craft soda

Caamaño Bros: High Noon Sarsaparilla

History: Caamaño Bros Soda was the idea of a couple young guns, Sebastián and Alejandro Caamaño. One day, their father, Christopher Caamaño, a chef with a rich family heritage and culinary background, took his family to a restaurant where he was delivered a carafe of water that tasted different. The restaurant told him they carbonated it themselves. With the benefit of an extensive background in the restaurant business, Caamaño decided that with the Berkeley, California area “having the best municipal water in the world,” he’d do the same thing at his home. For reference, the San Francisco area sources their tap water from High Sierra snow melt. Trust me, we don’t know what it means either. But it sounds nice. Long story short, his kids realized if they just added sugar and flavoring to their homemade carbonated water, they’d have soda. So in 2010, Caamaño Bros Soda was born. Christopher Caamaño chose a childhood favorite, sarsaparilla, with which to begin. The home testing blossomed into a lemonade-esque stand in front of a horticultural nursery. Eventually sponsors of local farmer’s markets, as well as restaurant gurus began telling them to take their production to the next level. Today, their soda business is still 100% a family operation. “Our whole promise was to turn the clock back 80 years and make soda pops the way they were intended,” said Caamaño. The family named their first beverage “High Noon Sarsaparilla.” It continues to be the staple of their business. And it isn’t exactly easy to produce. The family sources 14 different ingredients from five different continents. It’s a true vintage sarsaparilla, modeled after the way it used to be made in the old west. Here’s a quick, fun history lesson. In 1960, the. U.S. banned sassafras oil and a substance it contains, safrole, due to the psychotropic effects of safrole. What I’m trying to say is, the government didn’t want you tripping balls off sassafras or the products it could be used in, like sarsaparilla. MDMA is actually rendered from safrole, Caamaño says with a laugh. Needless to say, the family does their research. They family, however, does not do MDMA.

Where to get: Caamaño Bros Soda is distributed mainly throughout the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Oakland and San Francisco areas. It’s also available in Western BevMo outlets. The “High Noon Sarsaparilla” can also be ordered online from various retailers.

Nose: Light; earthy; vanilla; sassafras root.

Taste: Vanilla; sassafras; creamy cola; sweet, earthy notes (yes, I know that’s a contradiction). Soft vanilla and sweet sassafras root begin in this complicated flavor profile. Caamaño and his sons put an enormous amount of research, effort and money into their ingredients. For example, they source their sarsaparilla root from a farm in Jamaica. A gallon of that ONE ingredient alone costs them $500 a gallon. The recipe went through over 60 different drafts. You can taste the difference. As the soda progresses, it transforms, giving it a balanced, creamy cola flavor with just a hint of root beer. It literally begins to taste like cola as opposed to sarsaparilla. You get a little bit of light cherry in there too. This soda morphs as you get to know it, kind of like my ex-girlfriend, except the changes in my sarsaparilla don’t give me nightmares. Caamaño recommends drinking this with lots of ice. As the ice melts, the flavor once again morphs back to more of a root beer, this time with a little bit more of an earthy, creamy flavor. It’s light. The sugar amount is perfect. It isn’t syrupy and has just the right amount of creaminess without going overboard. All in all, this is spectacular.

Finish: Light; creamy vanilla with some lingering earthiness; then mild cherry-vanilla cola. It changes back and forth as you drink it.

Rating: This has all of the right dynamics going for it. It manages to maintain a creamy, smoothness that incorporates a variety of flavors without being too carbonated or too sugary. The root beer bite is perfect. It’s there, but isn’t overwhelming or too sharp. The blend of vanilla, sassafras root and creamy cola flavors take this levels above its competitors. It’s so easy to drink for a sarsaparilla, you’d swear it was a cola if you didn’t focus on the ingredients. Caamaño Bros place an extreme emphasis on their ingredients and its obvious their research and diligence has paid off. This is soda porn. You won’t even want to tell your friends about this. This is your special weekend girl you fly in from the West Coast who’s way out of your league, who you just lucked out with. This is the best sarsaparilla we’ve ever had, hands down. Find the Caamaño family. They’ll spread the love. Sorry, we have to go keep cheating on other sodas with this one now.

