Aug 2, 2022 - News

Boulder's Hoplark capitalizes on healthy beverage trends

Hoplark 0.0 debuted this year. Photo courtesy of Hoplark
Hoplark 0.0 debuted this year. Photo courtesy of Hoplark

Hoplark's slogan leaves quite an impression in Colorado, already known for its craft beer.

  • "Your favorite new craft brew isn't a beer," the packaging on the new non-alcoholic Hoplark 0.0 reads.

What's happening: The Boulder company is offering a beer-like experience for the health-conscious consumer, first with its hop-infused teas launched in 2018 and now with its new non-alcoholic, zero-calorie hopped sparkling water.

  • Neither are technically beer because they are not fermented, but Hoplark wants to compete in the craft beer space.
  • The operation’s credibility comes from its use of hops — the plant that gives fruit flavors (particularly citrus) to beer.

What they're saying: "This is a better-for-me beverage that I can consume throughout the day," Hoplark president John Damiano told Axios Denver in a recent interview.

Of note: The concept originated when co-founder and home brewer Dean Eberhardt took a month-long hiatus from drinking alcohol. They later debuted at the Boulder Farmers Market.

Why it matters: Hoplark, a 70-person company distributed nationally in Whole Foods stores, sits at the confluence of the latest beverage industry trends, succeeding where big beer makers like Coors are losing traditional consumers and where craft beer is struggling to maintain its growth.

  • Its premium-priced beverages emphasize flavor and appeal to those who want to drink less booze — two booming market segments.

By the numbers: The beverage offerings remain niche, but the company touts 14-fold growth since 2019. It survived the pandemic with a renewed focus on direct-to-consumer sales through a membership program and its Prairie Avenue taproom.

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