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The Battle of the Drinks: Hard seltzer vs. Beer

The Battle of the Drinks: Hard seltzer vs. Beer

Just the sound of cracking open a refreshing beverage after a long day at work can push any stressful thoughts aside for a while. But it’s the can’s content that's gonna make you happy… and may keep you healthy too. You choose!

We all have friends who are major beer lovers. Many of you are probably big fans of craft beer, too.

The US beer industry sold 203.1 million barrels of beer in 2019, while in Europe, there are 10154 registered breweries. 

I’m sure you’re not surprised at all with these figures. Beer is one of the oldest, most popular and widely consumed alcoholic drinks in the world. In fact, it comes third in popularity after water and tea.

But did you know that beer has a lot of gluten in it? If you’ve ever wondered why you got a bloated belly or a thick, heavy feeling after drinking beer - well, that’s the reason why!

More and more people today tend toward a healthier lifestyle and habits. They follow a healthier diet, do more physical activities and try to control their body weight.

The alcoholic drinks industry has already realised the changing needs of modern consumers. That’s why a new, low-calorie, low-ABV, yet refreshing and tasteful drink came down the pike to take the alcoholic beverage market by storm: Hard seltzers!

Is hard seltzer healthier than beer?

Let’s start with beer. 

This beloved alcoholic drink is made by brewing and fermenting cereal grains, yeast, hops, spices and additional CO2 for some extra fizz. A regular can of beer contains about five per cent of alcohol, but the figure can range from 0.5% to 67.5% depending on the type and brand.

Apart from some minerals and vitamins, beer doesn’t have any nutritional value.

On the contrary, it can spike blood sugar, stress the liver and pancreas and impede your weight loss efforts if consumed in excess.

And when it comes to the calorie count... beer is the king of carbs and calories! 

Dark beer has between 100-300 calories, a blonde one around 100 calories, while vintage sweet cider has more or less 580 calories.

And now let’s talk about hard seltzers and why they’re much healthier than beers.

Hard seltzers can be brewed similar to craft beers, but without any gluten ingredients or unfermented complex sugars used during the brewing process. Alternatively they can be made using distilled spirits and means hard seltzers have a rock-bottom calorie count!

For those of you who are on a keto or low-carb diet, but still want to have some alcohol on a Friday night, hard seltzer is the perfect drink for you! A regular can of hard seltzer has only two grams of carbs. 

Are you on a gluten-free diet? Most hard seltzers don’t contain gluten. If you have celiac disease though, make sure to ask your server or check the label on the drink, because not all brands are 100% gluten-free.

The exact count of calories and carbs for hard seltzers varies from brand to brand. Do your research and choose the brand that best suits your needs. 

For example, Served® Hard Seltzers contain 23 calories, zero grams of sugar, and zero grams of carbs per 100ml.

Is hard seltzer more hydrating than beer?

A hard seltzer can be as hydrating as water. And definitely more hydrating than beer.

Let’s break that down. The main ingredients of a hard seltzer are sparkling water and alcohol. 

Sparkling water hydrates our body as much as still water and helps increase our daily water intake. Healthline argues that its fizziness can further boost hydration levels, too.

When it comes to alcohol, most people believe that it tends to dehydrate our body because it increases urination. 

But, according to molecular biologist Patrick Schmitt, that’s not true. His research proved that alcohol consumption doesn’t lead to dehydration. Even though there’s increased fluid excretion after drinking alcoholic drinks, the “body doesn’t lose significant amounts of water.” Keep in mind, though, that this depends on the alcohol level of the drink, too.

So, we can safely say that mixing sparkling water with a dash of alcohol helps keep your fluid levels up.

But what about beer? Even if you enjoy drinking a cold beer - especially on a hot day - and feel instantly hydrated, the truth is that you’ll soon urinate more water than was contained in your drink. And this excess water comes from muscle cells or other stores within your body.


