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Pour out the White Claw—here are 7 Austin hard seltzers, tasted and rated by the Austonia team
(Austonia)

Seven of Austin's own "White Claws," hometown hard seltzers.

Journalism can be a tough business, and sometimes you get an unappealing assignment that you just have to power through.

That's not this one. This time, the Austonia team assembled under perfect conditions—a 102-degree Austin afternoon, poolside, under shade—for a label-on tasting of seven authentic Austin hard seltzers.


Methodology

The tasters were the usual suspects from the top of Austonia's site, plus beverage industry veteran and guest taster, Austinite Federico Martinez. The age range was 21 to embarrassed-to-admit, evenly divided between women and men.

Prior to commencing the tasting, we cleared our palates with Topo Chico and sipped some White Claw Mango to create a reference flavor.

Results

You can't go wrong with any of these hometown heroes. They're all built to be consumed in multiples, with varying flavors and sweetness, but with a thirst-quenching flavor profile in common.

As these beverages are all Austin-based, we wanted every single one to get a trophy. And they did. But we are calling out our most and least favorites, in the interest of journalistic integrity.

From first to last place, here are our ratings:

Ranch Rider Spirits Co., Ranch Water

6% alcohol, 119 calories, 1.5g carbs, gluten free, tequila

Our winner! All five amateur tasters ranked it #1, and our professional taster ranked it #2, after Mighty Swell. This cocktail-in-a-can consists of reposado tequila, sparking water and lime juice.

Created by two University of Texas MBA students who started a food truck before figuring out the real money is in booze.

Tasting notes: "tequila aroma," "very natural flavor," "subtle," "like a light (not sweet) margarita," "solid drink", "like being buried in warm sand," "for a tequila lover on a hot day"

Mighty Swell Spiked Spritzer, Grapefruit

5% alcohol, 110 calories, 4g carbs, gluten free, alcohol from sugar

An expertly-branded big money favorite, from the founder of Sweet Leaf tea (sale price undisclosed) and Deep Eddy Vodka (est. sale price $150M - $300M), along with other industry veterans.

This is the only one of the seven that's packaged in the tall, slim can used by White Claw.

Tasting notes: "great aromatics," "real grapefruit flavor," "aftertaste!," "no after flavor," "not overly sweet," "sugary," "natural and fresh"

Canteen Spirits Vodka Soda, Watermelon

5% alcohol, 99 calories, 0g carbs, gluten free, vodka

Another ringer. This vodka soda is from founders of Deep Eddy Vodka, Treaty Oak Whiskey and Waterloo Sparkling Water. Seed investors include a mix of Texas and Tennessee music celebs, and professional investors include Dan Graham's (BuildASign, $280M sale to Vistaprint parent) Springdale Ventures.

Tasting notes: "refreshing," "not real flavor," "super fizzy," "Jolly Rancher flavor," "soft flavor," "smooth and light," "could knock some back on a hot day"

Blue Norther Hard Seltzer, Wild Blackberry

5% alcohol, 110 calories, 5g carbs, gluten free, alcohol from sugar

The product of a father-son team, both named ... you know where this is going ... Austin.

Tasting notes: "uncommon flavor," "real juice," "too sweet," "almost syrupy," "I can feel my future hangover"

Austin Eastciders Spiked Seltzer, Black Cherry

4.2% alcohol, 100 calories, 5g carbs, gluten free, hard apple cider

Punny name. From English transplant Ed Gibson, who came from "cider country" to East Austin. Visit him on Barton Springs Road, in the old Uncle Billy's.

Tasting notes: "tart, nice flavor," "mix with cough syrup," "good flavor," "sparkly," "smells like a popsicle"

Austin Seltzer, Hard Black Raspberry

4% alcohol, 85 calories, alcohol from organic cane sugar

​Little information is known about this new brand, but it should be noted that each pack comes with an assortment of flavors, so each taster tried a different flavor.

Tasting notes: "watery," "almost like water," "candy aftertaste," "ghost flavor," "light", "not fully formed," "I could drink it all day"

Shotgun Spiked Seltzer, Ranch Water

6.9% alcohol, 164 calories, 3g carbs, gluten free, alcohol from cane sugar and agave

Sorry, but there has to be a loser, and this was it. Five of six tasters rated it last.

From a wife and husband team working from their space in Cuernavaca. Their major investor is a Texas hero—the founder of Big Ass Fans, which sold for $500 million in 2017. Time to put a couple mil back into product development.

Tasting notes: "not fresh," "musty," "aftertaste," "rough," "chemical-ly," "sour"

Popular

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway