Hi-Fi Hops, Tuner. Photo courtesy of ABX.
Though Hi-Fi Hops comes straight from wine country, the line-up of IPA-inspired infusions has no alcohol, carbs or calories. Instead, it’s made with the region’s other crops — hops and its cousin, cannabis.
Hi-Fi Hops is a collaboration between Lagunitas Brewing Company, and AbsoluteXtracts (ABX), a subsidiary of the cannabis company Cannacraft, which are both located in Sonoma County, California. While the region is renowned for its wineries — it is also recognized as one of the craft beer capitals of the U.S. To add to this, it is also home to a burgeoning cannabis industry.
As such, two Sonoma County companies — Lagunitas and ABX — “found a way to literally bridge [the] gap” between weed and beer, according to the Hi-Fi Hops’ website.
They joined forces in 2018 to create the line of three IPA-inspired sparkling beverages. I tried Tuner, a balanced beverage with 5 mg of THC to 5 mg CBD.
A Non-Alcoholic Beer?
Before hopping into the review, it’s important to note that these “infused beers” do not contain alcohol as per California law, which prohibits operators from mixing cannabis and alcohol.
The result is a non-alcoholic, zero-calorie, and zero-carb “hoppy” sparkling water.
5 mg THC, 5 mg CBD
$5 per bottle, or $20 for a four-pack
Each variety of Hi-Fi Hops comes with a distinct cannabinoid profile. Tuner has 5 mg of THC to 5 mg CBD.
Though it is inspired by IPAs, and includes hops, it doesn’t taste like beer. It doesn’t taste like cannabis either. Instead, it’s slightly fruity — like passionfruit — and slightly planty. Those come together to create a light floral flavor with a vanilla aftertaste.
The beverage has body, but not too much. It’s similar to a light beer, which is true to the description Lagunitas’ BrewMonster Jeremy Marshall provides on the company’s website: “[it’s a] hoppy sparkling water that drinks like a beer. You get all of the fruity and tropical notes from the hops, but without all the other things that can weigh you down.”
With just 5 mg of THC, the high is also light, if detectable at all for regular cannabis consumers. But that seems entirely intentional as a consumer can have a few bottles without too much worry, and no hangover.
I didn’t feel high after one Tuner, but I did feel relaxed, which I’ve come to expect from balanced, micro-dosed blends like this. Altogether, the bubbly beverage put me in a comparably bubbly mood.
A certificate of analysis (COA) was not available online for Tuner. However, Emerald reached out to ABX representatives, who sent the test results. According to those results, Tuner contains 4.62 mg of THC and 4.97 mg of CBD in each bottle. That’s within the 10% range of what is advertised on the product’s label, which earns an “A” for accuracy — according to experts.
While it earns an A, we wish the company would make their COAs available online for all consumers to view conveniently.
Tuner exceeded my expectations. It’s one of the best infused items I’ve tried so far. It was absolutely delicious, and perfectly refreshing. Although the beverage earns a full five emeralds for flavor and experience, there are a few things to consider.
The first is the lack of online access to test results. The second is the price point. While it is on par or average with other infused drinks, $5 for one, or $20 for a four-pack is a bit steep for something that’s so easy to sip on. A four pack of Hi-FI Hops is more expensive than an average six-pack of beer, which doesn’t necessarily incentivize consumers as an alcohol alternative.
As a result, Tuner is a great treat, or something best reserved for special occasions — like a cone of ice cream on a hot day — but with much less calories.