Friends Andrew Markley and Dean Eberhardt founded Hoplark HopTea in Boulder, Colo., and spurred a new beverage category: tea brewed like a craft beer but without alcohol. The hop-brewed sparkling teas have a flavor profile similar to an IPA but with zero sugar and calories, and come in a 16-ounce can ($3). The four flavors — made with loose-leaf black, chamomile, white, or green — have names like The Really Hoppy One, The Calm One, The White Tea One, and The Green Tea One. Each bears a deep to light hopped fragrance and flavor and a craft beer’s slight pleasant bitterness. Markley, a biochemist, and Eberhardt, with a background in manufacturing, were both home brewers, but the idea came to Eberhardt in his final days on the Whole30 diet, when he stopped drinking for a month. “I was looking for a way to experience sharing a craft beer with a friend, but in a way that was fun and unexpected,” he says. “We thought of replacing the malt in beer with tea because, like malt, tea comes from a single plant but can be presented in a wide variety of ways.” It’s a hip, hoppy option for someone abstaining or just as a thirst quenching, non-alcoholic alternative. Available at Whole Foods Market locations and at hoptea.com.
ANN TRIEGER KURLAND
Ann Trieger Kurland can be reached at email@example.com.