The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Non-alcoholic beverages allow students greater flexibility

3 min read

Brewers like Lagunitas Brewing Company offer non-alcoholic beverages. | Lagunitas Brewing Company website


Staff Writer

As the days begin to warm up and the evenings get longer, many students will be reaching for their favorite beverage. Many may go for a cheap twelve pack while some prefer craft beer, as we saw in a recent article. However, recently several alternatives have been popping up that’s sure to surprise even the most intense IPA enthusiast. 

In the past years well known breweries and new breweries alike have started producing beverages that contain plenty of flavor, but with less to no alcohol content. These beverages allow people who may not be able to consume alcohol for health reasons or just prefer not drinking an opportunity to enjoy a craft beverage of their own and even feel more comfortable in social settings. 

While these options are not well known and seldom advertised, they can offer many benefits and taste just as good as any other drink. Some of the best ones can even be found at your grocery store, tucked away next to more common options.  

Lagunitas Brewing Company, based out of California, was one of the first big brewers to start producing options without alcohol. The most notable of their drinks is called The Hoppy Refresher and can be described as a mixture of sparkling water and hops. 

Jeremy Marshall, brewmaster for Lagunitas, says the Hoppy Refresher is “refreshing on its own… It fills that ‘Oh, I want to have an IPA, but it’s 9:30 in the morning and I’m out of IPAs’ kind of thing.”

The Hoppy Refresher is sure to hit the spot for anyone looking for a light but flavorful drink to enjoy at any time of the day without having to worry about ABV or calories.  

Other companies such as Athletic Brewing Company were founded with the sole goal of producing beverages to fill the gap for people who wanted to enjoy a cold beer at the end of the day but who were also interested in the health benefits of no or lower alcohol.  

“We craft our innovative recipes using only pure, all-natural ingredients in small batches at our custom, state-of-the-art brewery,” says Athletic Brewing Co’s website. “Our intricate process lets you enjoy the refreshing taste of craft beer without the alcohol… So whether you’ve decided to cut alcohol out of your life for good, for a night, or for just one drink, Athletic Brewing Company provides an option without compromises.”

The several different options and flavors that Athletic Brewing Co have range from IPA-like brews to golden ales and everything in between. While these are harder to find in stores, they’re worth looking for. 

One of the most unique options comes from a company called HopLark. Hoplark brews teas with different types of hops to make a unique blend that tastes extremely similar to an IPA. One of their drinks, known as The Citra Bomb, contains citra hops and white tea, providing an unbelievably delicious flavor that’s good any time, anywhere. 

While the price per can can be slightly off putting for HopLark, it makes up for it in taste. The several available flavor options and combinations are plentiful and the constant update of seasonal and limited time flavors are excellent. 

While these drinks won’t be for everyone, It’s worth trying for anyone looking for a healthier alternative or just another drink to add to their favorites. What these options lack in alcohol, they make up for in flavor. 

Next time you’re at the store, take a look and see what you can find. You might just come across a new favorite drink.