The BrewDeck Web background











Key Points From This Episode:

  • An overview of the non-alcoholic market
  • Product recommendations for brewing non-alcoholic beers
  • Abita’s craft soda line
  • Hop water
  • False Idol’s terpene sparkling botanical water
  • Challenges in canning and kegging

Transcript - No Alcohol, No Problem



Toby (00:09):
Well, hello.

Heather (00:10):

Adam (00:11):

Toby (00:13):

Adam (00:13):
[inaudible 00:00:16].

Toby (00:15):
We are here for another episode of The BrewDeck Podcast. This one about NA beers, not … NA beverages, right? Not just beers.

Heather (00:27):
Yeah, we don’t really even-

Toby (00:28):
We talk all things even non-alcoholic.

Heather (00:31):
… yeah, some fun stuff for dry January.

Toby (00:34):
That’s right. We first talked about NA beers back with Athletic Brewing. For those that are into NA beers or have had NA beers or whatever, I’m sure you had Athletic Brewing. They’ve blown up since season one four or five years ago when we talked to them and it’s called Free Beer. You haven’t listened to it, go back and check it out, like I said, back in 2020. And we talked about the market for NA offerings and it’s obviously grown tremendously and we thought it would be fitting to do this in January because of dry January and January is usually a tough month for the industry as a whole.

Obviously got the holidays, bad weather. We had bad weather here in Texas. And Heather, I don’t know if either you or Adam would even call what we had bad weather here in Texas recently, but it does happen.

Adam (01:30):
I will trade you bad weathers. How’s that?

Toby (01:34):
I will trade you bad drivers who can’t drive anything less than freezing weather, whether it’s snow or ice on the road. I’ll trade you our Texas drivers all day.

Heather (01:47):
Yeah, you can have the Vancouver drivers too because as soon as the West Coast-

Adam (01:53):
I don’t want either of those. I’ve driven with the Vancouver drivers and I don’t want that.

Heather (01:58):
We don’t know how to function when it snows out west either. So, it’s been a little disastrous out here lately.

Toby (02:06):
Well, I’m not dry in January, I’m moist. I did partake a little bit over the actual ringing in of the New Year’s, but there’s a lot of options out there and I have been partaking in some for many months now and I think for those listeners, if you don’t have an NA option at your brewery, at your tap room, you’re not already thinking about it, you should certainly put some more thought into it.

Adam (02:43):
It’s really helpful. A lot of breweries, especially this time of year with the changes. I find that just the last couple of years a lot of breweries have been bemoaning the fact that it’s dry January and for good reason, it’s their business. But I find it awesome how quickly they have been able to turn on this one and be able to offer something to keep customers coming in. It’s pretty impressive.

Heather (03:08):
Well, and the creativity in it too. We’re going to talk today to a couple of brewers that are not doing non-alcoholic beers at their establishments are doing something completely different, which I think is really cool as well.

Toby (03:20):
And the quantity of some of these items they’re punching out, right? It’s big. And honestly, when there’s times that we go into a bar or a restaurant and we don’t feel like drinking, but we want something that tastes like beer and yeah, there’s a lot of different options right now.

I saw this yesterday, that off-premise sale of NA beverages have grown over 30% year over year. That’s like over 500 million. It’s crazy. And then 94% of NA beverage buyers also purchase alcohol containing products. So, it’s not just for the people that don’t drink.

Heather (04:09):
They’re sober. It’s for sober curious as well. It’s for the people that like you said, you’re doing a moist January. I’m doing the same. I not not having a drink, but I’m not actively drinking.

Adam (04:21):
Yeah, I love that term. Sober curious.

Heather (04:24):
I’m curious.

Adam (04:24):
[inaudible 00:04:29].

Heather (04:28):
I’m not ready to fully commit to that but I’m curious.

Toby (04:30):
Dip your toes in the water, just check it out for a little bit. Gosh, that’s awesome. Well, the other curious thing, and I’m sure y’all obviously will know more about Canada, but specific in the US, five states accounted for 30% of the growth in NA beverages. You want to guess any of those five?

Heather (04:52):
Well, I’m going to say California, just because it’s California.

Toby (04:54):
Size, yeah. The next one’s interesting. Number two, you got a guess, Adam?

Adam (05:00):
I do have a guess. I would guess, and I’m basing it on beer drinkers. I would think that maybe something like Colorado might be one.

Toby (05:11):
Bam, you’re on it. Which is interesting to me-

Adam (05:14):
[inaudible 00:05:14].

Toby (05:14):
… about Colorado. I would say it’s probably, I wouldn’t say the birthplace of craft, but there is a bunch of craft and Colorado has been known craft brewery-centric for a long time. And then also legalization of cannabis. But yeah, huge growth of NA beverages there, followed by Massachusetts, Michigan and Ohio. Interesting.

Adam (05:42):
I’m surprised Texas isn’t on that list, just based on sheer size.

Toby (05:46):
That’s true, yeah. We like our beer though.

Adam (05:49):
That’s true.

Toby (05:52):
86% of NA beverage category is NA beer. Next on the list, wine at 11% and then-

Adam (06:06):
Isn’t that just [inaudible 00:06:08]?

Toby (06:07):
… yeah, it is, yeah. 3.7 alcohol-free spirits and most of that is primarily vodka. Have y’all ever had a NA wine?

Heather (06:18):
I have, but it was a while ago. And I was going to say it’s the same way that NA beers have grown so much over the past few years. I remember when you could get one kind of NA beer and it was not great and I think wine is starting to grow a lot more, but the first one I had, I wasn’t a super big fan of.

Toby (06:38):
I just think of grape juice.

Heather (06:41):
But it doesn’t taste like grape juice.

Adam (06:44):
I’m not a huge wine drinker, so I’m not 100% sure the non-alcoholic version of wine would be where I would want to hang my hat.

Toby (06:52):
Just the dominance of NA beer in this category, but $4 billion industry in 2024, 2.5% growth year over year. Globally the US generates the highest revenue in this particular market. It’s interesting, other fun fact here, average consumption of NA beverages, I’m sorry, NA beer, 2.61 liters per person.

Adam (07:20):
Per person?

Toby (07:20):

Adam (07:20):
A lot of people.

Heather (07:20):
It’s a lot of people.

Toby (07:22):
Yeah. I mean it’s just sheer growth, right?

Adam (07:24):

Toby (07:24):
There’s a lot going on with NA beers. I’ve had some good ones. I’ve had some bad ones.

Adam (07:29):
I was going to ask that question to you guys. Have you found ones that you find are good that you would be like, “Hey, I want a beer but I don’t want the alcohol.” Do you have something that you would grab and be like, “Okay, cool. This is a great one.”

Toby (07:45):
Yeah, I do.

Heather (07:46):
We talked about Athletic at the top. Everything that I’ve had from Athletic has been-

Adam (07:50):
I wasn’t listening to you.