Hard Seltzer vs. Wine: Is hard seltzer healthier than wine?

It’s a matter of fact that canned hard seltzers have been striking out the wine industry over the last three years or so.

A standard, five-ounce glass of wine falls between 10-15% ABV, which is over twice the alcohol amount found in a standard hard seltzer. 

There are only a few wines with fewer ABV, such as moscatos; but many people find them very sweet and bubbly. The same goes for wine coolers which are also often considered too sweet and contain lots of sugar.

Apart from less alcohol, hard seltzers come with lower calories, carbs and sugar in comparison to wine. That’s why they’re healthier than a glass of wine.

Most alcoholic seltzers have 90 to 100 calories per 12-ounce can, while a standard glass of wine has a minimum of 120 per five-ounce. 

Wine contains anywhere from one to seven grams of sugar and an average of four grams of carbs. In contrast, the average hard seltzer might have up to two grams of sugar and an equal number of carbs. There are even hard seltzer brands like Served® that don’t contain neither sugars, nor carbs! 

For consumers who have an intolerance to sulfites (an ingredient found in wines to maintain their flavour and freshness), a can of hard seltzer is a great alternative!

The bottom line

Hard seltzers are available everywhere, from bars and restaurants to the shelves of the biggest supermarket chains.

They’ve taken the alcoholic beverage industry by storm because they’re much healthier, with less calories, sugars and carbs than any other alcoholic drink, including beer and wine.

They’re light, fresh, pure, fun and flavourful. Many even call them the powerhouse of the alcoholic beverage market!

If you want a UK-made hard seltzer that contains zero sugars and carbs, has no artificial ingredients in it and is totally gluten-free, ServedⓇ has the right drinks for you!

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What is hard seltzer? Discover the drink of the future

What is hard seltzer? Discover the drink of the future

It’s refreshing, light, fizzy, with the ‘right’ percentage of alcohol by volume. Plus, it’s low-calorie, low carb and comes in a variety of fruity flavours. It’s no wonder why there’s so much buzz about it!


Everyone loves a cold beer at the pub after work. But no one enjoys the feeling of a bloated belly that comes with drinking it. What causes that awful sensation anyway? Whenever we take a swig of beer, it releases carbon dioxide gas into our bodies, resulting in a bloated feeling. 

And it’s not just the beers! The majority of drinks and spirits that dominated the alcoholic beverage landscape for years are high in sugar and carbs. But today, consumers tend towards a healthier lifestyle that can keep their minds and bodies fresh and strong.

That’s the gap in the market that hard seltzer comes to fill!

It’s the novelty, ‘health-conscious’ alcoholic drink. Millennials love it and have already shown their preference for hard seltzer over craft beer.

What is hard seltzer made of?

Hard seltzers contain carbonated water, alcohol and fruit flavouring extracts. The most popular alcoholic bases used for hard seltzers are wine, malt and other light spirits. They don’t contain unfermented complex sugars or proteins, which translates into a rock-bottom calorie count. 

They’re also the perfect fit for those on a gluten restricted diet!

The exact ingredients and production methods differ from brand to brand. For example, Served infuses fresh wonky fruit into natural spring water and the ultra-pure, four-time distilled, ServedPure™ gluten-free spirit.

How popular is hard seltzer in the UK and US?

Hard seltzer’s history started in the US in 2013. Nick Shields, who was managing a small beer brand at that time, tried to make an alcoholic soda drink and sell it in a can. 

That was it! His attempt turned out to be a huge success.

Since then, many copycat spirits started popping up in the US beverage market. It came as no surprise that sales of hard seltzer drinks soared by 200% between 2018 and 2019.

Industry experts and retail trend professionals have agreed that hard seltzer is the fastest-growing alcoholic beverage category in the US.

US-based drinkers already had a long tradition of consuming seltzer spirits - the ones without alcohol. The alcohol, though, was the exciting addition that made seltzer’s popularity skyrocket. The fact that hard seltzer doesn’t have the calories or the sugary sweetness of soda is an added bonus.

