Tips for a Better Dry January from the HOP WTR Founders
By Kirby Stirland - Jan 12, 2022
This article was originally published on the Thrive Market blog.
The HOP WTR Founders Want You to Have a Better Dry January
More and more people are realizing that in order to live the lives they really want to live, they need to cut back on alcohol—or even abstain entirely.
So what about folks who want to have it all? To enjoy a glass of their favorite wine with dinner or a well-made cocktail, while still having the energy and clarity to do everything they enjoy? That’s how HOP WTR co-founders Nick Taranto and Jordan Bass were feeling when they hit their 30s. “We were busier than ever,” Bass reflects. “Crazy hours, dad duty, and adulting had us working a lot harder to stay on top of everything, all while trying to have some fun. We still craved a cold beer after a long day, but knew we couldn’t keep up if we had to contend with hangovers or feeling weighed down.”
They wanted to keep those cherished social rituals—unwinding with a cold one after work, raising a birthday toast, enjoying a celebratory meal—“without the next-day brain fuzz or empty calories.” Unable to find a good option, they went to work creating a non-alcoholic drink that they could sip while living life to the fullest.
What is HOP WTR?
It’s all in the name. HOP WTR starts with sparkling water and hops—yes, the same hops that give an IPA its unmistakable bitter flavor. Hops are the flower of the Humulus lupulus plant; HOP WTR uses a blend of Citra, Amarillo, Mosaic, and Azacca hops to impart crisp, piney notes to their refreshing non-alcoholic drink.
Spice World Tour Mocktail
This crafted blend of hops does more than add distinctive flavor to HOP WTR. “Hops have been used to brew beer for over 1,000 years, but they have also been used medicinally since medieval times,” Bass reports. He adds that the natural calming effects attributed to hops (thanks to the flavonoids xanthohumol and 8-prenylnaringenin and the essential oils humulene and lupuline) may help with anxiety, mood issues, and sleep.
While the flavor will remind you of your favorite IPA, HOP WTR isn’t a non-alcoholic beer; it’s a beverage with benefits. As Bass explains, it “takes you from stressed to decompressed without a drop of alcohol” thanks to the brand’s proprietary stack of high-quality functional ingredients:
● Ashwagandha: AKA Withania somnifera, an adaptogenic herb that may help the body manage stress.
● L-Theanine: An amino acid with nootropic effects, meaning it may help with sleep, stress reduction, and cognitive performance.
We knew we wanted [HOP WTR] to have a functional benefit—something that could help you unwind and relax without the negative effects of alcohol,” Bass says. “As part of our product development process, we talked with nutritionists and medical experts and tested out a wide variety of natural supplements. All of that work led us to the perfect pairing of ashwagandha and L-Theanine, two of the most popular and fastest growing functional ingredients on the market today.” In addition to being free of alcohol, sugar, and carbohydrates, HOP WTR is non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, keto, and appropriate for those following the Whole 30® program—meaning it jibes with all your health goals, whether they’re New Year’s resolutions or intentions for the long haul.
Morning Glory Mocktail
Dry January Tips from the HOP WTR Founders
Chances are, you know at least one person who’s quit drinking recently, or at least consciously decided to cut back. The so-called “sober curious” movement is on the rise, and the HOP WTR founders say the explosive growth they’ve witnessed in the non-alcoholic beverage sector is just one indication.
If you’re not quite ready to cut alcohol out of your life entirely, committing to Dry January can offer you a glimpse into the booze-free life and all the feel-good benefits that come with it.
What is Dry January? A month off alcohol, appropriately timed during prime “new year, new me” season. (Some people wait until later in the year for their no-booze month, hence “Sober October.”) Initially launched by a British nonprofit organization called Alcohol Change UK in 2013, the movement has spread and grown significantly over the years, with scores of official and unofficial participants worldwide. Surveys suggest 2022 will be no different, as many people reevaluate their relationship with alcohol after relying on it heavily to cope throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
We asked the HOP WTR co-founders for their take on the Dry January trend, as well as how they make the most of their booze-free month.
Nick Taranto, HOP WTR Co-Founder: “Dry January offers a great reset to our drinking habits and health goals. When I first started experimenting with Dry January and Sober October, going dry for 31 days was huge for me. It wasn’t easy, but now I look forward to the challenge...and to under-doing at least one thing in my life for a while!”
Nick’s Dry January tip: “Pour an ounce of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of sea salt, and a can of Mango HOP WTR into a wine glass and it's as good as a cocktail!”
Jordan Bass, HOP WTR Co-Founder: “I’ve enjoyed participating in Dry January for many years, even before founding HOP WTR. It’s an important time to reset and plan for the year ahead. It also always gives me a perspective on how alcohol is so woven into the fabric of our society and how drinking can become reflexive in social occasions and times of relaxation. Doing Dry January always gives me clarity on my alcohol consumption so that in months when I do enjoy a few beers, I can be much more purposeful around when I consume alcohol while also keeping my health and fitness goals in line.”
Jordan’s Dry January tip: “When I feel like I’ve had a stressful day and previously would turn to a beer and Netflix, I’ll put on my workout clothes and take a run, followed by cracking open a refreshing HOP WTR when I get home.”