I’ve been enjoying non-alcoholic hopped drinks lately. They have all the hoppy flavor I love yet none of the after-effects. In this post, I’ll share five of the ones you should try.
Non-alcoholic hopped drinks or non-alcoholic beers have been a growing trend in the last few years. With the popularity of sparkling waters, it makes sense the next beverage would be a sparkling water and beer hybrid! These drinks have the refreshing taste of a cold beer yet the alcohol content of sparkling water.
There are several variations of non-alcoholic hopped drinks, including sparkling water, tea, and soda. As you can guess, tea has added caffeine and soda has added sugar. The goal with these drinks is to provide the delicious hoppy flavor without the booze. I love this idea because the effects of alcohol can be an inconvenience. Now, hoppy flavors can be enjoyed anytime.
Where to Find Non-Alcoholic Hopped Drinks
While non-alcoholic hopped drinks are growing in popularity, grocery stores are not sure where to put them. Someone recommended looking in the sparkling water section of the grocery store, but I usually found these drinks in the alcoholic section. Some stores had separate coolers for non-alcoholic beer or a labeled non-alcoholic section, while one mixed it in with the alcoholic beers.
There are many brands out there and many of them are not widely distributed. Be sure to look at a brand’s website for their distribution list or to buy directly from them.
5 Non-Alcoholic Hopped Drinks to Try
As I was tasting these hopped beverages, I was looking for a full but not overwhelming hops flavor and I discovered I have favorites depending on what type of drink I want to enjoy.
- If I want a drink that tastes like an IPA (aka heavier hops), I’ll reach for Run Wild IPA.
- For some caffeine, I’ll pick a HopTea.
- If I’m needing something light and refreshing, Hop Refresher is my go-to.
Here’s more about each of the five drinks I tried.
Run Wild IPA by Athletic Brewing Company
Athletic Brewing Company was my first taste of non-alcoholic beer more than a year ago when I visited Pop Up Grocer in Austin. The brewery, headquartered in Stratford, CT, is a leading non-alcoholic beer company with a few types of beer. In addition to their award-winning Run Wild IPA, they have beers that are similar to a Mexican lager, a stout, a hazy IPA, and a blonde ale.
Run Wild IPA is for the ultimate hops lover. It packs the pucker with a smooth finish. You’ll be amazed at how they get so much hops flavor in.
Free & Easy NA IPA by Karbach Brewing Company
Karbach Brewing Company is headquartered in Houston, and they joined the Anheuser-Busch InBev in 2016. Love Street and Hopadillo are two of their popular beers, and Free & Easy is their non-alcoholic option.
This drink tastes much like an alcoholic IPA. It’s smooth and has citrus flavors. I didn’t love the strong bitterness at the end but it doesn’t linger.
Hop Refresher by Lagunitas Brewing Company
One of the easiest of these hopped beverages to find, Hop Refresher is a popular choice among non-alcoholic beverage choices. Lagunitas Brewing Company was founded in Northern California and became a part of Heineken in 2015.
Hop Refresher is one of my favorites on this list. It’s bubbly with lots of light, citrus notes, and a refreshing, crisp flavor. I think it’s a crowd-pleaser for anyone.
HopTea by Hoplark
For a caffeinated drink with a hop flavor, HopTea is a great option! Brewed in Boulder, Colorado, HopTea varieties are made with white tea, green tea, black tea, or chamomile. Hoplark now also makes hopped sparkling water with its three main flavors featuring one type of hops – sabro, mosaic, and citra.
I’ve tried a few of the tea varieties and I love that you can taste the tea flavor along with the hops. You’ll notice that there are also varying levels of hops for their tea. The Calm One is chamomile with a little bit of hops while on the other end of the spectrum is The Citra Bomb One with white tea and as much hops as they can pack in.
Whitestone HopWater by Whitestone Brewery
Here’s a local Austin option! Whitestone Brewery in Cedar Park brews sparkling water with a light hop flavor. This is a great alternative for people who love sparkling water. Whitestone HopWater can also be used as a mixer.
This sparkling water is a good way to hop into trying hopped drinks. It’s light and refreshing with a hint of hops.
Have you ever tried a non-alcoholic hopped drink? What’s your favorite?
P.S. Prefer alcoholic drinks? See my Austin brewery guide here.