If you are sober-curious – or have ever done a Dry Challenge – or, for whatever reason, choose not to drink – chances are, you have tried a non-alcoholic beer.
Chances are also good the non-alcoholic beer tasted like
watered-down dog p*ss Budweiser.
A few companies are getting creative with hops, however. There is now Hop Water, which again tastes a lot like
watered-down dog p*ss Budweiser. And fruit juices and “Celestial Seasonings-ish” herbal teas with hops, which taste more like kombucha than beer.
Now there are some very interesting and satisfying Hop Teas. My favorite brand is HopLark. They brew their teas with hops like a craft beer, but without alcohol. For the most part these are nice, normal teas, like Black, White, Green, and Chamomile. The familiar flavor of the tea, mixed with hops, provides a needed level of nuance and complexity that give you that microbrewery taste.
Here’s what I like:
- HopLark HopTeas are vegan.
- Zero calories. Let’s count the calories again – ZERO! (A regular craft beer ranges about 200 calories.)
- No sugar or gluten, if those are a concern for you.
- You can choose your level of caffeine. Your friends are day-drinking? Show off by chugging the delicious Really Hoppy One made with black tea (70 mg of caffeine), and enjoy your energy while your alcohol-drinking friends are slurring and yawning. Winding down at the end of the day? Choose The Calm One, made with soothing chamomile and caffeine free.
- HopTeas look like beer. The color, the carbonation. And then there’s the scent. Perfect for your own enjoyment, and if you are in a peer pressure situation to drink alcohol – your glass of HopTea will fool your friends!
- The taste. Ah, the taste. Seriously the closest non-alcoholic drink I’ve found to a craft beer. Definitely recommend if you are a bit of a “beer snob” and love your hops.
My favorite is The Really Hoppy One (black tea with simcoe and citra hops). For lovers of IPAs, such as NoDa’s Hop, Drop, and Roll.
I also enjoy The Citra Bomb One (white tea with citra hops). For lovers of fruity, citrus-y beers like Blue Moon.
If you crave variety, HopLark also releases a new limited-edition HopTea each month.
In the Charlotte, NC area you can find HopLark HopTeas at Whole Foods, EarthFare, Publix, and Sprouts. Or, you can order a monthly subscription from their website – www.hoplark.com.
Great blog post! I’ve tried non-alcoholic beer and agree that the taste can be disappointing. HopLark HopTeas sound like a game-changer. I love that they are vegan and have zero calories. My question is, how do the HopTeas compare in price to traditional craft beer?
Good question! Here in Charlotte, they run about $3 a can at the grocery. I’ve not yet seen them in restaurant/bars. A 4-pack of a NoDa beer is about $14. So I guess the price is similar, perhaps a little cheaper.