Where to drink now
Where to drink in Austin now: 5 boozy local spritzers to order instead of White Claw
Like the record-breaking Billboard reign of Lil Nas X’s "Old Town Road," White Claw Summer has to end sometime. It doesn’t help that there’s a nationwide shortage, made even more acute by an Austin frat reportedly gobbling up $7,500 worth of the cult beverage at a local H-E-B.
Still, locals need not sneak into a college rager to get their hard seltzer fix when they opt for these homegrown alternatives instead.
The newest addition to Austin’s hard seltzer crew, this new brand was just launched September 10 by Future Proof, formerly known as the Shark Tank-approved BeatBox Beverages. The brand hopes to take a notch out of both the hard seltzer and canned cocktail markets with low-proof flavors like Watermelon Mule, Strawberry Rose, and Mixed Berry Mojito. There isn't a full list of where to find the new drinks, but a release confirms H-E-B and Circle K are already in line to carry it.
This sipper from beverage guru Clayton Christopher (Sweet Leaf Tea, Deep Eddy Vodka) markets itself as a “spiked spritzer,” but it still has the easy drinkability as Claw. With a lineup that includes watermelon mint and cherry lime, the brand promises an eternal summer. But add a little Bourbon to the peach flavor, and it’ll snuggle right up to fall. Best of all, it’s widely available all over town at grocery stores, neighborhood markets, and Austin icons like the Hoffbrau, Esther’s Follies, and Ego’s.
Oskar Blues Brewing may have been born in Colorado, but it made a huge investment in the Capital City when it opened a snazzy third facility on Metric Boulevard in 2016. Wild Basin — the company’s first foray into hard seltzer — doesn’t appear to be on the taproom’s current list, but locals can snag cans at several convenience stores and larger retailers like Central Market and Royal Blue Grocery. Use the classic lime instead of Topo Chico for a kickier version of Ranch Water.
St. Elmo Brewing Co.
Turns out beer isn’t the only thing folks can enjoy in a beer garden. In August, this acclaimed South Austin brewery introduced Ripple, an alternative for customers who don’t go gaga for hops. It’s first two seasonal flavors — Citrus (lemon/lime) and Tropical (mango/guava/passionfruit) — are as breezy as the Grateful Dead standard they were named after, and a flavorful foil to the Soursop food truck’s spicy fare.
This Austin distillery's trio of canned cocktails hovers at around 12 percent ABV, a big bump over Claw’s more modest 5 percent. But whereas White Claw is often used as a mixer (it's not meant to be), these vodka-based refreshers are already pre-mixed. The Vimosa is perfect for a particularly gossipy brunch, and the Cucumber Sipper is far more fun than the usual spa water. Get ‘em at liquor stores of the restaurant and brewhouse on Barton Springs Road.