The first brewery to skip past non-alcoholic beer and go straight to hop water made of two (and a half) of beer’s ingredients—water and hops (and carbon dioxide)—but not the other two—malts and yeast—was Lagunitas with Hoppy Refresher. It’s good, but truly more bitter than you want in what is essentially hopped LaCroix. Larger craft breweries such as Sierra Nevada have followed suit, but only two Oregon breweries have yet to proffer cans of the stuff, those being Pelican and Bend’s own Worthy Brewing. (There was an indie company called Oregon Hop Springs that made hop water in Silverton, but it appears to be defunct.)
I forgot to mention, hop waters leave out three other things that are bountiful in beer and still part and parcel of N/A beers, which are calories, carbohydrates and gluten.
Worthy’s HopQuencher boasts it’s “boosted” with Xantho, short for Xanthohumol, a hop extract that comes with claims of being an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-obesity compound (but, in the same breath, the can label asterisks that Xantho hasn’t been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and the product makes no health claims, as is common in the value-added, functional-wellness category).
HopQuencher delivers a tasty hop water that’s neither bitter nor sweet as some entries in the category are, as they rely on fruit essence as well (like Pelican’s). It stars Strata hops, the zeitgeist varietal that Worthy itself introduced to the world via Strata IPA. As such, HopQuencher has a slight but delightful tropical twist.