One of Wall Street's forgotten darlings has turned into one of its hottest stocks. Shares of SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) moved 10% higher last week after "tapping" into the craft beer market.

This comes after a 51% pop last month, fueled primarily by a surprisingly strong return to growth for its namesake beverage maker. SodaStream stock has soared 57% over the past five weeks, a robust turnaround for the fizz master.

Last week's catalyst was Beer Bar, a platform for home-brewed beers. Using existing SodaStream makers of sparkling water, suds-seeking sippers just add the Blondie light-beer concentrate to the soda water. It's certainly not a conventional way to make beer, but at 4.5% alcohol by volume, it could find a fair share of fans who appreciate the likely distinctive taste.

Most of the Beer Bar commentary has been skeptical, but the critical knocks overlook the merits of the SodaStream platform. Its sodas aren't necessarily tastier than store-bought pop. SodaStream is a hit -- particularly in Western Europe, where Beer Bar is initially being launched -- as a result of the convenience, novelty, value, and eco-friendly nature of the platform. Making light beer at home is ultimately about the ease of access, the sense of accomplishment, in some cases savings, and the environmental benefit of fewer bottles to dispose. Blondie doesn't need to win everybody over. It just needs to carve out enough of a market to generate incremental sales at at profit.

Pop life

Things were already going SodaStream's way before last week's launch of Beer Bar. It's coming off a strong quarter where revenue grew 10% since the prior year. Analysts were modeling a slight decline. There was also margin improvement, so it's not as if SodaStream's growth was the handiwork of clearing out old beverage makers.

SodaStream has been trying to reset its flagship product as a maker of sparkling water in an era of fading soft-drink consumption. It seemed off at first, especially for a company with the word "soda" in its moniker, but it's working. Sales turned the corner in Western Europe -- SodaStream's largest market -- late last year, and now other markets are starting to come around. 

Sales of SodaStream's soda makers, flavors, and carbonators are all on the rise, something that wasn't happening for two of those three categories until earlier this year. Beer Bar may or may not be a hit, but the turnaround is real and was already happening before last week's announcement. SodaStream stock was hopping long before it began to take an interest in hops.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.