Heather (07:51):
… fantastic. I’ve tried the Bellwoods out from Ontario there. They’re doing the Jelly King, they’re doing NA. And it was really, really good. If you want a nice Canadian option. And just down the road from me, Strange Fellows here in Vancouver does NA pale ale that’s really, really nice as well. There’s just so many out there now. You have so many awesome, amazing options out there now.

Toby (08:19):
Yeah, and I would say Community Brewing here in Dallas, they make a lineup of NA beers called Nada and they’re very good too. And I also have to, on a large scale, Just The Haze from Boston Beer, it’s pretty tasty as far as I’m concerned. So, there’s some good ones out there. I think I had read too, that Heineken Zero is the majority of popularity in NA beer. Have y’all had that Heineken? I think it’s called Heineken Zero.

Heather (08:58):
I’ve had it because it’s been the only NA option at a bar before and I’ve had it when I’m going through sober times.

Toby (09:07):

Adam (09:07):
Here, my brother is a big Guinness drinker outside of the craft market, but he was telling me that when he was over earlier last year, they went and had Guinness 0.0 on tap and he said that it was phenomenal. I haven’t had one yet myself, but if companies like that are able to start moving the needle a little bit on that segment, it’ll be even more interesting to watch over the next couple of years.

Toby (09:40):
Yeah. Well, I think the other thing to consider here is there’s obviously the health conscious movement and the younger people I talk to, like early 20s, they seem like they’re not drinking as much as say, I did when I was that age. I think it’s just a trend that is just building steam. People are looking for other options. So, is it similar in Canada?

Adam (10:08):
Sure is.

Heather (10:08):
Yeah, it absolutely is, yeah. So recently SAS Canada did a survey, sorry, it was 2021, so maybe not super recently, but it showed that one in five Canadians are drinking less than they were pre-pandemic. And 15% of Canadians that are around the 20 year age mark are sober and they predict that there’s even a larger group that are actually … that’s sober curious as well. And we actually saw a drop in alcohol sales by 1.2% in 2022, and that was the first decline the industry has actually ever seen.

Toby (10:41):

Adam (10:42):
I’m interested in, it’s a whole separate topic I guess, but I mean just why such a strong shift, especially with that age group that … those 20-somethings that have really stepped away from it all together. I mean, our age groups, we went to the bars we went to the clubs, and you’re seeing a lot less of that these days and a lot more of staying at home and doing other things that don’t involve drinking. And it’s a weird shift. It’s not a bad shift, it’s just a different one, that’d be interesting to see where that came from.

Toby (11:25):
I don’t don’t know, Heather if you have any idea, but I mentioned the US NABR market. What do you think Canada is as far as revenue?

Heather (11:42):
Oh, they’re actually predicting that it’ll … in 2024 it’ll do 171 million.

Toby (11:42):

Heather (11:42):
In Canada, yeah. That’s huge.

Toby (11:43):
And am I reading this right? 5365% growth?

Heather (11:48):
No, I probably-

Toby (11:52):
Do you see that?

Heather (11:52):
… I forgot a decimal point. Come on.

Toby (11:54):
[inaudible 00:11:55].

Adam (11:54):
You forgot all of them, apparently

Heather (11:54):
Now the numbers.

Toby (12:00):
I was like, “You Canadians, gosh, you just love that NA beer, so much so.”

Adam (12:02):
There’s a million and half percent growth.

Heather (12:03):
It’s the metric system, Toby, it’s the metrics system.

Toby (12:08):
Silly, silly metrics system that everyone except us uses pretty, much.

Heather (12:12):
Well yeah, it’s like 5.3% growth.

Toby (12:19):
I’m sorry, Heather.

Heather (12:20):
That’s totally fine. It’s totally fine, year over year.

Toby (12:24):
Yeah. And for the listener, just know, we are reading some notes here and Heather had 5365% growth, like that is great. Anyhoo, all good stuff.

Heather (12:32):
I have to be picked on by these guys because it wouldn’t be …

Toby (12:39):
No, never. Well, we’re also talking about hop waters, mocktails, anything NA today in this episode. The seltzer industry is another big one too. That took off gangbusters and is slowly decreasing, but it’s still stable. I mean, it’s expected to be 85 million in 2030, that kind of segment. And then the other interesting thing is hop water has been the fifth biggest growing craft style beverage in the US.

Heather (13:17):
Crazy, I like hop water.

Toby (13:19):
Yeah, me too. Adam, you mentioned something about White Claw making an NA seltzer now?

Adam (13:25):
Yeah, and I mean everything else White Claw does, it has been selling exceptionally well. I can’t get past, I don’t understand it, it’s just soda water, man.

Heather (13:38):
I think I’d rather drink like a bubbly or something.

Adam (13:38):
I think that’s it. I mean, yeah, I don’t understand-

Heather (13:38):
No offense to White claw drinkers by means, but I think-

Adam (13:42):
No but I mean, usually the flavor’s in the separate room anyway, but I just don’t get it. I don’t understand NA seltzer.

Toby (13:57):
Yeah, when you got on the flip side too, you got like Mountain Dew producing alcoholic sodas.

Heather (14:03):
Okay, so I have never seen this, so I don’t think this is a thing in Canada by any means, but like I said when we originally talked about this, that has to give you a heart attack. I would assume that would give you a heart attack.

Toby (14:17):
Yeah, it seems like, yeah, you get giant buzz and diabetes at the same time or something, I don’t know. Seems like it’s overdoing it.

Adam (14:29):
Yeah, [inaudible 00:14:31], there it is.

Toby (14:36):
It’s a great segment, especially in January. I’m glad we’re talking about it, but it’s the same point. What is there possibly to do next in the segment or segment? Is it like non-alcoholic Jager shots? Yeah, so what are y’all thinking?

Heather (14:53):
That’s just cough syrup.

Toby (14:53):

Heather (14:53):
If we doing non-alcoholic Jager shots.

Toby (14:53):

Heather (14:56):
But I wouldn’t negate that from ever happening because you never know. Again, Mountain Dew alcoholic sodas. You just never know what can happen. Yeah, I don’t know what’s next. It’s grown so much and there’s so many new things have just been thrown in your face recently. I never thought I would see a day where we’d have non-alcoholic gin. I’ve had mocktails before, but they just don’t have any alcohol in them and these ones are making them with a non-alcoholic spirit. It’s weird.

Toby (15:32):
It’s talented, yet crazy.

Heather (15:33):
Yeah, definitely.

Toby (15:35):
Yeah, the trend’s not going away. I mean, there’s bars out there, that that’s all they do. It’s mocktails. Yeah, mocktail bars.

Adam (15:43):
No, there’s actually Collective Arts here in Ontario. They have a taproom in downtown Toronto. They were brewing out of the space in the basement, but they’ve stopped brewing there, so they’re now doing sober speakeasies on the weekend. So, they’re bringing a live band. They’ve got a pretty strong selection of different types of NA drinks and open it up, non-alcoholic, have a band, have a good time.

