Hard seltzer, spiked seltzer or hard sparkling alcohol water is a type of highball drink containing carbonated water, alcohol, and often fruit flavoring. In the US the alcohol is usually made by fermenting cane sugar; sometimes malted barley is used. Hard seltzer products outside of the US have been found to use either neutral spirit, or fermentation of fruit. The alcohol by volume is around 5% and the calorie-content is relatively low.
5th generation brewer Nick Shields invented the beverage style with Spiked Seltzer, in Westport, Connecticut, and brewed the first commercial batches in November, 2013.  The category saw a spike in popularity around 2018–2019 in the U.S. As of 2019, in the U.S. the most popular brand is White Claw. Hard seltzer is expected to generate $2.5 billion in sales in the US by 2021. Analysts attribute the success of White Claw and the appeal of hard seltzer in general to increased demand from health-conscious consumers. The rise of hard seltzers in the beer category may also be seen as a reflection of the broader surge in popularity of non-alcoholic flavored seltzers evidenced by the sudden and massive popularity of brands like LaCroix and Spindrift. On the back of this popularity, hard seltzer brands have launched in numerous countries outside of the U.S., including in Canada, Australia and the UK. In February 2020, White Claw launched in Canada and has a registered trademark in the UK.
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