As we emerge from the pandemic lockdown, it seems like a lot of people are poking out of our caves, looking around, then looking in the mirror. After months of stress baking and too-frequent at-home cocktail hours, we’re buckling down and cutting back (at least a little), on drinking and caloric intake.
It could be just good timing then, that there’s suddenly a wealth of hoppy non-alcoholic beers and other beverages to choose from. No more sad yellow fizzy water. These new beers and other drinks actually have distinctive hop flavor and mouthfeel.
If La Croix seems like a sad alternative to beer, these might be for you. I’ve found that adding some cans of n/a drinks makes for a nice mix in the cooler at a BBQ, and I feel fresher for my hike the next day.
Take Care of Yourself with Self Care
Self Care – New from Three Magnets Brewing in Olympia, Self Care is a line-up of various beer styles that have no more than .5% ABV. Of all the n/a beverages I’ve sampled so far, these beers have the most beer-like mouthfeel, and their beers seem true to style.
For example, Three Magnets brews the Self Care IPA with Simcoe and Idaho 7 hops, and it has a slightly hazy appearance and pleasant bitterness. I’ve also enjoyed the Italian Pilsner and Bohemian Brew. Each has a unique, hop-forward flavor and mouthfeel.
Available at the brewery, via PorchDrops, or direct from the brewery online, these beers have been selling out very quickly after release. Your best bet is probably to check their website to see which ones are currently available.
Hop Into a Hop Tea
Hoplark – Up-front disclaimer, Hoplark is not a beer. But we’re including it on this list because hop fans will surely dig this n/a beverage option as much as I have. Hoplark produces hopped tea and hopped water in Boulder,CO.
The way Hoplark showcases a variety of hops in their sparking tea and water allows you to taste the hops differently than in any other beverage. Their hopped tea is brewed with real whole leaf tea, with caffeinated and herbal options available.
They have a limited selection available locally at Whole Foods Markets and other retailers like Tacoma Boys. So far, I have ordered mine online so I can get exactly what I want. I usually get the Relax Mixed Pack, which is a 12-pack of all decaf tea and water varieties, perfect for a summer afternoon or BBQ. But I’ve also been known to crack a Really Hoppy One for a post-hike boost of caffeine in a sparkling black tea with Citra and Simcoe hops.
As a bonus, most of the Hoplark products have zero sugar and zero calories.
No More Worries About ABV
NØ MØ – A couple months ago, Crux Brewing from Bend, Oregon jumped into the n/a beer scene. NØ MØ is an IPA that actually tastes as hoppy as regular beer. Brewed with Citra and Mosaic hops, it’s less than .5% ABV, with just 30 calories per 12-oz can.
Available in cans at the brewery and now hitting the shelves in Oregon stores, or residents of Washington, Oregon, California or Idaho can order NØ MØ via the Crux website.