Toby (16:13):
We talked to those folks, God, three or four years ago, I think had them on to talk about what they’re doing.

Adam (16:18):
[inaudible 00:16:18].

Heather (16:18):
Last season.

Adam (16:19):
Last season?

Heather (16:22):
We had them on last season. We them had them on for the RTD episode.

Toby (16:23):
Yeah, that’s right.

Heather (16:25):

Toby (16:26):
Yeah, good stuff.

Heather (16:27):
I mean, they’ve been around for a long time Collective Arts, always doing really cool stuff. I think for me too, if I go out during the week, I love to go to concerts and stuff and I can’t always get … they’re not always on the weekends as my 40 year oldness would love them to be. So, it’s always nice to have a non-alcoholic option at the bar that you’re usually going to see these bands play at because I can’t drink and then go to work the next day anymore because again, 40.

Adam (16:55):
You’re in sales, just start later, Heather. Move the needle, man.

Toby (17:03):
Now, I know what you’ve been doing all day, Adam. Nothing.

Heather (17:04):
[inaudible 00:17:05].

Adam (17:05):
It’s true.

Toby (17:06):
There you go. Well, cool. Let’s dive into this. We got a great lineup. Abi’s going to join us for an Ask Abi segment. We have Mark Wilson from Abita and Will Perry, brewery out here in North Richland Hills outside of Dallas, False Idol. So, exciting episode. Let’s just dive right in.

Now, one of our favorite segments and favorite people to have on, we are welcoming back to another episode. It’s Abi Connor, our product marketing manager. Hey Abi, how are you?

Abi (17:42):
Hi. I always love when you introduced me. I feel so loved and cared about, I love that.

Toby (17:47):
We love you and we care about you, so much.

Abi (17:49):
Thank you.

Heather (17:49):
It’s true.

Toby (17:52):
Yeah, we’re ecstatic to have you back on because we are talking about NA products, NA meaning non-alcohol products, and there’s a bunch out there. So, we know you’re an expertise in a lot of things and just wanted to get your take on NA products in general and tell us a little bit about it and so maybe the listeners can learn a little bit from Abi.

Abi (18:15):
Yeah, definitely. I mean, there are a lot of options, like you said. We’re watching this market skyrocket and there are many places that are expanding their offerings. I mean, I don’t even know that White Claw has an NA seltzer now, which is really cool. And as a person that doesn’t drink alcohol, I really appreciate all the varieties that are out there and just that it’s growing.

If you’re looking to expand your taproom and packaged offerings with NA beverages, we have a ton of products that you can stick on your palate and try out. Let’s talk about NA beer first. If you’re listening to this, chances are you already make really good beer. There are obviously a few changes that you need to make if you’re going for low and no alcohol. And as far as products go with NA Beer, the main player is yeast. So if you’re de-alcoholizing your beer on your own as opposed to using a third party or buying expensive equipment, we have a couple of really good NA yeasts that you can try out in your fermentation.

First one that I can talk about is Lallemand’s LalBrew LoNa yeast, L-O-N-A. It’s a newer addition to our portfolio. I think we got this one last year and I’ve talked about it a few times in our Ask Abi segments so far, just because a really great product to use, LoNa is a maltose negative hybrid strain that results in a very low attenuation. It’s perfect for those low and no alcohol beers, and Lallemand has a ton of education around usage for the yeast out there too, which is really nice if you’re just learning about it. Give it a try, it’s great.

Another one that we have is Fermentis’ SafBrew LA-01. This is a dry yeast that’s another great option for your low and no alcohol beers. LA-01 doesn’t assimilate maltose or maltose and assimilates those simple sugars like glucose, fructose, sucrose. It’s characterized by a little subtle aroma profile, which is really nice. One thing that I really like about the yeast is that it can ferment cooler, all the way down to 59 degrees, which reduces the metabolic activity even further. One thing to note with this though is that you need a clarification assistance, just with a centrifuge or clarification agent.

Heather (20:30):
That’s awesome. We love trying all the non-alcoholic beers out there, so that’s great. So, now that we’ve touched on that, can you tell the people some other products that we do offer for other non-alcoholic beverages?

Abi (20:44):
Yeah, definitely. I mean, we have a lot … we have a great selection evolving with the market as this segment is booming. A few things that come to mind are products that help with beer starting and finishing pH. Something that you need to keep in mind. Typically, we like to keep the pH below four with NA. We have a really good food grade pH stabilizer from Five Star to help that … lock in that mash and kettle water. Or if you’re finding that you’re finishing pH is a little higher than four, we recommend for low and no-alcohols, we have a lactic and phosphoric acid by Five Star as well. Speaking of Five Star, one thing to keep in mind always when you’re brewing any beverage at all is to keep your brew house clean and your equipment running properly. When brewing low and no alcohol, beers, it’s something to really keep in mind to reduce off flavors and contamination, that just completely destroys all of your efforts. So, take a look at our range of products from Five Star to make sure that everything is running properly.

Adam (21:48):
That’s definitely something to keep in mind. How about hop waters?

Abi (21:53):
I love hop waters, they’re fun. I have found some really great ones and I’ve found some not so great ones. I know that everybody’s really experimenting. It just depends on your taste. If you really like the super, super hoppy ones or if you like flavored hop waters, there’s a great range of options out there. As you know, our partner in hops is YCH. We have quite the range of offerings from them as well, as far as hops go from extracts to T90. I hear share, a personal preference that folks really like the more fruit forward hops like Citra, Mosaic, El Dorado and so on. If you’re making a hop water, my recommendation would be to throw in about a pound per barrel about 10 minutes before you transfer and then you’re golden.

Like I said, you can do hop waters and you can do flavored hop waters. One thing that I really like to talk about when talking about NA beverages, which again range from those hop waters to seltzers, beers, even ready to drink mocktails, is flavors. We have a ton of flavors by Oregon Fruit Company. They’re full of flavor and easy to use.

Also, I wanted to just say keep an eye out. CBC is coming up and I have worked really hard to launch some really great new products for the segment, not just for NA but for Beyond Beer. Quick plug, we’re going to be at Booth 961. Yours truly is going to be there hanging out with the best team ever, a lot of these folks on this podcast, and we’re going to be showcasing our product lines, new product launches with crisp beverages and cool swag. So, stop by and learn more.

Toby (23:34):
How we ever coerced you to join this podcast, I don’t know, but we’re super happy, Abi.

Heather (23:40):
So lucky.

Toby (23:41):
It’s great, I know

Heather (23:42):
That’s why Ask Abi segment is my favorite segment.

Toby (23:46):
That’s right.

Abi (23:48):
Thank you.

