The Best Hard Seltzers for Summer...That Aren't White Claw
I get it—you love White Claw and I'm not here to convince you to stop picking up Black Cherry six-packs. We've got plenty right here. (Seriously, I just finished the invoice. We've got PLENTY.) That said, White Claw is kind of the Budweiser of hard seltzers. It's a perfectly fine product that works for people who know what they like and don't want to wiggle outside of their adult beverage comfort zone. Then there are the adventurers, the "that's weird, I wanna drink it," member of the friend group, the flavor danger zone enthusiasts. I fall somewhere in between the two groups—let's face it, most of us do—but I love hard seltzer and so have taken it upon myself to try every hard seltzer sold here at King of Prussia Beer Outlet. Without further ado, I bring to you in-depth reviews of the best three hard seltzers of this summer.
Two Robbers Hard Seltzer
I've said before on the blog that I don't have the fanciest palate (that would be Desmond, the mouthfeel critic and aged Saison fan), but even I can appreciate the subtle flavors offered by Two Robber's Hard Seltzer. This Philly-based craft seltzer company knows how to meld refreshing flavor combos for grown-ups. There's no saccharine, Starburst nonsense to be found in Two Robbers four distinct offerings: Orange and Mango, Pineapple with Ginger, Watermelon and Cucumber, and Peach Berry.
These flavors don't lie. Crack open a Pineapple with Ginger (the blue can) and you get the sharp complexity of ginger on the back end of each sip tempered by the sweetness of real, raw pineapple. Orange and Mango delivers the tang of citrus melded with the juiciness of ripe mango while Watermelon and Cucumber, the mildest flavor IMHO, is all brightness and balance: sip with your eyes closed and you'll see green against your lids; enjoy with eyes open and a lush pop of watermelon pulls flavor focus.
Two Robbers (Pineapple with Ginger, in fact) was the first hard seltzer I ever tried and it's the one to beat as far as I'm concerned. In terms of flavor and carbonation, it's the closest to the real, alcohol-free deal: crisp and clean with zero aftertaste. Also: zero sugar and zero sweetener which means you can throw back quite a few without crashing and, at 5.2% across all four flavors, you'll get a nice buzz while doing so.
Conclusion: Bar one, the most seltzer-y and refined of this summer's hard seltzers.
Willie's is big on real ingredients. Each label shows the percentage of fruit juice in the can which starts at 5% (which is better than a lot of fancy, "health and wellness" drinks, TBH) and goes all the way up to 13% with an average of about 8% each. For a fizzy, delicious adult beverage, that's a lot of natural goodness.
I think that the lack of intense carbonation is made up for by the fact that you basically get to drink your favorite fruit juice—the pineapple and lime flavor made me crave actual pineapple so badly I almost cut up the unripe one sitting on my counter—plus alcohol, but if you prefer your hard seltzer to be more bubble than flavor, Willie's might not be for you.
Conclusion: The least bubbly, but the most deliciously fruity and good for you, if hard seltzer can be considered such a thing.
Lavente Brewing Company: ReVibe Hard Seltzer
I wrote about ReVibe in another recent blog post about tropical beers available at the King of Prussia Beer Outlet and my previous statements all still stand. This is another stand out hard seltzer that doesn't overdo it on the artificial flavor. I do, however, want to elaborate on what a not-too-bubbly hard seltzer tastes like because I don't want any readers coming away thinking ReVibe tastes flat. It does not! (If you want flat alcoholic water, we've got that. Seriously. It's called PURA and we've got like a case of it left.) It's just not so bubbly that you're compelled to belch between every sip and doesn't give you that stretched belly full feeling after a couple of cans.
While the flavor combinations that we have available here at the King of Prussia Beer Outlet are a bit less adventurous that some other brands, both Orange-Pomegranate and Peach-Passionfruit strike a nice balance of fruit (courtesy of natural ingredients) rather than the made-in-a-lab-idea-of-fruit-flavor the bigger seltzer companies churn out. You can taste the primary flavors: stone fruit and citrus right up front while the secondary flavors offer a layer of depth and tartness on the back end.
Conclusion: The best choice for someone looking to crush a few refreshing cans on a hot day.
Author: Amber Rambharose works at the King of Prussia Beer Outlet. When she's not blogging about beer, she's writing about beauty products. Sometimes, she does both at the same time.