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Hard seltzer brand White Claw surpasses nearly all craft beer brands in sales

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A new report says hard seltzer is a summer staple. Data show 'White Claw,’ a hard seltzer alcoholic beverage brand, is in the top 25-brands among malt beverages and beers. Sales have surpassed all craft beer brands, except for Blue Moon Belgian White.

Craft breweries like Milwaukee Brewing Company's Ale House say their beer continues to be the top selling beverage for them, but they have seen a high spike in White Claw sales.

"People come here as a destination specifically for our beer, so that's why it’s our top seller. But I can definitely see like in other bars where you don't have as much of a variety, or people specifically aren't there for beer, leaning toward that lighter option," said TJ Ralston, Restaurant Manager of Milwaukee Ale House.

It's a different story for liquor stores. Managers at Riverbend Liquor in West Allis say they sell four 12-packs of hard seltzer for every 12-pack of craft beer sold.  Customers say they love hard seltzer for health conscious reasons.

"Everyone's trying to get healthy, everyone's trying to hit the gym you know and lose weight, and this is your thing right here. If you're going to drink, drink this," said Rob Strand of Milwaukee.

White Claw claims to have 100 calories, two grams of carbs and minimal sugar in every can.

"I like how there's a lot of varieties in the flavors. I just like how light it is, I like that it's not too sweet compared to other cocktails," said Angela Sadler of Wauwatosa.

Nielsen studies show hard seltzers have had a 193-percent sales growth compared to a year ago, and the assorted flavor packs account for a majority of sales.

Some are shocked to find out White Claw sales surpassed craft beer.

"I'm surprised by it because to be honest I don't love the taste of it. I tolerate the taste of it, I prefer craft beer though," said Lindsey Kresge of Wauwatosa.

"I wouldn't consider it competition for us, but for craft beer in general it's definitely getting there. I see it taking over as a big trend, I mean just even in liquor stores you see it become more prominent," adds Ralston.

Ralston says when a new beverage trend comes in they typically see a rise in sales, but after time passes those product sales usually level out.


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