We compared leading hard seltzer brands White Claw and Truly — and the winner was clear

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White Claw is selling out in some parts of the country. But how does one of its biggest competitors stack up? Bethany Biron/Business Insider

There may be a temporary White Claw shortage, but that doesn’t mean we can’t compare the top-selling hard seltzer brand with one of its main competitors: Truly.

Even as the days grow shorter and the air turns brisker, demand for the unofficial drink of the summer is showing no signs of stopping. While White Claw is “working around the clock to increase supply given the rapid growth” – according to Sanjiv Gajiwala, senior vice president of marketing at White Claw, speaking to Business Insider last week – we figured we’d see if it’s worth the wait.

Looking strictly at ingredients, White Claw and Truly are nearly identical. Both are brewed using a mix of seltzer water, a gluten-free alcohol base, and a touch of flavour. A can of each sets you back just 100 calories and contains 5% alcohol by volume. The only difference comes down to carbs – while White Claw has 2 grams, Truly has just 1.

Read more: White Claw says it’s ‘working around the clock’ to increase production of the wildly popular hard seltzer amid complains of shortages across the US

What Truly lacks in carbs it makes up for in flavours. The brand boasts 13 total flavours across variety packs of tropical, citrus, and berry, as well as a rosé-flavored water. Meanwhile, White Claw keeps it simple with five core, fruit-based flavours and its limited-edition flavourless offering called “Pure.”

A group of fellow Business Insider colleagues and I recently sampled select flavours from both brands and found that when it comes to hard seltzer, there’s a reason White Claw is flying off shelves. Despite its structural similarities with Truly, White Claw just tasted better all around. The group unanimously came to the conclusion that Claw is indeed the law.

Read more of our thoughts on both, and why we thought White Claw came out on top, below.


For the sake of our test, we sampled the classic White Claw variety pack and Truly’s Tropical Mix and Citrus Mix (not pictured).

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The White Claw flavours we sampled included natural lime, raspberry, ruby grapefruit, and black cherry.

The Truly flavours we sampled included orange, lime, grapefruit, lemon, pineapple, mango, passion fruit, and pomegranate.


On our taste test form, White Claw received a 100% 5 rating on a 1-5 scale of “terrible to awesome.”

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It ws clearly a fan favourite.


The group loved it. “Much better than I expected!” one colleague wrote. “Crushable, chuggable, just perfect to drink and not overthink.”

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Though we were split on our favourite flavours, the general consensus was that we really enjoyed them all.

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“Better than actual seltzer, love the real fruit taste,” a colleague wrote.


Overall, we felt fairly “meh” about Truly. Two tasters even gave it a 1 rating on the tasting form.

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“It tastes good at first, but then it has a weird, sour aftertaste,” one colleague wrote. “I don’t like Truly,” said another.

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On the whole, we simply weren’t as excited about Truly as we were about White Claw.

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“It’s fine,” wrote one taster. “Good, kind of unremarkable,” said another.


Of the eight Truly flavours we tried, lime was the only one the group liked.

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Truly’s lime flavour not pictured. Bethany Biron/Business Insider

“I had the lime Truly and I really liked drinking it, but the after taste was in my mouth a little too long,” one taster wrote.


In the end, White Claw proved victorious.

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Here’s to hoping it’s back in stores soon.