In Bars & Clubs

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White Claw Hard Seltzer craze creates pining consumers

Mark Nord, the owner of Downer Avenue Wine & Spirits, 2638 N. Downer Ave., says he does not have a single case of White Claw Hard Seltzer on his shelves and his distributor has no idea when he will be able to supply it.

"People come in all the time asking for it, especially on warmer days," says Nord.

Mark Anthony Brands – owner of the Mike's Hard line of malt beverages – launched White Claw Hard Seltzer last summer. Although popular since its release, the sleek-canned beverage gained momentum over the course of a year and is in high demand this season.

The seltzer comes in black cherry, lime and grapefruit flavors and has 110 calories per 12-ounce can. Although it is similar in calorie count to a light beer, White Claw's alcohol by volume (ABV) is 5 percent – slightly higher than most light beers, which are about 4.2 percent ABV.

"The hard seltzer segment has been the shining star of the beer industry this year and we have had tremendous success with White Claw," says John O'Boyle, general manager of Mike's Hard Lemonade Co.'s Midwest Division.

O'Boyle says White Claw – which is named for "white claw waves" that travel in threes across the ocean – is currently the top-selling hard seltzer in the nation and is in high demand nationwide. Other hard seltzer brands like Smirnoff Spiked Sparkling Seltzer and Henry's Hard Sparkling Seltzer are also selling well, but not at the same level as White Claw.

With consumer trends moving from soda to seltzer in the soft drink sector, it's no surprise that hard seltzer is so hot. Hence, keeping it stocked has been a challenge.

"As a result of the overwhelmingly positive response to the brand, we have surpassed what we had forecast to produce and shipped this fiscal year in just five months," says O'Boyle. "We have made critical production optimizations so that we hope to be back to full capacity production by mid-September."

Check out this While Claw product locator, but – obviously – call ahead to make sure it's in stock.


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