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Bette Jane’s Ginger Beer

History: Kirk Pearson started making ginger beer for personal use a couple years ago in 2013. Having an extensive background in the cocktail and bar industries, Pearson just figured he could make something better than what was out there. Soon, he started testing it with friends in the industry and getting requests for use in their restaurants. So he self-taught himself how to carbonate and ferment, and voila, in July 2014, Bette Jane’s ginger beer was born. He’s still a one man show, but he’s quickly gaining a following on the West coast. The concept behind the product is a noble one. Bette Jane was the name of Kirk’s mother who passed from breast cancer when he was young. Pearson donates proceeds from every bottle to breast cancer research and those affected by breast cancer. While the ginger beer stands on its own, it was really developed to be a mixer to “carry through the cocktail.” A unique note about Bette Jane’s ginger beer: it uses lemon concentrate instead of citric acid, which gives it a more natural flavor and saves the barman the extra effort of having to add his own house juice to a cocktail. Headquartered in San Rafael, California, Bette Jane is soon set to launch a couple more intriguing products… but we’ll let them tell you when they’re ready.

Where to get: Contact Bette Jane’s directly to place an order.

Nose: Soft ginger; bold lemon; slight vanilla.

Taste: Slow ginger burn; lemon. More of a tart kick than a spicy kick. Very smooth for a ginger beer, which is fairly unusual. Tastes very authentic. The use of simple, quality ingredients stands out. Most ginger beers are slightly harsh, to very harsh on the palate by design. I didn’t know how to take this at first, but it really grows on you. It’s probably too light to consistently drink by itself. But that isn’t what this ginger beer was designed for, so now we had a perfectly good excuse to get drunk… test this out with rum. And whoa. It makes a world of different. The ginger beer really let’s rum do the talking for itself while still being present enough to make you say, “Ah, there it is!” Crisp and refreshing. This does better with alcohol than on it’s own.

Finish: Smooth lemon with a lingering candied ginger fruitiness.

Rating: If you’re looking for a mixer to add flavor to your cocktail without stealing its thunder, this is your ginger beer. The bite isn’t strong enough to shock, yet is bold enough to enjoy. The mildness of the ginger makes it easy to drink on its own, but may be too light to consistently drink without alcohol. The use of lemon in this is really phenomenal and is a flavor most ginger beers completely ignore. It really makes the beverage shine. Think of it this way: by drinking a bottle of Bette Jane’s, your also helping out a good cause. Who knew you could be philanthropic and get drunk all in one fell swoop. Get a copper mug; get a Bette Jane’s and an adult elixir, and take a load off.

Cannonborough BevCo: Grapefruit Elderflower Soda

History: Three young dudes running a soda company… what could go wrong? Who knows, but fortunately for Cannonborough Beverage Company in Charleston, South Carolina, a lot has gone right. And a lot of it has to do with their location. Charleston is a city renowned for its local produce and fruits with a vibrant farmer’s market community. The farm-to-table movement is strong there. There’s a lot of plaid. People drink PBR in the afternoon. Lots of life talks. You get where I’m going? It’s a hipster town. People there are used to what’s authentic. So, with their boyish good looks and background in cocktail mixing, the guys at CannonBevCo set out to make sodas that appealed to a more health-conscious audience. “Sometimes you feel a little guilty drinking soda. We wanted to take the vehicle of soda we loved and elevate it a little bit,” they said. But they wanted to do it right. That background in the bar business has translated to their soda production. They use the same type of equipment used by craft beer brewers to make their soda. The three partners began at farmer’s markets in April 2012. They’ve since found their niche using a bevy of fresh, local options to create high-end, non-pasteurized, fruit sodas. Flavors are often dictated by season, with Honey Basil, Ginger Beer and Grapefruit Elderflower available year-round.

