(Benchtop’s new brew is a hopped green tea.)


By Jeff Maisey

How do you take your tea?

Why, hopped, of course. 

Virginia craft breweries have been innovative in their approach in listening to customers, looking at trends in the marketplace, and making adjustments so that all who enter the tasting room have a beverage selection to their liking. 

Eric Tennant recently unveiled a delightfully hopped green tea for those consumers who prefer a non-alcoholic, zero calorie, gluten-free, and yet flavorful menu item when visiting Benchtop Brewing Company’s Norfolk and Richmond locations.  

“It is a sparking hopped tea brewed with hops and Gun Powder green tea so that people could have as an alternative to beer while they’re here,” said Tennant. 

At press time, the served-cold, carbonated beverage is likely to be called Hop Cha, though on the menu board it’ll be listed as Sparkling Hopped Tea.

The new tea will be a permanent, year-round item on draft as well as in 16-ounce cans for those seeking a to-go option and summer thirst quencher. 

Tennant said the idea for the tea derived from observing families in the tasting room and patio spaces. Not everyone in the party of 4 or 6 wanted beer, so having a brewed tea with hops has been seen as a great way to have such guests purchase a beverage and introduce them to the flavor of hops, which surprisingly lingers when made with the green tea.  

It’s tea time all the time.