Hard Seltzer Summer is over and what a project this has been. I’ve tried 50 different hard seltzers, which I thought 50 was a nice round number to shoot for one person to see what all the fuss was about and if these beverages were actually good.

As a craft beer drinker, I enjoyed most of the hard seltzers that I drank. In my Hard Seltzer Summer kick-off blog post, I compared the hard seltzer craze to the hard root beer one from 2015. After drinking, brewing, and reading up on hard seltzers, I think hard seltzers will last longer because of the healthy mindset that so many people have adopted. Drinking a handful of hard seltzers felt different than drinking a handful of beers regardless of style.

The common characteristics of hard seltzers are fruity, dry, and crisp. Refreshing also comes to mind but I think that may have been due to the season. I’m not sure I will call a hard seltzer “refreshing” in the dead of winter. I’m not sure I will even be drinking hard seltzers in the dead of winter either.

Here is a breakdown of all 50 of the hard seltzers I enjoyed this summer. They are ranked by flavor/style.

Cherry

I’m a huge fan of cherries, especially with them being one of Michigan’s most well-known crops.

  1. Corona Hard Seltzer – Cherry
  2. Bud Light Seltzer – Black Cherry
  3. Breakwater Seltzer – Black Cherry
  4. Atwater Brewery – Spiked Sparkling Water – Cherry
  5. MiddleCoast Brewing Co – TartSweet Cherry

Zesty Citrus (Grapefruit, Orange)

All of these had strong “citrus notes” throughout.

  1. Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen – Tangerine Orange
  2. MiddleCoast Brewing Co – Cranberry Grapefruit Seltzer
  3. Founders Brewing Co – Más Agave Premium Hard Seltzer – Grapefruit

Lemon

Bright, tart lemon notes

  1. Odd Side Ales – Pink Lemonade Hard Seltzer
  2. Eastern Market Brewing Company – Red Pomelo Lemondrop Glitz

Mango

One of the most straightforward hard seltzer flavors

  1. Odd Side Ales – Mango Hard Seltzer
  2. Corona Hard Seltzer – Mango
  3. Bud Light Seltzer – Mango
  4. Atwater Brewery – Spiked Sparkling Water – Mango
  5. Beaches Hard Seltzer – Tropical
  6. Clear Coast Fresh Hard Seltzer – Mango Guava

Peach

The similar straightforward approach to mango, but its own category.

  1. Eastern Market Brewing Company – Peach Tea Glitz
  2. Breakwater Seltzer – White Peach

Lime

The most popular hard seltzer flavor I found and drank this summer.

  1. Atwater Brewery – Spiked Sparkling Water – Lime
  2. MiddleCoast Brewing Co – Cucumber Lime Seltzer
  3. Corona Hard Seltzer – Blackberry Lime
  4. Founders Brewing Co – Más Agave Premium Hard Seltzer – Lime
  5. Breakwater Seltzer – Lemon Lime
  6. Bud Light Seltzer – Lemon Lime
  7. Corona Hard Seltzer – Tropical Lime
  8. Petoskey Brewing – Cucumber Lime
  9. Clear Coast Fresh Hard Seltzer – Watermelon Lime

Cocktail-Inspired

Hard seltzers based off of cocktails? Yep. It’s a growing trend.

  1. Great American Beverages – Breakfast Seltzer – Bellini
  2. Trail Point Brewing Company – 616 Piña Colada Seltzer
  3. Beaches Hard Seltzer – Margarita
  4. Beaches Hard Seltzer – Mojito
  5. Great American Beverages – Breakfast Seltzer – Mimosa
  6. Beaches Hard Seltzer – Piña Colada
  7. Beaches Hard Seltzer – Poloma Inspired

Berries

Berries and berries and berries! Oh my!

  1. Breakwater Hard Seltzer – Blackberry
  2. Witch’s Hat Brewing Company – Bumble Bee Water
  3. Bud Light Seltzer – Strawberry
  4. Odd Side Ales – Blue Raspberry
  5. Short’s Brewing Company – Soft Parade Seltzer
  6. Founders Brewing Co – Más Agave Premium Hard Seltzer – Strawberry
  7. Perrin’s Clear Coast Fresh Hard Seltzer – Mixed Berry
  8. Stiggs Brewery and Kitchen – Pomegranate Hard Seltzer

Speciation Artisan Ales

The hard seltzer line up from Speciation Artisan Ales was unique. I found it difficult to compare these to other hard seltzers in the market, so they get their own category.

  1. Orbital Ring – Peaches and Strata Hops
  2. Skyhook – Pineapple and Hibiscus
  3. Multiplanetary – Apricot and Cherry Juice
  4. Launch Loop – Cherry, Lemon Zest, Lime Zest, and Coriander

Coffee

While there is only one hard seltzer in this category, I think they’re on to something and worth a look. Perhaps coffee hard seltzers will be more popular in the fall/winter.

  1. Great American Beverages – Breakfast Seltzer – Coffee

Hard Seltzer Bases

These breweries created a base hard seltzer then added flavored syrup to them.

  1. Block Brewing Company – Block Water
  2. DeHops Brewing Company and Café – Black Talon
  3. Eternity Brewing – Hard Seltzer

Shout out to DeHops Brewing Company and Café, Eastern Market Brewing Company, Founders Brewing Co, Stiggs Brewery and Kitchen, and Witch’s Hat Brewing Company for providing me with complimentary samples of hard seltzers to try.

Stay tuned for my next seasonal project!

Cheers!

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