Perhaps you’ve heard about non-alcoholic beer and thought, ‘what’s the point when I can just have a glass of water or a soda?’.
I enjoy beer because of its flavor, body and its ability to pair with food. So, having non-alcoholic (N/A) beverage options such as hop waters or teas and “near” beers can provide choices besides water or soda. That’s what originally piqued my interest when I began trying products by Athletic Brewing and Bravus Brewing during the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A few North Texas breweries have started making 0.5% alcohol versions of their beers on draft. Here are four North Texas craft N/A beverages that you can now take home from area taprooms (as well as some grocery stores) to enjoy anytime.
Hydro – Lakewood Brewing Company
Lakewood Brewing in Garland, Texas released a new hop water called Hydro. Now, if the words “hop water” make you think bitter or harsh, lose those thoughts right now. Using a proprietary hop blend, hops oils and a touch of citric acid, Hydro is crisp and very light. At the taproom, you can even enjoy Hydro mocktails with fresh mint, cucumber or jalapeno. This would also be great base for ranch water cocktails.
Nada – Community Beer Company
Community Brewing in Dallas released Nada in March 2022. It’s an IPA with less than 0.5% ABV, only 25 calories and 5 grams of carbs. In October 2022, Nada won gold at the Great American Beer Festival in the category of non-alcoholic beers. In addition to the taproom, you can purchase Nada at select Krogers, Total Wines, Specs, Central Markets, and Whole Foods. Looking forward additional versions of Nada later this year.
Sparkle Water & Synth – Celestial Beerworks
Just a few miles from Community, Celestial Beerworks released their sparkling water simply called Sparkle Water in July 2022. It features Strata hop terpenes and lemon essence. Another great base for ranch water. Celestial beertender Sarah Morton told me, “Sparkle Water has carbonation of a beer and doesn’t leave you feeling bloated like soda and regular carbonated waters do.” After trying it myself, I agree.
Now Celestial has released a new sparkling water product called Synth, adding 20mg of full spectrum CBD along with lemon and grapefruit. Though I’m not personally familiar with CBD’s effects, I enjoy the liquid and do feel a similar sense of calm that I have enjoy when I drink beer.
What I appreciate most about these packaged beverages is the commitment to be mindful of drinkers and non-beer drinkers alike. Rather than make fun of people who choose not to drink for a time, it’s an intentional invite back to the taproom and even a nudge for the rest of us about our options.
Every brewery should have a house lager always on tap, and I am starting to ponder if they should have an NA option (not soda) available as well? DFW breweries are becoming more gathering spaces than years before, and that can make it an easier location. Thoughts?
I agree 100% on our local breweries having at least one sessionable lager or ale offering that’s less than 5% ABV. I’d also love to see more N/A offerings on draft and, if customer feedback is positive, in packaged form. I think about it in the same way as restaurants getting serious about providing solid vegetarian and vegan food options on their menu. You never know what additional business may come (and stay) your way if you’re doing it right and consistently.