Toby (23:49):
Abi, thank you so much as always, and I’m sure we’ll have you on soon to share your wealth of knowledge, so appreciate all the insights. All right. We are here with my buddy Mark Wilson, the brewmaster over at Abita Brewing down in Covington, Louisiana. If you haven’t been to Abita, which I’m assuming with the history of Abita, if you’ve been to Louisiana, you’ve probably been out to that brewery and maybe see Mark hastily running around running things over there. But I always enjoy my visits and had the opportunity to go see Mark several months back and we were having a conversation about a lot of things as we do, but particularly hop water he gave me because at the time was not drinking and it was great. And when we were preparing for the show a couple weeks back, decided we’d just launch an arrow over Mark’s way and see if he would take the bait and come on with us and has. So Mark, how you doing, buddy?

Mark (24:50):
Great, how are you?

Toby (24:52):
I am good. Mark is a pretty humble guy, but he’s a veteran of the industry and knows his stuff. So tell us a little bit about yourself, Mark, and what’s going on at Abita.

Mark (25:09):
So I mean, first Abita, we’re one of the OGs of the craft beer industry and definitely the first one in the southeast, but we were founded in 1986 and I started working here in 1995 just as a trainee and did not think it was going to be a career, but it ended up being one and went to brewing school and got a degree during that time. And in 2004, I was elevated to brewmaster and production manager, and that’s the title I still have, but mainly focused on just the processes and beer and whatever drinks production and not so much worried about the rest of the facility.

Toby (25:57):
Also, spending 30 or 45 minutes with me occasionally and wasting your time, right?

Mark (26:03):

Toby (26:04):
I’m just kidding.

Mark (26:07):
Well, [inaudible 00:26:08] are extremely important because the end product is only as good as the raw materials that go into it.

Toby (26:13):
Well, thank you, Mark. That’s nice. I was going to say, always … it’s been a staple and so that’s 20 years as the brewmaster?

Mark (26:22):
Yeah, yeah.

Toby (26:24):
That’s great.

Mark (26:25):
A lot of growth during that time. And at that time, the craft beer industry, I mean everybody had one flagship beer and then maybe three or four others. And if you’re lucky enough, had some seasonal offerings. So, you’re making six or seven beers in a year. And last year, I really don’t even … I’ve lost count on how many we did, but we probably had 25 different products that were available throughout the year, that went into package.

Toby (26:53):
Wow. Well, in that amount of time, you’ve probably seen it all in our industry, including the popularity of NA offerings as of late. But y’all have been doing sodas for quite a long time, right?

Mark (27:10):
Yeah, we started doing root beer in 1994, and at the time, it was just a natural extension to do that. And the one thing, one of the reasons that we were able to do that and wanted to, was in Louisiana we produce a lot of sugar, and so we’re using real cane sugar, and since we have the brewing equipment, we’re making this as on the hot side, so we’re getting the really good flavors of the caramelized sugar and it’s a better product than using high fructose corn syrup and mixing everything cold. So, we think it makes a better product. And so, it was really location and then just a natural extension of our line.

Toby (28:02):
And I think I’ve asked you about it before and certainly don’t want to have any secrets exposed or anything, but y’all use a shit ton of sugar, right? You guys get it in bulk format?

Mark (28:16):
Yeah, yeah. So right now, we use 2,200 pound totes and you see, I mean, all the labeling is on there. It’s 45 grams of sugar per 12 ounces, and that’s all cane sugar. And so, one of those totes is going to yield about 67 barrels. And then we’re producing … last year we made, of our overall sodas, it was 20,000 barrels.

Toby (28:52):

Mark (28:52):
And 90% to 95% of that is root beer.

Toby (28:57):
Geez, that’s a lot.

Mark (29:00):
I mean, when we do an order, we’re basically using a truckload of sugar at a time to make this, because we’ll make it usually in our brew house and our bright beer tanks that we use, we’ll make this 600 barrels at a time, and then usually we double up on that and just for efficiencies, we’ll make 1,200 barrels. So, that’s going to be 18 totes of sugar that’s going to go into that.

Toby (29:25):
Wow, wow. I love root beer and I’m just thinking to myself 45 grams of sugar, I’m like, what if I were to give this whole thing to my 10-year-old son who already has enough energy? Let’s see what happens there. That was good.

Heather (29:43):
Oh, I was just going to say, that’s a fun experiment for you to try. I want to be nowhere near any of that.

Toby (29:48):
[inaudible 00:29:48] from what I’ve said. Yeah, not good. Anyways, but Mark, y’all also doing cream soda and cake soda, right?

Mark (29:57):
Yeah. So in 2015, we decided to do some line extensions on this, and we introduced a cream soda and it’s just, I mean, again, all natural, all of our sodas are all natural and it’s just a vanilla cream soda. It’s just a little bit golden color. I know there’s a lot of cream sodas out there that are red. This is not one of those. So, it’s just a lot of vanilla and caramelized sugar flavor, and that’s available year round. And then at the time, we started doing some seasonal products, and one of those is a king cake soda, so that’s available now. It’s Mardi Gras season here and one of the things that goes along with Mardi Gras is king cakes, and those are just, for people that don’t know, it’s just basically a brioche style cake that has a lot of cinnamon and then either icing or sprinkled sugar on it. And so, we worked with a flavor company and developed a flavor that has that cinnamon, that’s the main flavor, but also got an icing flavor as well to go along with just the sweetness. And that’s going to be in the sugar.

Toby (31:31):
Heather asked a question in our pre-production for this and getting ready, if y’all put little plastic men inside the king cake soda, I had no idea what she was talking about. I had to search the king cake.

Mark (31:47):
Well, in every king cake they put … it’s a baby, it’s a little-

Heather (31:52):
A baby.

Toby (31:53):
A baby, sorry.

Mark (31:56):
… because it basically ties back to the 12th night and the epiphany. So, the baby goes into the king cake, and the tradition is when you buy a king cake, whoever gets the baby has to buy the next one. And we do that here in our office weekly during the [inaudible 00:32:17]. But yeah, I don’t think that it would be food safe to put trinkets into the bottles.

Toby (32:22):

Heather (32:22):
It’s probably not safe, no. Choking hazard, for sure.

Toby (32:27):
Don’t they do it with some cheap mescal. They put worms in there, or is that different?

Heather (32:32):
I think that’s just cheap tequila.

Toby (32:33):
Oh, they do whatever they want. So Mark, you mentioned 20,000 barrels just of the root beer, and then what’s your overall barrelage production, including beer and other sodas? I’m just trying to just gauge how much y’all actually do.

Mark (32:53):
Yeah, it’s roughly 100,000 of beer, so it’s about 15% to 20% of our product is sodas. So yeah, and about 18,000 of that is root beer.

Toby (33:07):
Wow, it is good stuff. My Canadian friends here probably have not had it. It is really good.

Heather (33:12):
No but I would love it. I love craft root beer. It’s definitely one of my absolute favorites.

Mark (33:19):
That’s allowed us to grow as much … I mean, we’ve had it, and surprisingly we do a lot of draft on that as well. We do about 1,200 kegs of root beer a month, and one of our great partners is Shake Shack, and we have our root beer in every Shake Shack on the planet.

