Chances are you have an opinion about La Croix. Perhaps you are among the droves of loyal fans, glad to wax about the wonders of pamplemousse. Or perhaps La Croix does nothing for you and makes you think of what the ghost of a lemon might taste like.
Regardless of where you come down, the popularity of that ilk of flavored, unsweetened soda waters is undeniable. So popular that Snake River Brewing has decided to get into the fizzy water game.
In late January, after weeks of research, the brewpub began pouring “Rocky’s Top Hop Water,” a nonalcoholic carbonated water flavored with Simcoe and Idaho 7 hops.
I find both soda and hops to be greatly refreshing, so I quickly resolved to taste the Hop Water. I told some friends about the mission, and it’s safe to say that Hop Water has to overcome some bad PR. No one I spoke to found the idea of Hop Water appealing, even when I explained that it’s supposed to be like La Croix, but with hops.
Unfazed and undeterred, I went to the brewpub for some ... water.
The appearance of the Hop Water may be a bit off-putting to the less adventurous. The beverage is mostly clear with a faint hint of a dark, earthy green. Hop Water is shot from a soda gun, so the carbonation is high, and the drink has a coarse mousse of large bubbles. The resulting texture is similar to the lively effervescence of a La Croix.
As for flavor, the Hop Water is more subtle than I was expecting. It tastes grassy, earthy and barely tart, and I realized I might not have realized it was hop-infused had I tasted it blind. Hop Water is reminiscent of La Croix in that Hop Water is refreshing and balanced without any discernible sweetness.
It’s easy to drink, I had finished a full pint of it in just minutes and was eager for a refill. All in all it was a satisfying beverage.
Rocky’s Top Hop Water pours for only $2.50, so the stakes are low if you try it and don’t like it. But I assure you that curiosity, morbid or otherwise, will be rewarded if you decide to give it a try. ￼