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What Alcohol Is In Hard Seltzer? Answered (2023)

Last Updated on December 28, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Due to the increasing popularity of hard seltzer, more and more brands are being introduced to the market.

If you’re also a fan of this drink, have you ever thought about what alcohol is in hard seltzer cans? What type of alcohol gives some kick to this beverage?   

Read on to learn what we have discovered. 

About The Alcohol Found In Hard Seltzers 

hard seltzer on a glasses

The type of alcohol found in hard seltzers varies depending on the brand. But in general, the alcohol content in seltzers is formulated from clean-tasting spirits.

Some brands use malted barley, fermented with cereal grains, to create alcohol, while others use fermented sugar cane, which forms alcohol by fermenting sugar.

The alcohol quality used in hard seltzers also varies by brand. 

Popular Hard Seltzer Brands & The Alcohol They Use 

Truly

Truly Hard Seltzer Pineapple in can

Seltzers such as “Truly” contain alcohol by volume of around 4-8%. The alcohol found in Truly gives its bite and lets you relax. 

It is produced through fermentation, which occurs when yeast breaks down the sugars in food and beverages.

The alcohol used in every can of Truly is crafted from ethanol– derived from cane sugar.

This colorless and clear type of ethanol is usually found in spirits, wine, and beer.

White Claw

The alcohol found in White Claw, one of the best-selling hard seltzers, is made from fermented sugar obtained from malted-free gluten grains. 

“Ain’t no laws when you’re drinking Claws.”

— Trevor Wallace, Writer, American Actor/Comedian

It has an alcohol content of 5% ABV with 100 calories and 2 grams of carbs per can (355ml). White Claw hard seltzer contains natural flavors and purified water.

Bud Light Seltzer 

Bud Light Seltzer Peach in a cooler full of ice

At 5% ABV, natural flavors, sparkling water, and fermented cane sugar make up the Bud Light Seltzer. So, it’s a misconception to think it contains beer.

Every Bud Light Seltzer can is brewed at the Budweiser Plant (Anheuser-Busch). It undergoes five phases of filtration before mixing the natural flavors and fruity bite. 

Main Ingredients Of Hard Seltzers 

Just like alcohol, the ingredients may differ from brand to brand. But some of the popular ingredients of hard seltzers may include the following:

  • Sodium citrate or citric acid – this is a common additive in drinks that serves as a preservative 
  • Natural flavors
  • Natural juice concentrate – every brand uses its preferred juice type, but the most popular are raspberry and lemon
  • Agave syrup or cane sugar 
  • Sparkling water or purified carbonated water 

Professional Tip: When buying hard seltzer, always check the label to ensure it doesn’t contain added sugars or chemical additives. 

You can also check the ingredients by going to the manufacturer’s website and looking for details about its production process. 

How Much Alcohol Does It Usually Have?

Bud Light Seltzer pouring on a glass

Most hard seltzers contain around 4% to 6% ABV, though some brands have higher alcohol content. Still, the actual alcohol content can vary by brand.

For comparison reference, here’s a short glimpse of the alcohol content [1], in general, in some popular drinks: 

  • wine (5oz) – 12 % ABV
  • beer (12oz) – 5% ABV
  • one shot of hard liquor (1.5oz) – 40% ABV
  • hard seltzers – 4-6% ABV

Can It Get You Drunk? 

Hard seltzers can get you drunk if you consume three to four cans in an hour. If you drink just one can, 5% ABV isn’t enough to get you drunk. 

Alcohol tolerance may vary depending on body mass, gender, and lifestyle. But a can of hard seltzer won’t make your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) [2] rise.  

If you want to get drunk, drink four cans or more.  

Does Hard Seltzer Contain Vodka & Beer?

filling glass with beer

Hard seltzers don’t contain beer or vodka in its ingredient. But it’s crafted similarly to beer. 

It’s made through a process that involves adding sugar to carbonated water and then introducing yeast to convert the sugar into alcohol. 

Also, hard seltzers are often infused with artificial or natural flavors, and each brand has its own production method.

Some brands use barley or rice as their fermentable base.

FAQs

Is hard seltzer stronger than beer?

No, hard seltzer isn’t stronger than beer. Hard seltzer and beer generally contain the same alcohol volume (5% ABV on average). 

Besides having a lower calorie and sugar content, hard seltzers also tend to have lower alcohol content than most beers.

Is hard seltzer very strong alcohol?

No, the hard seltzer only contains 5% ABV, which is way lower than other alcoholic drinks like vodka, whiskey, rum, and other hard liquors. 

Final Say

The alcohol in hard seltzers is derived from fermented sugar cane or malted barley. It only has 4-6% ABV, comparable to beers, so they’re low in alcohol and calories. 

For first-time drinkers, try Truly, White Claw, and Bud Light hard seltzers, as these brands are the most popular today.

Don’t worry about getting drunk, as one can wouldn’t knock you down. 

References:

  1. https://www.abc.ca.gov/education/licensee-education/alcohol-facts/ 
  2. https://vaden.stanford.edu/super/learn/alcohol-drug-info/reduce-your-risk/what-blood-alcohol-concentration-bac#

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