Toby (33:41):

Mark (33:42):
So we do a lot with everywhere in the US but they’re a worldwide company and they are in Asia, in the Middle East, everywhere. And we work with them through their distribution network and suppliers and get it registered in wherever, India, UAE, Japan, Korea, anywhere in Europe, and we sell that in all of those stores.

Toby (34:15):
Sounds like a good partner to have to get your product line out there.

Mark (34:18):
It’s great. And they [inaudible 00:34:22] how good the product is and having that good craft soda available.

Heather (34:28):
Please hold while I go google Shake Shack in Seattle [inaudible 00:34:33].

Toby (34:33):
Oh yeah, [inaudible 00:34:33], they’re good, they’re great.

Heather (34:34):
There’s one right off the I5 so I will be trying some root beer next week.

Toby (34:38):
There you go.

Heather (34:38):

Toby (34:40):
It worked out. Cool. So Mark, tell us about your hop water. I know we had a little conversation about it there, and there’s a lot of people, I say a lot, but there’s quite a few people out there making hop water. So tell us a little bit about yours, what you’re doing there.

Mark (34:58):
So I mean, this is a really simple product. I mean, it is what it says, it’s just, it’s hop water. So, we did some experimentation. The first thing is to try to make it, I guess, as easy to process as possible. So, we tried to use hop extracts and oils and just add that to carbonated water and see what it tasted like and it really didn’t taste great. So, we started basically just using pellets and having those … adding water. And we always went with carbonated water, carbonated first, because there’d be a little bit better extraction of the hops under pressure. And then just trial and error, see how much hop flavor we needed to not have any bitterness, but just the flavor being extracted.

So it was just some trial and error and doing that with pelletized hops and the pelletized hops gave it a much more rounded flavor and changed a little bit of the mouthfeel as well. And then we add citric acid to it to enhance the hop flavor and to just … I mean, make it taste better. I’ve spoken with a lot of brewers and who are … everybody’s doing one, whether it’s in production, ours is actually in the market. We can it and sell it outside of the brewery, but most everybody, most brewers are doing one either for sale outside of their brewery, but definitely having them available in their brewery, in their tap rooms. And everybody, it seems, came to the same conclusions that we did and is pelletized hops are the way to go. And then adding a little bit of citric acid, hitting a specific pH point. So, it’s really just a matter of how hoppy one is versus the other. And then what hops you choose to use.

We zeroed in on Citra and Cascade because we wanted that kind of citrus and those popular flavors. We figured the popular hops would be the best for that. And those two really go well together. So, you get the grapefruit and citrus flavor that comes out in it, and it’s a seltzer, it’s carbonated. It’s not carbonated as highly as a seltzer is, so it does have a little bit better mouth feel.

Toby (37:42):
Yeah, that’s great. Are there any challenges, I guess, back up a little. Any challenges to production or canning slash kegging of the sodas and the hop water that listeners may not be aware of?

Mark (38:00):
Not really. I mean, the hop water, not at all. The biggest challenge for the hop water was once we were doing it was to set a standard to meet where, so it could be repeatable because there’s not a whole lot of data from how much hops are extracted just from sitting in water for a little while and since it’s not like … it’s similar to dry hopping, but you don’t have the yeast activation that’s going on and things like that. So, it took a few batches to be able to say, “All right, this is exactly how we’re going to produce it,” and making sure it was repeatable every time.

And then canning, that there’s no issues whatsoever. I mean, that’s just going through the line like normal. For sodas, there’s really not a whole lot different with that. I mean, we use all of the same kegging equipment and packaging equipment that are used for our beer.

I know when we first started doing this, and I would field questions from people who were wanting to run sodas, they were very concerned about using the same equipment and flavor transfer, and things like that. But frankly, we’ve never had an issue with it. And if you just do a good CIP before and after, then there’s really … we haven’t experienced any issues whatsoever with it. It runs the same way, it goes through all of our processes. Packaging is the same, so just before and after, we want to make sure that we do a good CIP. So one, there’s no yeast that could come in from our beer from a previous run because some of our beers were unfiltered that would get into the root beer and then be able to ferment. And then afterwards, we do a good CIP because we don’t want, again, any of those flavors from that root beer flavor to sit and get in and mix with the beer. But all of our equipment is good and stainless steel and never had any issues.

Toby (40:05):
All right. We talked a little bit while we were up there. Again at the time, I was about six months in to just take a little bit of break from drinking, and I had said I’d tried just about every NA beer out there, and you and I were under the discussion about particularly NA beers, and I had asked if you had any intention or have tried it, and I wanted to just ask you a little bit about that and your consideration or why or why not on the NA beer side of things.

Mark (40:38):
Yeah, I mean, it’s definitely something that’s been on our radar and something we’ve looked at for at least four or five years as to if we wanted to do something that was NA. I mean, one, we already do the sodas, but that’s really not a non-alcoholic beer. So, that is something that those are soda drinkers. It’s a completely different market, whereas like hop water, we’re going after beer drinkers with hop water.

And for NA, there’s a couple of different routes for NA. One of those is for beers that are either completely unfermented or fermented with yeast that basically arrest development almost right off the bat so that they’re creating a product that is less than 0.5% ABV.

So, those products are the majority of … or that seems to be what’s growing. But for one reason or another, we just didn’t feel that we wanted to have that approach. When we were tasting different NA beers, we tasted ones like that. And then we also had ones that are done in, I guess what would be the traditional form for NAs, which was to make a beer and then remove the alcohol later on.

And there’s some really, really good technologies now for doing that. And basically you can do a cold distillation method for removing the alcohol. And then also because when you’re removing the alcohol, you’re also going to remove a lot of the volatiles that are necessary and the flavor from the beer. So, there are some newer technologies that allow you to basically take the alcohol off, but then also capture some of the flavors and then put those back into the beer, into the finished product, and then have that be at a true, almost zero, zero or at a very low alcohol. And those are the products that we liked the most, but they’re also very expensive and require a very large footprint, and a lot of equipment put in and utilities. So, it just didn’t make sense when we looked at everything to … if we wanted to make the product that we liked the best, it just became a little bit cost prohibitive for us to do that.

So, we just decided to not go into that area and just to focus on the hop water, which I think is good. And you can testify to that. If you’re a beer drinker and you’re not drinking at the time, that that’s a pretty good substitute.

Toby (43:42):
I think you made the right decision because the hop water, it was great. It was fantastic. It’s also interesting, and Heather, I think you and I mentioned it, just the amount of secretiveness, if you will, in NA beer production. It seems like everybody’s guarded about how they make it-

Heather (44:03):
How they’re doing it.

Toby (44:04):
… yeah, what their technique is. And at the same time, I saw an article come out last week from the Brewers Association about the challenges and concerns about people that are kegging or trying to keg NA beers. There’s a lot more into it than just the amount of equipment and footprint. There’s a lot more regulation and safety aspects of making an NA beer. So, it’s just a crazy world. There’s some people that do it very, very well, as you said, Mark, and there’s others that don’t do it well at all.

