Montana now has its first non-alcoholic IPA created in a brewery. Thanks to distribution, that non-alcoholic IPA is available in small towns across the state.

But are there that many people looking for non-alcoholic (NA) beverages? Tim Graham, owner of Imagine Nation Brewing, the brewery behind Lupujūs ZERO (pronounced loop-ah-juice), would say yes.

It used to be that if you went out with friends to a bar but you weren't interested in drinking, you'd expect to only have a few options to drink other than water.

However, attitudes and preferences toward drinking alcohol are shifting. There's increased awareness and appreciation for those who abstain, and the reasons people don't drink, or limit alcohol intake, are increased and varied. The pandemic also influenced people's drinking habits.

Graham says the popularity of NA beverages nationwide "skyrocketed" after the pandemic.

"When people were sitting around in their homes, a lot of people were drinking a lot more than usual. And I think people coming out of that just kind of wanted to change," Graham said. 

Glass and cans of beer in Missoula
Photo courtesy of Imagine Nation Brewery
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Creating Lupujūs ZERO

Usually when a NA beverage is created it goes through a chemical process that "subtracts" the alcohol from the drink. For Imagine Nation Brewing's NA IPA, Graham says they don't have to subtract because it starts at the beginning.

"Our Brewers worked for a really long time. One of them had been researching it for several years and looking at how to do it, and how to do it through like home brewer conversations. We kind of looked at that and how can we put that into a commercial kind of process. So without giving away too many secrets, basically, we just brew it from the ground up. We've figured out a way to stop the ability to create alcohol with the yeast," Graham said. 

Where to Buy Lupujūs ZERO in Montana

George's Distributing distributes Lupujūs ZERO and it's available in several towns across Montana.

  • Wild Flour Bakery, Emigrant MT
  • Ranch at Rock Creek, Philipsburg MT
  • Markus Foods, Whitefish MT

It's expected that soon it will be available in additional Montana locations.

Other NA Beverages from Imagine Nation Brewing

Coming June 4, Graham says that Imagine Nation will have another NA beverage to offer. Thanks to a collaboration with Missoula Pride and Tell Us Something, they will release "Outspoken" a Pale Ale style NA beverage. Stay tuned.

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