’re raising wine grapes, hops, or potatoes, folks in agriculture are starting to think more like stewards of the land. When the land gives the grower so much, returning the favor seems more than rational.
But there’s more to closing the loop than just being kind to resident soils, minimizing inputs, and being cognizant of climate change. A lot of industries, like spirits and beer, yield a fair amount of byproducts. Throwing them in the waste pile or letting them idle creates a fracture in the loop. Now more than ever, producers are finding creative uses for their byproducts, both on their own and with the help of intrepid new companies.

In the Twin Cities, Netzro has taken advantage of the pandemic in unexpected ways. With more people baking at home, the women-run company is finding ways to deliver flour blends made with spent grain from breweries and distilleries to eager people mostly stuck at home.
Netzro is the first outfit of its kind in the nation to take on the spent grain used in the spirit-making process. It’s working with the used rye grains from Tattersall Distilling, converting the excess into edible forms of fiber and protein and working it into flour. And because of the brewing and distilling processes, the resulting flavor is distinctive and can impart some truly unique qualities to breads, pastries, and other baked goods.
Reusing spent grain is not entirely new, especially in craft beer. Brewers continue to use the stuff as animal feed. But oftentimes the supply of the byproduct is greater than the need. Netzro pounced on this knowledge, looking for a way to close the loop in a way that would make the leftovers not just animal friendly, but palate-pleasing and ever-useful to people. The company is billing the stuff as upcycled spent grain and blending it with organic wheat. And it’s healthy stuff, with a relatively low carb count.
In beer, some producers will do a second run with their spent wort, creating a second, lighter ale often called a small beer. Anchor in San Francisco is one such outfit, reviving a method that dates back to the formative days of beer-making. Breweries with a lot of resident animals, like Blackberry Farm in Tennessee, rarely end up with excess byproducts as there are so many mouths to feed on the estate.

Read more