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The Hard Seltzer Bubble Might be Fizzing Out

Is the sun going down on the ‘White Claw Summer’ for the last time?

Stephen Moore
Published in
7 min readAug 4, 2021


Photo: White Claw

“There ain’t no laws when you’re drinking claws.”

The now-famous line from the viral video by comedian Trevor Wallace, titled ‘drinks White Claw once’, marked a turning point for the fate of the hard seltzer — and the White Claw brand — catapulting the drink to fame.

White Claw debuted in 2016, and by 2018, the drink was beginning to make a little headway, bringing in sales of ~$150 million over 2018. But everything changed in 2019. In what became known as the “White Claw Summer” — a nod to Megan Thee Stallion’s “Hot Girl Summer — the drink became a smash hit, bringing in over $327 million in July alone, a huge increase of 283% from the prior year. Demand was so high that the White Claw Summer was often in danger of ending prematurely due to stock shortages. Speaking to CNN Business, Sanjiv Gajiwala, White Claw’s senior vice president of marketing, admitted, “White Claw has accelerated faster than anyone could have predicted.”

The drink was everywhere, and as competitors rushed to join in, the market quickly ballooned. In 2015, the hard seltzer market was a $3 million business. In 2018 it had jumped to over $550 million. By the end of…