We Tried It: Lagunitas Hi-Fi Hops Puts the Spark in Sparkling Water

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After nearly two decades of establishing a thoroughly stoner-friendly reputation, Lagunitas Brewing Co.’s first THC- and CBD-infused beverages have hit shelves.

Hi-Fi Hops, now sold in select dispensaries in California, is an “IPA-inspired” sparkling water infused with THC and CBD from AbsoluteXtracts. Lagunitas announced its latest creation back in June 2018. I’ve been dying to try it since.

Now that I’ve tasted both incarnations of Hi-Fi Hops — one with 10mg THC and the other with 5mg THC and 5mg CBD — I’m happy to report that Lagunitas has crafted a smooth, nuanced beverage experience that will appeal to a broad spectrum of “drinkers.” Both cans are 12 oz. and retailed at $9. You can find a list of California dispensaries that sell Hi-Fi Hops on AbsoluteXtracts’ Hi-Fi Hops landing page.

So, why has Lagunitas crafted an “IPA-inspired” sparkling water instead of an actual cannabis-infused IPA? California regulations strictly prohibit the infusion of cannabis into alcoholic beverages, but Lagunitas has done a great job of imbuing its sparkling canna-beverage with a light, hoppy taste that lives up to its “IPA-inspired” moniker.

Smooth and Sparkling Meets Refreshing Hoppiness  

The flavor isn’t drastically different than that of other sparkling beverages (imagine an exceptionally smooth, vibrantly flavored La Croix) but it does strike a unique flavor balance between the lemony, piney tones of cannabis and the sharp, refreshing hoppiness of an IPA. The carbonation is somewhere between a sparkling water and a beer, so it’s bubbly without being too bubbly.

Hi-Fi Hops doesn’t replicate the taste of beer, but it does build something new and intriguing out of a combination of flavors that cannabis users and beer drinkers alike are sure to recognize and enjoy.

Your Choice: Stoney Buzz or Calming Mellow

While there may not be a noticeable difference in flavor, color, or consistency between the two Hi-Fi Hops beverages, there is a marked variance between the steady, stoney buzz of the 10 milligram THC version and the calming mellow of the 5 milligram THC-CBD combination. The effects of both beverages are pretty immediate and fast-acting. The swift, smooth, and winningly mild intoxication of the THC Hi-Fi Hops leaves a more visceral impression — sitting thick in the head and promoting droopy eyelids — while the 1:1 THC/CBD ratio offers a subtle stillness of mind and general feeling of placidity in the body.

Final Verdict

Lagunitas may not currently be able to craft a legal cannabis-infused beer yet, but in Hi-Fi Hops, they’ve created a winning alternative that demonstrates the company’s love for all things cannabis and hops. I recommend the 10 milligram THC Hi-Fi Hops for its mild intoxication, and the 5 milligram THC/5 milligram CBD drink for its ability to calm the nerves and alleviate stress. If you’re trying to cut back on beer or alcohol, either drink could make for an effective substitute.

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