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What Alcohol Is In White Claw? Answered (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on September 30, 2022 by Lydia Martin

You’ve probably had a White Claw or other hard seltzers before, considering the boom of hard seltzer sales over recent years.

But have you ever wondered what kind of alcohol is in hard seltzers? Fortunately, we’ve done our due research to put that question to rest once and for all. 

So, what alcohol is in White Claw? Here’s everything you need to know about this refreshing summer drink. 

What Kind of Alcohol Is In White Claw? 

white claw in can and a glass of alcohol

According to White Claw hard seltzer’s official website, this beverage is made from a blend of seltzer water, gluten-free alcohol base, and a hint of fruit flavor. 

Furthermore, the ingredients list on a can of White Claw hard seltzer will tell you that it contains purified carbonated water, alcohol, and natural flavors. 

The term “alcohol” doesn’t fully answer the question, as many drinks could be considered alcohol — tequila, gin, and whiskey, among others. 

Is White Claw Beer or Hard Seltzer? 

White Claw is a hard seltzer, not a beer. 

According to the brand representative, White Claw hard seltzer can be considered a flavored malt beverage. The alcohol specifically found in each can is made from (malted) gluten-free grains (so really, hard seltzers are just fancy vodka soda). [1]  

That said, you wouldn’t be completely wrong to assume that White Claw is a type of beer since this beverage is made from malted barley, a type of grain. 

However, it’s not as simple as that. According to the German Purity Law of 1516, beer can only be classified as beer if made with these four ingredients: malt, water, hops, and yeast. [2

We can assume that this alcoholic beverage has three of the four ingredients down pat.

However, their website’s FAQs specifically state that their hard seltzers do not contain hops, so White Claw cannot be classified as beer. 

Compared To Other Alcoholic Beverages 

different brands of hard seltzer

Beer

Like beer, White Claw is made from fermented sugars from malted grains. However, this hard seltzer brand cannot be considered beer because it doesn’t contain hops. 

If you’re counting calories, White Claw is also the way to go — a standard can has less than 100 calories versus some beers that can go up to an average of 150 calories per can. 

As to how much alcohol both alcoholic beverages have, a can of White Claw has five percent ABV, which is more or less similar to light beer. 

Wine

pouring wine on a glass

White Claw and wine don’t have much in common besides being a go-to beverage for casual drinkers.

Personally, we prefer drinking a glass of wine over White Claw, as there is something about handcrafted wine that feels personal and intimate. 

Wine also has a higher ABV at an average of 12 to 15 percent per glass, versus White Claw’s five percent, making it the more indulgent drink. 

What’s White Claw Made Of? 

According to the packaging, White Claw hard seltzer is made of purified carbonated water, alcohol, natural flavorings, cane sugar, citric acid, natural juice concentrate, and sodium citrate. 

The “alcohol” ingredient refers to the fermented sugar derived from (malted) gluten-free grains. 

How It’s Made 

White Claw hard seltzer goes through a very specific round of fermentation. The brand’s proprietary brewing process uses fermented sugar and a special yeast strain that they took over a year to develop. 

Once the fermentation of the sugars starts and the alcohol develops, they add the carbonating agent to give White Claw its signature fizz. 

Its Alcohol Content 

pouring beer on a glass

White Claw hard seltzer has an ABV of five percent, which is more or less similar to a standard can of beer. You’ll probably get drunk after consuming the same amount of White Claw that you would beer. 

Will Getting Drunk With White Claw Give You A Hangover? 

Yes, you can still get a hangover with White Claw. This spiked seltzer drink is fruity and fizzy, so it can be pretty easy to lose track of how much you’re drinking. 

The best way to combat hangovers when consuming this low-alcohol drink is to pace yourself, so you don’t drink too much alcohol.

It’s also a great idea to eat food while drinking, as the food will cushion the alcohol you’re consuming so it doesn’t enter your system faster. 

Read: What Alcohol Type is in Mike’s Hard Lemonade?

How Many Cans Will Get You Drunk? 

White Claw hard seltzer has five percent ABV, which is more or less similar to a standard can of beer. An average-sized man will need to consume four to five cans of beer to get inebriated, and an average-sized woman around two to four beers. 

Of course, plenty of factors come into play regarding the effects of drinking alcohol, such as body weight, sleep, and food consumption. 

Is White Claw Hard Seltzer Good For You? 

Most alcoholic drinks are not good for you, White Claw hard seltzer included. However, it can be construed as a healthier alcoholic drink than wine or beer because it has very low calories. 

On average, a can of beer has around 150 calories, while a glass of wine (the standard serving size) has around 120. 

Is White Claw Healthier Than Beer? 

beer mug

White Claw hard seltzer can be considered healthier than beer because it doesn’t have as many carbs and calories. If you’re watching your carb and calorie consumption, it may be better to go with hard seltzers instead of a can of beer. 

FAQs 

How many White Claws equal a shot?

A can of White Claw is equal to a shot of any alcohol with 40 percent ABV. Most standard hard liquors, like gin, tequila, and bourbon, are bottled at 40 percent ABV. 

Are White Claw hangovers worse than liquors’?

Contrary to what you might know, White Claw hangovers aren’t worse than hangovers caused by liquors. Hangovers caused by overconsumption of hard seltzers have milder symptoms. 

White Claw doesn’t contain congeners, the component within an alcoholic drink that worsens hangovers. Spirits aged inside oak barrels, like wine, whiskey, cognac, and brandy, have higher levels of congeners. 

In Summary

The alcohol content in a can of White Claw hard seltzer can be attributed to the fermented sugars derived from malted grains. 

It’s the type of stuff that beer is typically made from, but since White Claw doesn’t contain hops, it cannot technically be considered beer.

This spiked seltzer has an ABV of five percent, which is more or less similar to a standard can of beer or glass of wine. 

We can assume that other hard seltzer brands, like Truly hard seltzer, more or less have similar ingredients. 

References: 

  1. https://www.vox.com/the-goods/2019/8/20/20812814/white-claw-truly-hard-seltzer-explained 
  2. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/04/29/475138367/germanys-beer-purity-law-is-500-years-old-is-it-past-its-sell-by-date 

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