The hard seltzer craze is now making its way to the UK, competing against popular gin and vodka options. The innovative drink category arrived in Great Britain just two years ago, in 2019. It’s exciting news that just in May 2020, Google searches for hard seltzer in the country increased by 67%.

IWSR has announced that the hard seltzer category will probably witness the highest growth rate within the UK’s ready-to-drink sector over the next five years.

You can find these innovative and refreshing drinks on the shelves of retailers, such as Tesco, Morrisons, Whole Foods, Sainsbury’s, Selfridges, Planet Organic etc.

If you’re interested in tasting the Served Hard Seltzer, click here and have your favourite flavour served straight to your doorstep - with free delivery on all UK orders!


How many calories are in hard seltzers?

Hard seltzers are spiked with alcohol. 

Note: If they don’t contain alcohol, they’re called just ‘seltzers’.

The alcohol by volume is similar to beer. It might vary between brands, but it usually ranges from 4% to 7%.

The calorie content, however, is what gives hard seltzers the competitive advantage over beers and wines. While a typical beer contains about 50-100 calories - or even more -, most alcoholic seltzers contain half this amount.

So, for consumers looking for a low-calorie, ‘healthier’ alcoholic beverage, hard seltzers are the right choice.

Served Hard Seltzers contain just 23 calories, zero grams of sugar, and zero grams of carbs per 100ml.

What are the best tasting hard seltzer flavours?

Well, that depends on each drinker’s taste. The good news is that there are so many hard seltzer flavours out there, which makes it difficult for consumers not to find their favourite one!

Here is a list of the most loved flavours in the UK:

  • Lime
  • Raspberry
  • Blackberry
  • Passion fruit
  • Pineapple
  • Mango
  • Coconut

There are also other not-so-popular, yet interesting fruity flavours to taste, such as:

  • Peach 
  • Orange
  • Citrus
  • Mandarin
  • Turmeric
  • Rose

Is hard seltzer gluten-free?

Are you on a gluten-free diet or living with Celiacs?

Then hard seltzer is the right alcoholic drink for you!

Many hard seltzer brands in the market are naturally gluten-free. These brands use cane sugar to create alcohol instead of gluten grains. However, no sugar is left in the drink after the crafting process.

It’s true though that not all hard seltzer brands use the same ingredients. Some of them use gluten-containing grains and then remove the gluten in a process called fermentation.

Even in this case, not all of the gluten can be removed. These products are not considered 100% gluten-free, so you should always check the beverage’s label for the detailed ingredients list.

What else do I need to know about hard seltzers?

There are many different names for hard seltzers. So don’t be surprised if you hear people referring to them with any of the below names:

  • Alcoholic sparkling water (most common in the UK)
  • Alcoholic soda
  • Hard soda
  • Alcoholic soda pop
  • Hard sparkling alcohol soda
  • Hard sparkling water
  • Spiked Seltzer (typical in the US)

No matter the name, these innovative, refreshing, easy-to-drink beverages are a great alternative to beer and wines.

Important note: Drinkers must be aware of the risks of binge drinking. Like with any other alcoholic drinks, hard seltzers can also cause intoxication if consumed beyond normal levels.

Here are other interesting facts to know about hard seltzers (plus, a bonus info about plain seltzer):

  • They come in a convenient can, just like beers.
  • Major beer brands have started including hard seltzers on their product lists.
  • Barry Joseph has written a book chronicling the history of seltzer, the “Seltzertopia.”
  • Hard seltzers are particularly popular in the social media sphere. In fact, there are many memes about them!
  • It’s a gender-neutral drink - meaning that it doesn’t target any particular sex.
  • It fits perfectly within a holistic, healthful lifestyle.

Served Hard Seltzers

Served Hard Seltzer is a UK-made beverage. It contains 23 calories, zero grams of sugar and zero grams of carbs per 100ml.

