Peace Hard Tea Review: A Sweet Tea Favorite Gets A Boozy Upgrade

Listen up, O.G. Peace Tea fans: It's time to put on your big kid pants. We're leveling up your tea routine with the brand spankin' new launch of Peace Hard Tea. It's so new, it still has the tags on it. The taste is fruity. It's bold. It's got alcohol in it. It makes you want to go home and slap ya mama. (Not really, Mom.)

From Coca-Cola and Molson Coors comes your new favorite wind-down — or wind-it-way-up — hard tea. With three electric flavors on the roster, we're all about this hip new kid on the block. Bring us all the teas that need IDs.

On the heels of the brand's hotly anticipated regional U.S. release, we got our hands on the goods so you know exactly what's headed your way. Mashed got free teas for this review, but a single 24-ounce can goes for a suggested retail price of $3.84, which might be slightly more or less expensive depending on location.

We love our sweet tea, but we love the heck out of our spiked tea. Let's spill it.

Some background info on Peace Tea (and how it got boozy)

Originally, the company that also made Monster Energy first launched the happy-go-lucky tea brand with the peace hand symbol on the label in 2009. How could two completely opposite brands — one with peace signs and the other with a monster claw logo — possibly be related? Don't worry about it. Coca-Cola ended up buying Peace Tea anyway. Also, the Monster Energy creature is standing right behind you.

But after more than a decade of deliciously drinkable teas in flavors like Razzleberry, Caddy Shack, and Sno-Berry, it appears that the over-21 Peace Tea crowd was champing at the bit for a tea that packs a little heat, and Peace Hard Tea was born. Now, we can all "choose peace," just like the brand suggests, and also choose sobriety to varying degrees.

Peace Hard Tea was designed to boldly shake up your tipple of choice with an initial drop featuring three bold, super fruity, colorful, out and proud, screaming and cheering flavors of peace. Regarding this next-level collab between Molson Coors and Coca-Cola, Molson Coors executive Joy Ghosh explained, "With the launch of Peace Hard Tea, we're bringing 21+ consumers the bold and fruit flavored hard tea they've been searching for to shake up the norms of everyday life." Fabulous. 

Where and when can you get Peace Hard Tea?

Launched in September 2023, Peace Hard Tea is making its big debut in the Southeast U.S. first. But don't worry. It definitely plans to go nationwide — there's even an online product locator if you're interested in seeing when it hits shelves near you. While we might prefer a case or a six-pack, for now, this freshman iteration comes in the form of huge single cans sold at your usual spots.

If you're silently wondering to yourself why the company didn't bump this launch up in time for the hottest months of the summer — and why it's oddly scheduled alongside pumpkin spice and sweater season — so are we. But according to its publicity, Peace Hard Tea isn't simply a drink in a can that exists in a static place in time — it's a lifestyle.

"Spend a little more time offline and make living life your full-time job," suggested Molson executive Joy Ghosh. "Peace Hard Tea is here for when you buck the norms that kill fun." Molson Coors probably isn't seriously suggesting that we all quit our regular jobs to drink Peace Hard Tea full-time, but that's definitely a thing we want to do as long as our landlords will accept empty cans in lieu of money.

Can Peace Hard Tea compete with established hard ice teas?

It's not an extremely saturated market yet, but the hard tea sector isn't a gaping black hole, either. And as recently as 2021, hard tea has surged ahead of hard seltzer and is taking those sales all the way to the bank. We all knew low-carb White Claw summer couldn't last forever.

But Peace Hard Tea knew it had to come out swinging against some stalwarts of the "malternative" beverage industry. The 2022 top-seller and hard tea pioneer Twisted Tea has been raking it in since its launch in 2001. It now sells triple the product compared to its Boston-based bro, Sam Adams. Other stars on the scene include Lipton Hard Iced Tea, Mike's Harder Iced Tea, Arizona Hard, Owl's Brew Boozy Tea, and Loverboy.

While the market success of Peace Hard Tea remains to be seen, with the backing of the Coca-Cola behemoth and the reputation of Molson Coors, we have a feeling all those loyal Peace Tea fans will step up big time for this brand-new addition to the lineup.

What's in Peace Hard Tea?

When people talk about the health benefits of regularly drinking tea, they're definitely not talking about this tea. Peace Hard Tea is all about the par-tea and the good times spent unencumbered by calories, shoes, or even a shirt. Instead, once you crack open a cold one, you'll be ushered straight into vacation-mode, no matter whether you're lounging on a beach or hanging at home on the sofa. But, while we're here, here's what you're drinking. [Press to confirm you're over 21 and not a robot.]

Each 24-ounce tallboy offers you two servings of big tea energy at 5% alcohol by volume. One serving dishes up 140 calories (280 per can), with 20 milligrams of sodium. The kicker is in the carbs, where sugars make up 10 grams, or 20% of your daily recommended dose (and almost 40% if you drink the whole can.) But let's be honest: We're not going to say no to carbs in any of their unique and beautiful forms.

Luckily, tea is the primary ingredient — well, tea made from water and tea powder — followed by alcohol, sugar, citric acid, natural flavors, and lastly, sucralose. Considering that sucralose out-sweets regular granulated sugar by about 600 times the power, we're guessing that's where most of the sweetness is coming from. While it's technically a zero-calorie additive, hefty consumption of sucralose has been associated with weight gain, diabetes, and digestive damage.  

Wanna enjoy this tea responsibly? Here's the dirt...

Spilling the tea

So what does it taste like? Hold on to your tea bags, people. First up, we've got Really Really Razzy. Thankfully, unlike its name, it's not face-puckeringly "razzy" — instead, it's sweet and smooth. It's definitely raspberry, but not overwhelmingly so. If you're expecting carbonation, you've got seltzer — not tea — on the brain. This tab cracks open to reveal a tea-tinted drink which you can easily pour (or drink straight from the can) thanks to the zero-bubble content. With the slightest whisper of a berry-type tartness, the sweetness makes this one almost a little dangerous to drink before you even take the alcohol into consideration.

Next, we went for More Peace More Lemon. And, surprise, there's a whole lot of lemon flavor in it, along with the same level of sugary sweetness we sipped before. We're immediately thinking more Lemonhead candy than we are of the citrus breeze on the Amalfi Coast, but since lemon and tea have been best buds since way back, the flavor totally works ... just don't add any more lemon to it.

Last, but never least, our favorite flavor name of the bunch: Freedom of Peach. If you're looking for a mellower flavor profile, go for this little number. It's probably the most natural tasting of the bunch with a warm, ripe peachiness that almost hugs your mouth and goes down smooth. While you might catch a little tingle in the back of your throat from the sweetness of all three Peace Hard Teas, something tells us that after a few sips by the pool, it won't seem like a problem.