I Love This ‘Clear Beer’

Photo: Courtesy of Lagunitas

Lagunitas hop water isn’t beer. It is, according to its maker, a “non-alcoholic hoppy refresher.” It goes down medium-fast, somewhere between crisp and fuzzy. It is a vibe in a bottle, California as a liquid, a lazy green tumbleweed in your mouth.

Hop water isn’t news, if you’re employed by a brewery. It’s my understanding that drinking hop-flavored seltzer is somewhat common practice at the end of a long night spent working toward other people’s good times. Unfortunately, though it may be a familiar category of beverage to some, Lagunitas hop water is the only hop water that tastes this good. I’ve tried a few different ones, and they all drift into skunkiness like non-alcoholic beer. This is a pity, especially since every other beverage at the corner store is now an alcoholic kombucha, something laced with CBD, or White Claw.

Overindulge in hop water and at worst, your stomach feels a little bubbly. Your throat, maybe a little too slick. That’s it. Nothing more. You will not fumble for the last sticky ibuprofen, recount every conversation from the night before as horror mounts, or run into a mom you know from day care while chugging Pedialyte outside a CVS.

Are you the one tasked with driving home? Are you not a drinker? Are you preparing for a long day at work tomorrow? Are your hangovers lingering just a little too long lately? Are you all out of weed mints? Are you in charge of the children? Are you pregnant? Lagunitas hop water is your right, and your salvation.

“She really goes through ’em, doesn’t she?” an employee at our neighborhood grocery store said recently to my husband. The way I like to imagine it, the two men exchanged solemn nods as one slid my four-pack of Lagunitas hop water past the register and the other nestled it into a reusable tote. She really goes through em, doesn’t she. Has a more thrilling sentence ever been uttered about a working mother with two children under 4?

Lagunitas hop water costs about $6 or $7 for a four-pack. Find yourself some. Turn on a movie, sit on the couch next to your dog, and drink one. Then drink another. Drink the entire four-pack. Check the fridge. You just might have another four-pack hidden away. I know I do. The world is pretty bad out there, have you heard? Do it, drink a hop water. Drink a few. You’re taking a break now, but you’ve got a lot to do tomorrow.

I Love This ‘Clear Beer’