Summer 2019 was a very different place. Holidays, weddings, BBQs with more than 6 people; it was the actual dream without us even knowing it. Fast forward a year and, well, Covid-19.

Other than the direct impacts and devastation of the global pandemic, this virus has turned the world upside, including our social lives, but we can still have fun, right?

Across the pond and back in the summer of 2019 with its abundance of unknown joys, there was White Claw. A little known name here (for now), but to Americans, especially millennial Americans, those two words will resonate.

Launching in the UK this week, White Claw is a canned alcoholic drink – America’s version to gin in a tin, if you will – but its cultural place has become a phenomenon and social media sensation. Confused? Here’s everything you need to know about White Claw and why we’re intrigued by its UK launch…

What is it?

Totally new to the UK market and a rival to our beloved gins in tins and pina colada in cans, White Claw Hard Seltzer is made with sparkling water, triple distilled spirit and a hint of natural fruit flavour. It’s meant to be instantly refreshing but it still contains 4.5% ABV, so it’s certainly no Adam’s ale.

It is a healthier choice when sipped responsibly, however, with no artificial sweetners or a tonne of refined sugar.

What’s all the fuss about?

Well, we’re not entirely sure either. Granted, it is refreshing, pleasant enough and we’re always welcoming another tinned booze to bring to the BBQ, but when it launched in the US last year it spawned a “White Claw Summer” phenomenon. The under 30s were seen drinking it everywhere and Instagramming it too, naturally. People were making memes and celebrities were advertising it – even talk show queen Ellen Degeneres formed a #sponsored deal with them, which goes to show the kind of marketing budget they had. It became so big that people were drinking it just to be drinking it. Whether it is that good became kind of irrelevant.

With over 160,000 #whiteclaw hashtags bounding around Instagram of people “living their best lives”, White Claw in hand, it went viral, started to outsell Budweiser and saw the brand and others similar shift 80 million cases in 2019 alone. Pretty impressive for a drink that’s essentially Alka Seltzer, booze and fruit juice.

Will it make the same impact in the UK?

Who knows? What with lockdown still (kind of) in place, summer doesn’t have the same vibe in 2020 – ‘gramming it in your garden with your mum and dad might have less of an appeal than ‘gramming it with a dozen other hot 20-somethings on the beach. Branding and budget definitely had a lot to do with the drink’s success, even though the branding isn’t that cool – it looks like a mix between Echo Falls and Billabong – but the US market bought it, and we will too if the right people wax lyrical about it.

Who drinks it?

“Bros” and millennials that make frozé from a bottle of Whispering Angel. Anyone who uses the hashtag #hotgirlsummer – whatever that means.

"Ain't no laws when you're drinking claws, baby."

OK, what does it actually taste like?

The cans will come in three flavours; Raspberry, Lime and Black Cherry. It has a slightly bitter taste so it isn’t sickly sweet and full of rubbish, plus it’s gluten-free and comes in at just 95 calories per can, which is sure to excite many millennials.

Where can you find it?

It will be availale to buy nationwide in Tesco, Sainsburys & Morrisons from 1st June 2020.


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