All of the ingredients we use in our products are naturally gluten-free and vegan, made purely from plants. 

Our mission is to create a convenient and refreshing lower-ABV beverage, designed for the modern, health-conscious consumer. 

Check out our full product list and order your favourite hard seltzer flavour, delivered straight to your door!

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Go Dry-Ish this January with SERVED

Go Dry-Ish this January with SERVED

After the year we have endured, 2021 is not the year for slogging your way through Dry January or pressurising yourself into a January detox, instead, 2021 is the year for balance or Dry-ish January.

British hard seltzer, SERVED, are designed to make people feel good, both about themselves and the planet. There is nothing fake or artificial about their drinks. It’s just water, fruit and a touch of alcohol. With 0 sugar, 0 carbs and just 57 calories per can (less than an apple), SERVED drinks are guilt-free meaning you can enjoy one or two…

SERVED recognise that we all need to make changes and do what we can to save our planet. That’s why the founders have developed 100% recyclable cans and pledged to invest 5% of their profits into environmental projects saving critically endangered species around the world. When it comes to fruit SERVED believe in substance over style and go to extraordinary lengths to find the world's best tasting fruit, bursting with flavour. As looks never come into it they are able to use bumped, bent and broken fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste.

With trend forecasters predicting that this January will see far less of us taking up the traditions of Dry January, SERVED Hard Seltzers offer consumers a low-abv, low calorie alternative, whilst also being good for the environment - providing the perfect balance to ensure January can still be a healthy month by reducing alcohol intake, without having to give it up completely.

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Served Becomes First Hard Seltzer to Feature In World's 50 Best Bar

Served Becomes First Hard Seltzer to Feature In World's 50 Best Bar

SERVED, has become the first hard seltzer to feature on a menu of a World's 50 Best Bar. The premium hard seltzer brand, which has already seen its products sell out in Selfridges and Planet Organic, now features in two drinks on the winter cocktail menu of Artesian Bar – the critically acclaimed cocktail bar within The Langham Hotel, currently listed as the World’s 41st  Best Bar.

 Inspired by the era of Disco, Artesian’s menu designed by Anna Sebastian the ‘queen of hospitality’ (Cocktail Lovers, 2018) features 12 classic Disco cocktails with a modern twist. SERVED Raspberry Hard Seltzer is paired with Absolute Elyx Vodka, Vanilla, Bergamot, Smoke and Redbull Cordial to create an innovative interpretation of the Vodka Red Bull. The menu also features an original take on the Batanga cocktail with SERVED Lime Hard Seltzer, Patron Silver Tequila, Mezcal, Mr Black Coffee, Agave and Spice. The Vodka Red Bull and Batanga cocktails are currently available on the menu at Artesian.

Artesian’s Bar Manager, Anna Sebastian says: “Hard seltzers are widely considered to be the next big trend and we are excited to be leading the way using SERVED on our menu. SERVED’s crisp, light flavour pairs fantastically well with vodka and whiskey”. We are delighted to feature SERVED on our Winter Cocktail Menu and to create two superb cocktails that pay homage to some fantastic memories – it’s especially rewarding given that the night club industry is going through such a tough time.”

SERVED co-founder Dean Ginsberg said: “Since we launched this summer, the response has been overwhelming and we have witnessed a huge demand from people looking for more conscious alcoholic options, both from a health and sustainability perspective. It is an absolute honour to be working with Artesian, a World 50 Best Bar and a longstanding personal favourite of ours. It has been fantastic to see Served being used as a key ingredient in such an iconic bar and we are in no doubt that it will be hugely popular with guests of Artesian Bar over the coming months

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Supplier Spotlight: Served Hard Seltzer | Planet Organic

Supplier Spotlight: Served Hard Seltzer | Planet Organic

As former restaurant owners, the founders of Served were becoming increasingly aware of the modern health needs of a conscious consumer and decided to create clean, alcoholic drinks with true nutritional transparency. Read on to learn more about Served's ethos and Hard Seltzer drinks.

