Turning the sweet stuff into bottled water - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Turning the sweet stuff into bottled water

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The sap is flowing but at Branon's West View Maples in Fairfield, an idea between a few friends has given maple season a whole new meaning.

"They said to me, Gene what are you doing with that water? I said it's going down the drain right now. They said you ought to find a market for that -- and that's how it started," said owner Gene Branon.

Thirteen years later, Branon revealed Tretap Water -- a new flavored drink. After the sap flows into tanks, the process begins.

"It goes through two series of filters, through a reverse osmosis machine. After the reverse osmosis machine, the sap is then separated from the water," said Branon.

Branon says it's the first maple syrup water ever made and has worked with UVM to come up with three flavors; blueberry, cranberry and cucumber. A typical 16 oz. of Tretap beverage has about 10 calories and 5 grams of sugar.

"It's probably a lot less than the beverages that are in coolers right now," said TreTap partner Aaron Harris.

And as the maple syrup season is off to a busy start, out here at Branon's, that hasn't stopped them from going full force ahead on the H20 -- and coming up with new ideas for Tretap.

"One is going to be a still basic hydration, three that are based on a similar taste profile but they're going to be carbonated and in aluminum cans," Harris said.

"How many other waters are you drinking that come from a tree? None ya know," said Branon. "What we've done to get here has been a lot of hurdles. A lot of ups, a lot of downs so hopefully it's going to end up paying off for us and everybody else."

TreTap can be found at some local stores throughout the state, but they hope to eventually expand throughout New England.

"It's a fun product, it's a healthy product, and we think obviously it's a very Vermont-y product," said Harris.

A Vermont-y product that may soon start a new trend.

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