Back in midwinter, Wayward's Local Drinks Collective cohabitants Batch launched The Hip Hip Hop – Citrus Banger: hop-infused sparkling water. They weren't the first local brewing company to release such a non-alc option, but they were one of very, very few.
To bring new concepts to market, it can help if there appears to be a market in the first place, so boosting the range of hop-infused sparkling waters on offer, here come Wayward with theirs. Aqua Lupa might share some similarity in the choice of colour palette, and both cans feature a few of the same catch-cries – "craft brewed", "zero calorie" – as they look to tap into the better-for-you trend. There's distinctions too, not least Wayward's decision to pop theirs in the same tall, slim cans as their W seltzer line, and to hop aboard another trend making its way through parts of the local drinks scene: the addition of electrolytes, vitamins and nootropics.
The Camperdown brewers are making some bold claims for their latest venture, telling us Aqua Lupa "elevates energy levels and focus without the notorious crash" with the nootropics "known for their cognitive benefits such as improved memory retention, increased focus, and mental clarity".
The star, however – at least when it comes to the actual process of drinking it – and the key element that retains a link with the world from which Wayward came, is the hop addition. They've opted for tropical varieties Idaho 7 and Nectaron, imbuing the almost-clear liquid with a fulsome fruitiness. The hops arrive shorn of bitterness, instead sweeter and candied, leaving a little perfume in their wake.
You may well wonder at how we've reached this point, where drinks can sometimes feel like the fever dream of a 1950s sci-fi comic book writer, but if someone hands me a chilled can of Aqua Lupa at a picnic or barbie over summer, I'll gladly put such thoughts on hold for a while.
Published November 24, 2023 2023-11-24 00:00:00