Why You Should Add Hop Water to Your Bar Cart ASAP

After one too many hangovers and upset stomachs after a night of drinking, I decided to quit alcohol once and for all in January. 

While I’m not totally certain if I’ll never imbibe again, I’ve been having a lot of fun trying all the cool new nonalcoholic beverages on the market. I’ve stocked my bar cart with everything from booze-free wines to gins to aperitifs and impressed my friends with my mocktail-making skills. 

But my favorite nonalcoholic drink of the moment happens to be something called “hop water.” Keep reading to learn about this refreshing bevvie, its many benefits, and which ones are worth sipping this Sober October and beyond. 

hop water

What is hop water, exactly?

Hop water is nonalcoholic sparkling water infused with the flavors of hops. 

“Hop waters are a great nonalcoholic alternative to beers — and even alcohol removed beers, which are not the same as hop waters,” says Hilary Sheinbaum, author of The Dry Challenge: How to Lose the Booze for Dry January, Sober October, and Any Other Alcohol-Free Month. “Hop waters provide flavor with zero calories and 0.0% alcohol.”

Why is hop water so popular these days? 

“I think so many people — myself included — have flocked to the seltzer waters and are keen on staying hydrated while enjoying a beverage without a buzz,” notes Sheinbaum. “Hop water is perfect for that.”

One of the biggest hop water benefits for me, personally, is that it’s gluten-free. As someone with celiac disease who also doesn’t drink, I can’t do nonalcoholic beer because it contains gluten. So hop water has become my beer alternative to enjoy during sports games, BBQs, and more. 

Thanks to the hop flavors, it tastes like a cross between seltzer and craft beer, minus the post-drink bloating and headache I used to experience from gluten and alcohol. Needless to say, I’m here for it. 

Where can you find hop water?

Thankfully, hop water is becoming more readily available to purchase around the country. I’ve found varieties at Whole Foods as well as Boisson and Better Rhodes, two alcohol-free shops that ship nationwide. 

I’ve also started to see it at bars and restaurants and have even recommended it to bartenders to stock as an alternative to nonalcoholic beer. 

What are the best hop waters to try? 

Want to get in on the hop water fun? Here are a few varieties worth trying right now:

  • Hoplark Citra: Sheinbaum’s favorite, this often-sold out hop water packs a punch with notes of citrus and tropical fruit, grassy herbal flavors, and a slightly sweet, slightly bitter finish.
  • Lagunitas Hoppy Refresher: This is the first hop water I ever tried, and it went down easy. It’s light and zingy with flavors like tangerine, lemon, lime, and pine. 
  • HopLark HopTea The Calm One: Brewed with organic chamomile flowers, sparkling water, and citrus hops, this relaxing blend is my evening go-to. 
  • HOP WTR Classic: You can’t go wrong with this classic blend of piney, earthy hops that’ll remind you of an IPA. Plus, it contains adaptogens and nootropics to sweeten the deal. 
  • H2OPs Original: This is another classic hop water that contains only two ingredients: northwest hops and water. It’ll quench your thirst and your hankering for beer. 
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About Christina Heiser

Christina Heiser is a freelance writer who covers beauty, health, nutrition, and fitness. As a lifelong New Yorker, she loves exploring her city by foot, cheering on her favorite local sports teams (Let's go, Mets!), and checking out all of the trendy boutique fitness studios. Christina graduated from St. John's University in 2010 with a degree in English and a passion for reporting. After graduating, Christina went on to work for EverydayHealth.com and WomensHealthMag.com, covering everything from beauty to fitness to celebrity news. Now, she contributes to a variety of beauty- and wellness-focused websites including aSweatLife, NBC News Better, Total Beauty, and What's Good by Vitamin Shoppe.