Where to get: Currently, Cannonborough sodas are available in about 50 restaurants throughout the Charlestown, South Carolina area. The company is set to soon nationally debut a 750 ml bottle that is shelf-stable, meaning it doesn’t have to be constantly refrigerated. Until then, the guys are more than happy to take orders directly. Expect shipping to be around $10-15 due to their larger 32 oz. bottle size.

Nose: Grapefruit; lemon; very soft orange; slight vanilla notes.

Taste: BANG, summer just smacked you in the mouth, yo! Extremely crisp, refreshing citrus taste. The tang of the grapefruit is immediate and then softens out with just a hint of sweetness and a mild floral note you get from the elderflower. I’m even getting a little bit of candied ginger, which is interesting because there’s no ginger in this soda. Most importantly, this tastes real. Cannonborough’s emphasis on sourcing local, fresh ingredients is evident. No syrupy, mouth-coating feeling with this soda. It has a little bit of a San Pellegrino thing going on, but its carbonation makes it more drinkable and its ingredients give it more flavor. This could be your Mountain Dew, hipsters! Those who don’t enjoy grapefruit obviously should avoid this. The grapefruit is very prominent, but never overbearing. I’d have liked to get just a little bit more sweetness in this to cut some of the tang of the grapefruit. But its drinkability is undeniable. This is pool party soda.

Finish: We kept drinking this over and over because we weren’t sure how this was happening, but there’s a very soft, floral candied cherry finish that comes from the elderflower. It’s extremely pleasant after the citrus zing. Best part of the soda.

Rating: It’s refreshing; it’s different; and most of all, it’s good. Hipsters, keep your pants on and put down your PBR. This is for you. Normal people, this is also for you. The bite of the grapefruit can be a bit much at times, but the elderflower aftertaste does a nice job at mellowing that out. Not many people make sodas the way these guys do. Everyone talks about being “all-natural” and using “real ingredients.” These dudes actually do it and the proof is in your mouth. If you’re willing to fork over a little bit more money than you’d normally pay for a soda, give the guys at CannonBevCo a call. You’ll be glad you did. And for you grown-ups: When mixed with an aged bourbon, this becomes the most dangerous mouthgasm-inducing cocktail you’ve had in a long time.

Matt’s Homemade Sodas: Black + White

History: Matt Haley was a wonderful man. He was also a troubled youth, in and out of prison, battling drugs and alcohol. Once Matt figured his life out, dude went full angel and became a serious philanthropist, building schools and orphanages in India and also giving back to his local Delaware community. He also started a film company, a coffee plantation, partnered with an Italian winery and ran a restaurant consulting company. Talk about a 180. I have trouble putting my pants on in the morning. But first he started his signature restaurant, Blue Coast, in what would become a mini empire of restaurants in the Delaware coastal area. You know what people like to do in restaurants? Drink. You know what Matt and his business partner both couldn’t do because they were recovering alcoholics? Drink. Lightbulb: craft soda! So they started concocting flavor ideas. They wanted a cool, complex beverage reminiscent of a craft beer, minus alcohol. The process started  with making syrups at his restaurant’s bars and serving cocktail-style sodas there. In late 2013, the next logical step was bottling. As Matt Patton (different Matt), General Manager of Fish On said, they wanted “a good experience for the guest who didn’t drink beer or wine, and that meant having a bottle at the table a server could open for you.” Today’s those bottles hold cuisine-influenced flavors like Blood Orange + Sage and Matt’s original signature, Black + White soda. Matt and his partners pride themselves on using the freshest spices, herbs, vegetables and unrefined sugars in their sodas, while also not using any preservatives. Matt Haley passed away in a motorcycle accident in India while there on a humanitarian mission. Today, his companies live on, including Matt’s Homemade Sodas.