Mark (44:39):
And it is challenging because beer is not classified as food because of the alcohol and the nature of the product being low pH, being acidic and having alcohol, there are no food-borne pathogens in beer. Non-alcoholic beer that is not produced where it ferments and is cold distilled is food, as it is. So you can actually, if you don’t do it well, there is risk of food-borne bacteria. It’s not naturally acidic because it’s just like wort. So, there’s a lot of things that have to be done to make this a stable product and a safe product, especially if you’re not pasteurizing it.

Yeah, I mean, when I went to brewing school back in 2003, that was one of the things, because in the United States, they weren’t making a lot of NA beer, but in Europe they were. And that was one of the things that was kind of a Pandora’s box for when you start going into that, is you’re not dealing with beer anymore, you’re dealing with food, and you do bring in that risk. So, that is something that I think everybody in the beer industry needs to be concerned about, is making sure that there are standards and that people understand that because there could be some serious issues that would arise if you make … and frankly, some of it is just wort and you’re selling wort.

Toby (46:12):
And unfortunately, I’ve heard some stories, some not good stories at all. So yeah, I definitely appreciate the insight on that, Mark, and good to let people know.

Mark (46:24):
Yeah, and I think that’s true with … and I really haven’t spoken to anybody with NA beers, but yeah, if you figure out something that you’re doing that can differentiate your product, I would think that unlike typical beer, I mean anytime I want, I can call most people in the industry and ask them questions and the information flows pretty freely. But I think with the NA products, with all the things you have to … the hoops you have to jump through to make a good product, I think people are a little bit more guarded with their secrets.

Toby (46:58):
Yeah, yeah, you’re right.

Heather (46:59):
Brewing itself is not a secret. We know how to brew, so it is a little weird that everything gets kept a little close on that one.

Mark (47:07):
And it was the same thing with when everybody was making seltzers as well. It’s good clean seltzer that has no flavor at all. So, once people figure that out, it’s really difficult. There wasn’t as much sharing with that either.

Heather (47:23):
So, you said you’ve been doing the soda since the ’90s, is that correct?

Mark (47:27):
Yeah, yeah, the [inaudible 00:47:28].

Heather (47:27):
The root beer, just the root beer since the ’90s?

Mark (47:39):
The root beer in 1994, and then the vanilla cream soda and the king cake we’ve been doing since 2015.

Heather (47:44):
Great. Do you have any advice you’d give to a brewery that is looking to possibly do a soda option as a non-alcoholic option at their brew house?

Mark (47:55):
I mean, there’s no real advice because it’s honestly so simple and we have all the equipment. We’ve made this where we’ve boiled water in the kettle and then transferred it to the whirlpool and added all the flavors. We’ve done it in mash mixers and then now in our new brew house that we’re using, well I call it new, but we’ve been using it for 10 years now, that has … Basically we designed that for root beer production and for soda production. So, we have a sugar mixing tank that then goes right to the kettle and that’s where all the other ingredients are added and then goes to the whirlpool immediately, not doing anything other than transferring it, and then goes through our heat exchanger just like any other beer would. Yeah, just use that equipment because you have everything there.

Toby (48:46):
That’s good suggestion for the listeners. What’s on the agenda? Anything exciting and new on the horizon for Abita?

Mark (48:57):
I mean, right now, I mean, one is with the hop water we’re trying to focus … we have some placements of that. And then trying to get focused a little bit more on the on-premise so that it is a non-alcoholic alternative, especially for things like dry January, is people can have that when they go out and focus on that. And then our root beer just continues to grow and just trying to keep up with that.

Toby (49:28):
Yeah. Well, y’all are doing a great job, Mark, and I really appreciate you coming on and chatting with us a little bit about your products over there. And for the listeners who have not made the trek down to the southeast, go say hello to Mark and his team in Covington. It’s a great facility. They do a great job, and from beer to sodas to hop water, they’re just killing it and they always have. So appreciate you coming on Mark and sharing with us your knowledge and your insights.

Mark (49:56):
Yeah, well, I appreciate you guys having me on. And yeah, it’s all the listeners out there. I mean, we’re open, our tap room is open every day of the year except for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we love having visitors. And now is the time to visit when it’s … it doesn’t get too wintery out here, and then in the spring is fantastic. So, come down here and visit the brewery and enjoy all we have to offer.

Toby (50:24):
You got it. All right Mark, look forward to seeing you soon and appreciate you coming on.

Mark (50:28):
All right, thank you.

Toby (50:30):
We are here today with Will Perry, the head brewer over at False Idol Brewing Company in North Richland Hills. I think I have that right, Will. Head Brewer, right?

Will (50:41):
Yes, sir. That’s correct.

Toby (50:42):
I ran into Will, that’s probably what, three months ago, Will? Came in with our TM out there Brittney Drennin, and she was like, “We got to drive out to North Richland Hills and we got to check out False Idol and Will and what they’re doing up there. They make fantastic beers.” Man, I came in there Will, probably right before y’all open and y’all were just kicking it, just throwing out some great tunes and just everybody on the staff there was super friendly and really enjoyed getting able to come to your facility. I’ve heard a lot about it and meet you. But what I remember most, at the time I wasn’t drinking and you were like, “Oh yeah, we’ve got some good stuff for you. Here’s some terpene water.” And I had never heard of it and actually sent me home with several of them and I thought it would be fitting to give you a shout back and have you on specifically talking about the month of January. It is dry January for most of us. For some of us it’s moist, probably like Heather, right?

Heather (51:50):
It’s a moist January.

Toby (51:50):
It’s a moist month?

Heather (51:51):

Toby (51:53):
Yeah. Anyways, I told the crew here, “Will’s like, he’s doing this terpene water. It’s first I heard about it and they’re really, really good.” So long story, thanks for coming on.

Will (52:04):
Yeah, of course, man. Thank you for having me. Happy to be here.

Toby (52:09):
Absolutely. Well, tell us about yourself and False Idol and what y’all are doing up there.

Will (52:14):
Well, we’re a COVID brewery. Due to a bad contractor, we weren’t able to get our doors open before the pandemic hit, but I moved down here to help start this brewery at the very end of 2019, and we got our … Well, our doors open. They weren’t really allowed to be open, but we were producing beer in May of 2020, just doing beer to go for the first couple of months until we were allowed to have a tap room. And that was around August of 2020. Back then it was reduced capacity, so I think we were 50% for the first few months and then eventually worked our way back up to normal capacity.

But we’ve been open since then. We’re on a tin barrel system. We brew lots of different styles, probably I’d say pretty IPA heavy and lager heavy, with a fair amount of mixed culture beers. We do the pastry styles and the [inaudible 00:53:18] and whatnot as well. But I like to pride ourselves on being a very … I always said that I don’t want anyone to ever come to False Idol and not be able to find something that they like on the tap wall. We maintain about 20 tap, so we have a pretty good variety. I never wanted us to be pigeonholed into being like, just an IPA brewery. If you don’t like IPA, I don’t want to go there. I always want someone to be able to have something that they like, but at the same time, we can’t be everything to everyone, but I want to do everything that we do well, if that makes sense.