What Is Hard Seltzer?

“Hard Seltzer is the name given to a new and exciting category of alcoholic drink. Hard Seltzers are typically made with just three ingredients: sparkling water, alcohol and flavourings. Hard Seltzers were first developed in the US and were immediately a hit with a new generation of drinkers, who wanted all the refreshment and flavour, but without the calories, sugar and carbs. The category did £2.7bn in sales in the US alone last year.”

How is Served hard seltzer made?

“Served hard seltzer is made using the world’s finest plant-based ingredients. We infuse fresh wonky fruit, with British spring water and our ultra-pure, four-times distilled, ServedPure™ gluten-free spirit.”

What makes Served stand out from the crowd?

“We realised that we are living in an age where people really care about the food they put in their bodies - for both themselves and the planet. With this in mind, we couldn’t get our heads around why companies creating alcoholic drinks all seemed to be packing them with sugar and cheap artificial ingredients and offering little to no ingredient or nutritional transparency. As a result, we set out to create a drink to feel good about. Not just for ourselves, but for the planet. Something lower in ABV, that was natural and refreshing, that tasted amazing, but without all the bad stuff. Pure. We embarked on an extraordinary 12-month journey to make this a reality; from wading through crystal clear natural springs in rural Staffordshire, to handpicking wonky raspberries with local farmers in the heart of Scotland’s Strathmere valley.

Here’s What Is In Our Drinks:

SERVEDPURE™ GLUTEN FREE ALCOHOL - Champagne-Ardenne, France Our ServedPure™ gluten-free alcohol is four-times distilled from locally grown beet in France, to produce a crystal clear, ultra-clean tasting spirit, with a subtle smooth finish for pure refreshment. We use wonky beet to ensure there is zero waste. As our alcohol is so pure, it carries a whole host of positives which we have to share with you: extremely light in calories, contains zero sugar or carbs, vegan, gluten-free and GMO-free, 100% sustainable with zero waste.

SPRING WATER - Staffordshire, England To achieve the perfect clean and refreshing flavour profile in our drinks, it’s essential that we source the very finest spring water. Our spring water is naturally filtered through red and grey sandstone and freshly sprung in rural Staffordshire.

WONKY LIMES - Catanduva, Brazil We specifically select wonky limes that would otherwise go to waste, due to their, well... wonky, appearance. We source Tahiti limes grown in the Catanduva region of Brazil for their deliciously sweet, less acidic flavour. We use the whole fruit to maximise on sweetness and aroma when infusing them into our drinks.

WONKY RASPBERRIES - Strathmere Valley, Scotland We love our wonky raspberries. With the perfect growing conditions and wonderfully fertile soil, we source our raspberries from local farms in the heart of Scotland’s Strathmere Valley, as they produce some of the world’s finest raspberries bursting with sweetness and flavour. Again, we aren’t afraid to select raspberries in all shapes and sizes, gently infusing them into our drinks to produce crisp, light flavour and a touch of natural sweetness.”

What would be the perfect accompaniment to your drinks? “Served are convenient and refreshing lower-ABV drinks, designed for the modern health-conscious social lifestyle and are perfect for barbecues, summer picnics, or simply enjoying at home with friends!”

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Served Hard Seltzer voted as the No. 1 in the top 10 ready made drinks!

Served Hard Seltzer voted as the No. 1 in the top 10 ready made drinks!

This summer’s biggest tinnie trend, hard seltzer is huge. Super refreshing, SERVED have spiked their alcoholic, low-calorie, sparkling water with wonky fruit (bent, crushed, etc). In this case, Brazilian limes for a crisp, lightly infused fizz. Free from added sugar and anything artificial, there’s also a raspberry expression.

Read more here

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