Where to get: Currently, Matt’s Homemade Sodas are sold locally in the eight restaurants (including Blue Coast and Fish On) found along the Delaware coast. The company is working to get their sodas distributed to a wider market. In the meantime, if you’d like to get a hold of the stuff yourself, you can place an order directly with Matt Patton.

Nose: Herby; sweet balsamic vinegar; warm Italian bread loaf.

Taste: Sweet balsamic ginger ale. This is definitely an artisanal soda of the highest degree. Definitely a sipper. The main three ingredients in this soda after water and sugar are white balsamic vinegar, bay leaves and black peppercorn. Being a soda void of any preservatives, that allows the flavors to have more authenticity. The balsamic really sings here. It smacks you in the face on first taste. You may not be ready for it, but dammit it’s here, so answer the door, man. White balsamic vinegar is typically sweeter than its black relative, but not as quick or athletic. Hence, the white balsamic sits on the bench and gets put in soda, while the traditional balsamic makes the owners big bucks on the dinner plate. (You don’t get it? It’s is a sports joke; shh, don’t worry about it.) The white balsamic is accompanied by an herby ginger flavor. It isn’t spicy like ginger beer, more like ginger ale. Still, the ginger taste doesn’t cut the strength of the white balsamic quite enough. The balsamic flavor, while sweet and drinkable, is still potent. The bay leaf in this really stands out the more you drink it and begins to integrate more with the balsamic, ginger flavors. This is where the drink really shines. The pepper is there, but it’s so subtle that you probably wouldn’t notice it if you didn’t look at the ingredients label.

Finish: Lingering sweet balsamic, candied bay leaves and the faintest possible hint of pepper. The lingering aftertaste after finishing the entire soda has a vinegar funk to it. Have some gum on hand.

Rating: You gotta hand it to Matt’s Homemade Soda – they went for it, here. This is definitely something the craft soda adventurer should try because, honestly, who makes soda with balsamic vinegar and bay leaves? Sign us up. If you have an aversion to balsamic vinegar or had a weird experience with salad as a child, you probably wanna skip this one. This is a beverage meant to be savored while relaxing or having a nice meal. The balsamic is a little strong and will overwhelm some people, but the bay leaf helps mellow that out. It’s an extremely unique, chef-driven approach to craft soda. Don’t be surprised to see more adventurous ideas like Black + White pop up in the near future.

Avery’s Beverages: Toxic Slime

History: Avery’s Beverages is a stalwart in the craft soda community. These dudes have been making the stuff for over 100 years out of New Britain, CT. They’re known for variety. They produce almost 50 different flavors from root beer to mint seltzer to black raspberry. They also utilize artisan well water in their sodas. I see you nodding your head in approval, even though you don’t really know what it means. Avery’s credits a “great local following” and the resurgence of craft soda to their maintained success. But there’s also another reason. A more disgusting reason. In fact, it’s why we’re here today. But first a lesson: Avery’s runs a “Make Your Own Soda” program on Saturdays where kids, by appointment, are allowed to create sodas based on six stock flavors. As you can probably guess, with a child’s excitement and mind running 1,000 mph, a lot of the early versions came out sludge brown. The kicker was… some of them tasted good. Eventually they worked with the kids to perfect a flavor called “Swamp Juice.” Out of this, Avery’s “Totally Gross Soda” line was born, featuring names like “Zombie Brain Juice,” “Kitty Piddle,” and today’s soda for review, “Toxic Slime.” As Avery’s Beverages General Manager, Rob Metz say, “They appeal to the 10 year-old in all of us.” Ah, nostalgia. According to Metz, 80% of the soda Avery’s ships is this weird stuff. Be on the look out for future flavors like “Alien Snot” and “Worm Slime.” You hungry? Or is it just me?