Toby (54:00):
Yeah, you do do it well. Absolutely.

Will (54:03):
Oh, thank you.

Toby (54:03):
Well, and it brings us to that topic, meaning something for everyone. There’s a lot of people that enjoy the ambiance of being in a good brewery like yourselves, that just don’t want a beer, right?

Will (54:14):
Yeah, yeah.

Toby (54:15):
Or don’t want alcohol, which is the subject on hand today. The only NA offerings is the terpene water?

Will (54:27):
For what we make, yes. We do have sodas and we used to sell Liquid Death, but we’ve taken that off of our menu since we do our own filter waters now.

Toby (54:40):
Yeah. Well, good. So, tell us about it. The terpene water was new to me, and honestly, when I was talking to the crew here, we knew what a terpene was, but not in this application. So y’all are doing terpene, sparkling botanical water, is that right?

Will (54:59):
Yes, sir. That’s correct. So you probably didn’t know what it was because it’s not really a thing, I don’t think, I don’t know … I’m sure there’s people out there doing it that [inaudible 00:55:09].

Heather (55:09):
I have never heard of it before.

Will (55:11):
Yeah, I mean, I haven’t had any. There’s a brewer across town that makes a hop water that uses hop terpenes in it, but we’re not using hop terpenes in ours. But we’ve been playing around with terpenes and their applications in beers for a bit, and we had a whole bunch of samples that the company had sent us, and so we just started spiking glasses of seltzer water and just to see, well, maybe there’s something here. We started playing around with it a little bit and we ended up settling on the different flavors, but we’ve obviously tightened down the recipe since then.

But yeah, we started playing around with it, kind of as a selfish project just something for us to drink because we’re here, we’re sweating, we’re working hard, and the only thing on the wall is beer. So, the idea of having a spritzy flavored water was really cool. So we started playing around with that.

And yeah, we launched it into distribution in January. I want to say we started doing this earlier in the year, probably around March or May, something like that. But yeah, we’ve launched it across the state of Texas. Mostly in cans. We do have draft available, but that’s a pretty hard sell for someone to take up one of their faucets with water. So, we’ve been mostly moving product in cans. But right now, currently we have five flavors. We have lime, we have something called Citrus Sunrise, we have a Northern Lights, Bravo Bomb, and we have Pineapple Gold. [inaudible 00:57:12].

Heather (57:13):
So you’re not using hop terpenes, so what terpenes are you using?

Will (57:16):
Yeah, well, it’s pretty interesting what this company is doing. And they’re not doing anything abstract or any of these other larger terpene companies are not doing. But essentially they’re taking the terpene profile, the different cannabis strains, and they are essentially matching them, but using the terpenes isolated from legal plants. So, it’s all legal and there’s no THC, there’s no CBD, there’s nothing like that. It’s just flavor isolates. But they’re not cannabis derived. They’re all from legal plants. And so, that’s why we’ve decided to brand it as a botanical sparkling water because they are all plant based, all the flavors are.

Toby (57:56):
Wow, yeah. So, after talking about this, I had to look up specifically what terpenes are. I mean, I’ve heard about them in THC and stuff like that, but I wasn’t aware that they could mimic those kinds of terpenes using a variety of non-cannabis plants. So, it’s pretty cool.

Will (58:22):
Oh, yeah. Well, I mean, there’s terpenes in all sorts of stuff. Fruits and plants, and most edible things, terpenes are the building box of flavor. I mean, for lack of better words. And so, it’s really fascinating that they can isolate something as specific as individual terpenes and then be able to rebuild the same profiles because when people ask all the time, because unless you’re in the weed world, terpenes are probably a pretty foreign topic. And so, people always ask us, “Well, what the heck is terpenes?”

And the best way I can describe it as it’s kind of like essential oils, except essential oils take all of the extract from a singular plant, which includes terpenes, and probably includes other things as well. Whereas terpenes are basically dividing out each individual chemical compound that makes up those flavors. And so, they have all these different names for all the different terpenes, and they have them isolated, but God knows what kind of equipment can do that, but I’m sure it’s very, very expensive. But yeah, it’s pretty fascinating stuff. But we’ve found a little niche here for us with this terpene water. It’s a foreign idea, but people really like it, and it’s a pretty easy sale. Someone at the tap room, they grab a couple of four packs to go, and the bartender might be like, “Hey, you want something for the road, not alcoholic?” So they’ll sell them a can of terp water. We call it Terp 2-O, is the brand that … we’ve decided to call the brand.

Adam (01:00:13):
Will, it’s Adam here. Without giving away your trade secrets, because I know that there’s a lot of the secrets in terms of how stuff is made when it comes to the non-alc stuff, but you were saying before when you guys were testing it out, you were just dropping the flavor drops into some soda water, some sparkling water. How is it that you guys are making it? Without getting too involved, obviously, but is it a difficult process? How long does it take?

Will (01:00:44):
No, honestly, it’s pretty simple. I’m pretty open about all this stuff, but we use the terpenes and we use a little bit of citric acid to drop the pH so that it’s a food safe product. It also helps to make the experience a little crisper and refreshing. The pH is pretty low, in most of the the La Croixs, the Waterloos, or other seltzer waters you might buy at the store, and I’m using this citric acid in the exact same array.

We’re trying to get it to a food safe level and do enhanced flavor. And so, we just use those two. And then we use our filtered city water. We have all of our water in the brewery going through a pretty hefty carbon filter and sediment filters and whatnot. We don’t strip it down all the way to RO, but we strip some of the stuff out of it, where it’s noticeably better tasting. And so, that’s the water we use.

We just chill it down and we carbonate it and then package it. So really, it’s a few hours to fill the tanks, but you’re waiting for the glycol system to cool down the tank, which we’ve done it in as short as three day from fill to package. These terpenes-

Toby (01:02:07):

Will (01:02:08):
… are pretty water-soluble and they have no color, or they’re not milky, or they’re totally clear. So, you don’t have to wait for any sort of clarification, unlike you would with beer. It’s just once it’s carbonated, just let it go and start packaging.

Toby (01:02:25):
Yeah, that’s great. So what do y’all do, and I might’ve missed this Will, but do the terpenes you use, are they inclusive of the actual fruit flavorings or aromas, or is that something y’all also add along with the terpene? Does that make sense?

Will (01:02:45):
No, no. Yeah, all the flavor you get from the turf water is just in the terpenes.

Toby (01:02:50):

Will (01:02:50):
We don’t use any other additives, which I mean, if you’ve tried more than, I don’t remember Toby, how many you had, but it’s quite a variety of flavor that you can get from these terpenes. It’s really fascinating how much depth and how much variety that all these different terpene blends can provide. And we’re still playing around with potential new flavors. I mean, we just settled on these because we picked these as our favorite for now, but there’s a lot of terpene blends out there, and the sky’s the limit.

