What Is Hop Water?

Published on December 10th 2023 by SNBC

Hop water combines the bubbly refreshment of sparkling water with the flavorful hops you love in craft beer. What it really means: anytime is the right time for hops with Sierra Nevada Hop Splash — zero alcohol, zero calories, and maximum hop refreshment.

“If you’re a beer drinker and you don’t want to drink a beer for whatever reason,” says Isaiah Mangold, our Head Innovation Brewer, “and you want something that scratches the itch, [Hop Splash] does for sure.”

Whether it’s a bridge between beers, or you just want to hydrate with hops, Hop Splash delivers an IPA-inspired kick at 0.0% ABV. Add Hop Splash to your fridge mix and unlock hops all day.

What Does Hop Water Taste Like?

Hop Splash hop water is all about crisp and clean refreshment. We’ve carefully brewed our hop water to extract only the bright, fruity notes of different hop varieties.

The original Hop Splash is infused with Citra and Amarillo® hops, which create hints of peach and mango. Our newest flavor, Hop Splash Citrus, pairs up Mosaic® and Simcoe hops with real blood orange and grapefruit juice — a match for mouthwatering flavor.

And with carbonation similar to our beers, Hop Splash serves up radiant fizz with every sip.

Four friends by a creek holding up cans of Sierra Nevada hop water: Hop Splash and Hop Splash Citrus

How Do You Make Hop Water?

“In beer, hops are complemented by the malt, alcohol, yeast profile, all these other flavors,” explains Isaiah. “But in water, it’s only the hops,” making it a challenge to get things just right.

“Even small tweaks in the brewing process can extract more of the polyphenol hop components,” he says, “which are perceived as bitter or astringent.”

So our Hop Splash recipe and process draw out the hoppy, fruity flavors and leave excess bitterness behind.

Our Hop Water Recipe

Hop Splash starts with the same water we use for brewing beer. It’s carbon-filtered and pH-adjusted to ensure the highest-quality H20 out of the gate. Then we essentially dry-hop the water tank. We experimented with numerous hop varieties, landing on Citra and Amarillo, which surprised our brewers.

“We know Citra and Amarillo in a dry-hopped beer, but they express totally different in hop water,” Isaiah says. “They have very fruit-forward aromatics, not grassy. People may think there’s actually fruit in [original] Hop Splash, but there’s not — it’s just hops.”

A vibrant green pile of freshly harvested hops

The hops steep in water for a precise, brief amount of time — long enough to score the fruity qualities before too much bitterness creeps in. Then we cool the tank to just above freezing so the hop matter drops to the bottom. From there, we give it a rapid spin in the centrifuge, forcing the hop solids out for beautifully clear water.

Then it fills a final storage tank, called a “bright tank” because the liquid has been filtered, or made bright. This is where, in the case of Hop Splash Citrus, we add the fruit juice in juuust the right amounts to perfectly complement the hop flavors.

Finally, before packaging Hop Splash in cans, we carbonate the bright tank with sustainable CO2 — captured, cleaned, and reused from beer fermentation, keeping carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and closing the loop.

Is Hop Water Non-Alcoholic?

If you’re wondering does hop water give you a buzz, you’re in the clear with Hop Splash. Hops don’t naturally have the capacity to intoxicate, and since there’s no brewing yeast and fermentation involved, Hop Splash is completely non-alcoholic, 0.0% ABV.

Brews labeled non-alcoholic, like our Trail Pass IPA and Trail Pass Golden, can actually have trace amounts of alcohol, up to 0.5% ABV. That’s because the non-alcoholic brewing process can’t quite hit absolute zero.

Person holding a can of Sierra Nevada Hop Splash hop water while a friend skips a rock on a creek

When To Drink Each

Besides no alcohol, Hop Splash has a lineup of other zeros — 0 calories, 0g carbs, 0g sugar — so you really can reach for one anytime. Maybe it’s at lunch with your coworkers, or after you finish a workout. Switch between beer and hop water at the cookout (good thinking). Or hey, your beach cruiser has a cup holder! Whenever a hop craving hits, drench it with Hop Splash.

And never worry about running low with a Hop Splash subscription: save up to 15% off and get free shipping.

Buy Hop Splash Now

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