HOP WTR, a non-boozy brew, is made with... you guessed it... HOPS. Wait, hops like in beer? Yup! Join me on a deep dive into the different hops that make up this sparkling refresher.
HOP WTR is made with a brewer-approved blend of Citra, Amarillo, Mosaic and Azacca hops that deliver a citrusy, piney flavor reminiscent of a crisp IPA, but without booze. Hops are used primarily as a bittering and stabilizing agent in beer as well as a flavoring agent to produce floral, fruity, or citrusy flavors and aromas. Further, hops are used for various purposes in other beverages, such as HOP WTR, and in herbal medicine. The bittering hops have high concentrations of alpha acids and good aromatic properties. The aromatic hops usually have a lower concentration of alpha acids and are the main contributors of hop aromas and flavors. Those flavors and aromas are appropriately described using terms such as "grassy", "floral", "citrus", "piney", "lemony", "grapefruit", and "earthy". Makes sense with the tasty HOP WTR flavors of Classic, Peach, Blood Orange, Lime, Mango, and Ginger Limeade.
So, I am sure you are wondering, as was I, how hops are used in a non-alcoholic beverage like HOP WTR. Well, hops do not add alcohol content to beer (or HOP WTR!), they are simply used during the brewing process to add flavor and aroma, creating that iconic hoppy taste we know from traditional alcoholic beers. Beyond their use in beer production, hops may also be used in herbal medicine, similar to ashwagandha, as a treatment for anxiety, restlessness, and insomnia. Hops contain polyphenols, or natural antioxidants, effective nutrients that aid in the prevention of oxidative stress related diseases such as heart disease.
The first hop found in this bubbly beverage is Citra hops. Citra hops are mainly grown in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Citra has a high alpha acid concentration, but a smooth citrus and floral flavor and aroma. These scents and flavors include peach, grapefruit, citrus, lime, and melon.
The next type of hop used is Amarillo hops. Funny enough, this hop variety was discovered by chance by a hop farmer. It is unique in its appearance, displaying yellow cones, a yellowish bine (or stem) and smaller, immature leaves. Amarillo hops have a relatively high alpha acid content. It has one of the highest Myrcene oil levels; an oil with a pain and inflammation reducing effect. These hops impart strong citrus and tropical flavors like orange, grapefruit, peach, and apricot, and aromas with flowery and spicy notes.
HOP WTR also uses Mosaic hops. Mosaic hops are a rare triple-threat, triple-purpose hop used for bitterness, flavor, and aroma! Mosaic hops are easy to harvest and yield a large production. Farmers refer to these hops as “Citra on steroids” due to their high alpha acid and oil content. These scents and flavors range from pine and balsam to blueberry and tropical.
The last type of hops found in HOP WTR are Azacca hops. Azacca hops are big on the craft beer scene, and now, on the craft hop water scene! Very unique, like the Amarillo hops, the Azacca hops have a deep, almost purplish hue to their leaves with a light green cone. With this refreshing aroma, these hops present flavors and notes of mango, papaya, lemon, and spice.
The HOP WTR lineup provides a delicious pairing of fruit and hops. I personally love anything citrusy and bright, so I guzzle up the Ginger Limeade daily. The hops give this hop water the beer taste I crave after a long day without the alcohol, or the hangover. And HOP WTR provides that fun, bubbliness of a seltzer all with calming, anxiety-reducing benefits. Booze-free adult beverages are the latest trend! HOP on it with me!