Toby (01:03:31):
Have you had one that just really sucks? You’re dry heaving, like, “Oh, that’s bad. We’re not doing that.”

Will (01:03:36):
Oh yeah, of course. I mean, honestly, most … I shouldn’t say most of them. There’s plenty that I do not care for, but there’s … I mean, a lot of them are real lemon Pledge cleaner kind of aroma, pretty unpleasant. You smell it and you think, “Oh, I would probably get sick if I drank this.” But yeah, obviously we’re not using those, but we tested them.

Toby (01:04:02):
Yeah, yeah, seems like a good time. So you mentioned, yeah, y’all just were messing around with some samples and then started enjoying it. Were y’all originally looking for a way into the NA market as an offering? And then second to that is how were the sales of this Terp 2.O going?

Will (01:04:31):
We weren’t really looking to launch an NA product. Like I said, we started making this stuff primarily for us, but we threw it on tap and started selling it, and it was pretty well received. And obviously now it’s launched into a whole product line. But we have talked about NA products in the past, and I’ve had a handful of NA beers. I guess I shouldn’t drop any names, but I’ve had a handful of different non-alcoholic beers, and I’ve just never really cared for their profile and the flavor for most of them, I’d rather just … Personally, I’d rather just drink something else that’s not beer, not something that kind of tastes like beer, but not a very good beer. That’s just my personal preference.

Toby (01:05:22):
It tough to do, yeah.

Will (01:05:23):
I might be in the minority here because there’s plenty of NA beer has really gotten really popular over the last few years. But yeah, so we weren’t pursuing it, I wouldn’t say. But here we’re, and we have it and we’re running with it.

Toby (01:05:48):
Yeah, that’s great. Well, you mentioned there’s very few barriers as far as packaging, other than you got to make it food safe, the pH, that stuff too. So canning and serving it on tap there, right?

Will (01:06:06):
Yes, sir.

Toby (01:06:08):
Good. Yeah, go ahead.

Will (01:06:12):
That was a little bit of a struggle because at False Idol we never packaged hard seltzers, although I had heard horror stories from other people who have canned them, so pretty nervous going into our first canning day with the Terp 2.O. And I’d be lying if I told you it was smooth, was smooth, but we figured it out enough to make it work because the seltzer water just breaks out in a much different way than beer does. And so, it takes a little bit of … quite a bit dialing in to dialing in the canned line to get good fills and all that stuff. It was a learning process.

Heather (01:06:57):
I believe it. What would you say, how much education do you have? How many times are your taproom staff explaining terpenes to their customers? I guess would be is appropriate question.

Will (01:07:10):
I mean, I think pretty often. Now we have a lot of regulars at our tap room, so I think at this point most of the regulars are pretty familiar with it, but they still get new people in and so, I think that they’re explaining it pretty often.

Heather (01:07:25):
Do you find that soon as you tell somebody what it is that they’re more inclined to purchase or does it make them a little nervous?

Will (01:07:34):
I don’t think they’re nervous. I mean, I’m learning through this process that less people drink seltzer water than I realize because I’ve had a whole lot of people that I’ve met and talked to and even friends, I serve it to them, they’re like, “Oh, it tastes pretty watery.” And I say, “Well, it’s water.” I was like, “Oh, well do you not drink La Croix or any of these seltzer waters?” They say, “No, I hate that stuff.” Like, “Oh, well then you’re probably not going to like this if you don’t already drink those because it’s a pretty similar product.” It is a seltzer water, just using terpene flavors.

But no, I mean, I think when people are, if customers are coming in that do drink seltzer waters, it’s not too foreign of an idea. Obviously they don’t usually know what terpenes are, but our staff has been pretty well-educated on what they are and they can tell the customer what they are. Then they taste it and they’re like, “Oh, well this isn’t flowery, this isn’t grassy.”

A lot of times, people will expect it to taste floral or plant-like because we branded it as a botanical sparkling water. But after the bartender explains to them the name and all that stuff, they understand, “Oh yeah, this one tastes like orange and lemon, but other one taste like watermelon,” and stuff like that.

But I mean, I’ve always felt like the bar staff is really the face of the company, the most forward facing members of the company. So, they really need to be equipped to answer all these questions, especially with new, weird products like terp water.

Toby (01:09:12):
And your staff, they do a great job. They were very informative and really knowledgeable and super nice at y’all’s place, so I appreciate that.

Will (01:09:22):
Thank you, that’s good to hear.

Toby (01:09:24):
So Will, tell us anything else y’all got going on over the brewery that you want listeners to know about or be aware of?

Will (01:09:31):
Oh yeah, I mean, we’re always pumping out new beers. I’m running the canning line right now. We’ve got our first ever German bock is coming off the canning line right now, but today we’re releasing a dark lager, a German bock and a mixed culture sayzon with blueberry, lemon peel and Indian coriander. So, it’s a busy day, busy week, but we’re always pumping out new stuff and got to keep it interesting for me and for the consumer.

Toby (01:10:06):
That’s right, that’s right. Well, y’all do a fantastic job up there and keep pumping out the good stuff and congrats on the success of the terpene water. And for listeners out there, if you’re in and around the Dallas, Fort Worth area, please stop by and say hello to the folks at False Idol Brewing. Website’s Some good folks up there, and then Will will certainly be glad to have you and let you sample some of their beer and their sparkling water. So, I really appreciate your time, Will.

Will (01:10:40):
Yeah, thanks so much Toby. I appreciate you having me on.

Toby (01:10:42):
That was fun. It was a fun show indeed. So, we do want to thank our guest, Mark Wilson over at Abita Brewing, Will Perry at False Idol and then Abi for joining us once again for Ask Abi.

Heather (01:10:57):

Adam (01:10:57):
That was a fun episode, guys,

Heather (01:11:03):
It was a fun [inaudible 01:11:02]. We’ll be back in-

Toby (01:11:03):
Two weeks?

Heather (01:11:04):
… two weeks for our next episode, which is actually going to be celebrating Black History Month. So you definitely don’t want to miss that. So, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss an episode.

Toby (01:11:14):
What else? We got some kind of hop sale going on too, right Adam?

Adam (01:11:20):
We do, the cleverly named Winter Hop Sale. We’re making room for our 2023 hops in our warehouses. So, we’ve got a big sale of up to 30% on some products for years 2022 and before. Contact your TM and they will give you all the details on that one.

Heather (01:11:44):
Yeah, these are coming out of every warehouse, so make sure you reach out to your sales rep.

Toby (01:11:48):
Very good. All right, well another fantastic episode in the books. Again, subscribe, subscribe. If you like us, let us know. We do have an email

Heather (01:11:57):
Give us a little rate.

Toby (01:11:58):
That’s right.

Heather (01:11:58):
Give us a little rate if you like us.

Toby (01:12:00):
Yeah, there you go. And we look forward to speaking a little bit more in your ears next go around. So I appreciate it. Everybody, make it a great day. We’ll talk soon.