Spoiling for a Rhubarb

Plus the OG IPA and the Kettle Sour

Wotcha! Hope the DJ is going well. Here’s a nifty map of U.S. breweries that either make or serve NA beer. One to bookmark I would say.

 In this week’s edition: 

  • 📰 NAN - Nonalcoholic News my Nan would approve of!

  • 🍹 COCKTAIL: For Better For Worse - Eva’s Spritz

  • 🍺 BEERS: Partake - IPA

  • 🍺 HOP WATER: Hoplark 0.0 - Hop Sour

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Read time: 5 mins 26 secs


Non-Alcoholic News my Nan would approve of!

  • 🍷 WINE: Scout and Cellar are stepping into the NA wine arena with the launch of Epic Pursuit. (link)

  • 🍷 WINE: Surely have just launched a highly anticipated new wine, Blanc, which blends botanicals with dealcoholized wine. (link)

  • 🥃 SPIRITS: French liqueur makers, Giffard, have introduced four non-alcoholic liqueurs to the U.S. market via Boisson. (link)

  • 🥃 SPIRITS: Formula 1 fans will be excited to know that Lewis Hamilton’s NA Agave spirit, ALMAVE, is now on the shelves and online at Boisson. (link)

  • 🍹 COCKTAILS: Busty Lush have added a grapefruit paloma called She’s Fabulous to their super cool line. (link)


Partake, Hoplark 0.0

In each edition of The Modern Substitute, ON THE BAR focuses on three drinks you should be on the look out for. We’ll give you a quick rundown of our thoughts on the drink, who makes it, where to buy it or, in the case of mocktails, how to make it.

Please note: due to popularity or limited runs, some drinks may be out of stock - please check with the beverage companies for updates.

NA Cocktail


The ModSub thoughts: When I was a child I was fascinated by rhubarb. It was truly like no other vegetable. Mainly because it always found its way into desserts and as a kid, that didn’t really compute. 

It’s also an unusually gorgeous vegetable. Long slender pink stems guarded by huge poisonous leaves that resemble chard, invariably punctured by some nibbling insect. 

The appreciation for it’s beauty though was quickly transformed into dinner-table dread, when either my mother or grandmother, I forget which—perhaps both—would serve up a bottomless hell well of sourness that even copious amounts sugar couldn’t tame. 

Puddings were supposed to be fun. A reward for eating horribly over-cooked vegetables in the prior course. Seeing rhubarb on the table felt like double punishment. If the disappointment of it all didn’t bring tears to my eyes, the taste most definitely would.

And that’s where I left rhubarb. In my childhood, very much at arm’s length. 

That was until last year when I came across Eva’s Spritz from For Bitter For Worse and I finally fell in Iove with rhubarb for the first time. Bottled in 750 ml wine bottles for parties or as an RTD 6.3 oz can to pop in your backpack, Eva’s Spritz has quickly become one of my favourite aperitifs. 

Eva’s Spritz has an earthy, lightly-carbonated complexity, filled to the brim with tart, sweet and bitter flavours. The rhubarb and citrus make for unlikely but ultimately pleasantly intriguing bedfellows. The sweetness is just enough to balance the tartness of the rhubarb but not enough to push you into mistaking it for juice. It’s very good.

It’s a drink that isn’t begging you to like it. Rather it’s a cocktail insisting on your respect. That, is what sets it apart.  Here’s to rhubarb and second chances.

How For Bitter For Worse describes Eva’s Spritz: A bright and refreshing blend of rhubarb and 12 botanicals inspired by grandma's garden. WE TASTE: Tart rhubarb, Citrus, Sunshine on bare shoulders.

Learn more about For Bitter For Worse at forbitterforworse.com

NA Beer


  • Calgary, Canada

  • Calories: 10

  • Serving: 12 fl.oz.

  • ABV: <0.5%

  • Buy: drinkpartake.com • store locator • widely available online and stores around the U.S.

  • Price: $11.99-$13.99 (6-pack)

The ModSub thoughts: When the history books are written about this current era of the NA drinks movement, Ted Fleming will be amongst those who deserve their own chapter. Based up in Canada, his start was a little different from many of his peers, venturing into importing NA beers from Europe and the U.S.

The strong consumer demand he witnessed spurred a pivotal shift from distribution to brewing, culminating in the birth of Partake Brewing in 2017.

At a time when the NA beer market was still finding its footing, Partake emerged as an unconventional pioneer, challenging industry norms that couldn't fathom a brewery exclusively crafting NA brews.

Despite facing skepticism and criticism, he soldiered on and proved the naysayers wrong. Six years on, the company’s annual sales have reached $20 million. So, who’s laughing now?

Partake’s core line features a Pale Ale, a Blonde, a Hazy IPA, a Peach Gose, along with the IPA that I’m currently enjoying. It’s a beer with no shortage of oomph, leaning into the hops with delightful vigor. The hops are cushioned by a comforting maltyness, before leaving you with an irresistible bitter exit.

It’s an old-school IPA that pulls no punches, and sometimes, maybe more than sometimes, that's exactly what you need out of your beer.

As 2024 unfolds, amidst a sea of newcomers, Partake stands out as an original, having penned the playbook for the NA beer revolution. Bravo. 

How Partake describes their IPA: To the brew that started it all – the leader of the pack. Our signature IPA is a balance of light, malty and hoppy fun. It's the perfect companion for a session of birdwatching, a spirited game of bocce ball, or a barbecue with buddies.

Learn more about Partake at drinkpartake.com

NA Beer


  • Boulder, CO

  • Calories: 0

  • Serving: 12 fl.oz.

  • ABV: 0%

  • Buy: hoplark.comstore locator • widely available online • Total Wine

  • Price: $11.99-$12.99 (6-pack)

The ModSub thoughts: Hoplark has been around since 2018, creating hop teas, hop waters, and 0.0 craft brews. Although the 0.0 line isn’t really beer, but instead beer-inspired hop waters, they will scratch the beer itch if you want them to.

I have recorded my experience with sours before, and it was with little surprise that I had never heard of a kettle sour. So I did a little digging given that Hoplark’s Hop Sour is ‘kettle-inspired’.

In short, the difference between a traditional sour and a kettle sour comes down to the materials used to brew and ferment the drink. Steel is used in the case of the kettle sour, and wood for the traditional. According to the Ale/Sessions blog, ‘regular sours are complex and rich, while kettle sours are tart and refreshing.’

This is pretty much the way I would describe Hoplark’s Hop Sour - tart and refreshing, complemented by subtle fruity undertones from the hibiscus.

I was expecting Hop Sour to be an all-out scrap of extremes. A left and a right hook from both the hops and the sour, but it isn’t that at all. If anything, it’s restrained and far more accessible than anticipated.

This wasn’t on my radar at all before this week, but it certainly will be from now on. When the sun comes out again in six months, this is going to be one of my summer faves!

How Hoplark 0.0 describes their Hop Sour: Hoplark’s unique riff on a Kettle Sour: a citrusy flavor bomb - with no calories, no sugar, an no gluten. This is a perfect anytime-brew for Kettle Sour lovers, flavor seekers or an awesome intro brew for your not-so-hopalicious friends. 

Learn more about Hoplark at hoplark.com

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