For hundreds of years, hop water has been served in Japan for its health and medicinal benefits as well as being enjoyed as a refreshing non-alcoholic drink.

Casey Glick, a 2002 Sisters High School graduate, sampled and thoroughly enjoyed the unusual beverage while working in Japan. Recently, back home, he suggested to his parents, Dave and Cindy Glick, that they produce hop water locally, inferring that the flavor could be enhanced using pungent, locally grown Northwest hops.

"What better place to introduce a non-alcoholic hop drink than in Oregon!" he said.

His parents agreed and launched Oregon Hop Springs with lifelong friends Alex Gholson (a chemist) and his wife, Lori (a yoga studio owner/instructor), from Philomath.

Alex, also an amateur award-winning beer brewer, experimented with hop combinations and different brewing techniques to create what the owners think is a winning recipe that they tested at several Oregon tasting events.

The owners share excitement and enthusiasm for this new drink in their company motto: "No Worries, Be Hoppy!"

Friends and neighbors from the Sisters community have been very supportive and helpful with establishing this start-up.

Local artist Laura Campbell and Sisters Coffee Co.'s Jesse Durham together designed the logo and label. Jan McGowan, local not-for-profit and business advisor, offered ideas, recommendations, and meeting facilitation.

The launch date for this new non-alcoholic, zero-calorie beverage is at the Sisters Fresh Hop Fest, Saturday, September 30 from 12 to 8 p.m. at Village Green Park.

The event is sponsored by Three Creeks Brewing Co. and proceeds go to The American Cancer Society. Wade Underwood, owner of the brewery, allowed Oregon Hop Springs to participate.

Jesse Durham said this fun, family-oriented event offers the opportunity to "Have fun, make friends, and hop it up!"

The owners report that beer-lovers and non-beer-drinkers alike enjoy the taste of the Sparkling Hop Water. For more information go to www.oregonhopsprings.com.