Where to get: Avery’s ships all over the country. You can probably find it at your nearest retro soda shop or at RocketFizz outlets. Some of their biggest distributors include Homer Soda in the midwest, Bay’s Best Beverages on the east coast, and Real Soda (don’t mind the Web site; he’s legit) on the west coast. Or you can always contact Avery’s directly and they’d be happy to make an order for you.

Nose: That blue sunny delight you sometimes drank as a kid; dull citrus cleaning fluid.

Taste: Artificial blue raspberry that crawls up the back of your sinuses. This tastes like something to which you’d have an allergic reaction. As with most craft sodas, Toxic Slime only contains a handful of ingredients, including pure cane sugar, but it reeks and tastes of chemicals. With a name like Toxic Slime, maybe Avery’s accomplished what they wanted. It’s supposed to be blue raspberry-orange, but it comes off more like sweetened Windex. The orange doesn’t really come through and the blue raspberry isn’t crisp or palatable enough to make you want to drink this repeatedly. Nothing complicated here, just the taste of sugary, watery, artificial flavorings.

Finish: Sugary; fake blue raspberry that leaves you feeling unsure about yourself.

Rating: This soda will turn your tongue blue and your organs into sadness. The color is fun. The name is fun. The flavor combo in theory is even fun, but this doesn’t work. This is a novelty soda along the lines of Lester’s Fixins, though admittedly, it’s better than most of those. Parents, pick up a bottle of this for your kids. Let them turn their tongues blue. If you’re into novelty soda, give it a go. If you’re in it for the flavor, pass on it. If you’re in it for a go round at the hospital, get a six-pack. I fear what color my insides are now.

Bickford’s Creamy Soda

History: G’day mate! Bickford’s is an Australian company famous for producing cordials and craft sodas, among several other beverage-related products. After migrating from England in 1839, William Bickford and his wife Anne Margaret opened a pharmacy. Pharmacies, for those of you who don’t know, were the beginnings of soda. Pharmacists would use carbonated flavorings to disguise the horrid taste of medicine. After William Bickford’s sudden death just 11 years later, Anne Margaret took over the pharmacy business and in 1863, formed A.M. Bickford and Sons with her two boys. And so it began. In 1874, the company began producing cordials, the product it’s most famous for to this day. Craft soda came along later for Bickford’s with Lemon and Lime Bitters being its most famous flavor, followed by their cream soda and their version of sarsaparilla.

Where to get: Available widely in Australia throughout grocers and online, this means nothing to Americans. As a stone cold USA review site, wtf mate? Where can we get it? Lemme be real with you… it isn’t readily available here. BUT… but that doesn’t mean you can’t get it. Bickford’s is a large company that employs very nice people. They’ll be more than willing to be accommodating for orders. Contact them directly and they’ll work with you in getting an order out to you. And starting in June/July of 2015, the company will be doing a slow roll out in America, starting in California.

Nose: Intense bubblegum; fruity and floral notes

Taste: Definitely bubblegum up front, though not as strong as it smells. Then there’s a very hard-to-place flavor that follows. It makes you think. If you didn’t notice it from the photo… it’s raspberry. And it’s damn good. The carbonation is intense very briefly when you take a swig and then fades into a creamy bubblegum-raspberry twist. The raspberry comes in first and hits the back of your mouth with a nice tartness that compliments the soda’s overall smoothness. Raspberry, while not a common flavor in cream sodas, is much more common outside the U.S. So if you get your hands on this in America, you’re likely in for something new. Bubble gum, raspberry and light vanilla highlight this elixir from down unda’.

Finish: Slightly acidic raspberry that quickly fades into a vanilla-bubblegum creamy flavor and lingers on the tongue.

Rating: With its cute-as-hell 9.3 ounce bottle and its unique take on an old classic, Bickford’s Creamy Soda is a must-try. Red cream sodas are often packed with intense bubblegum flavor and loaded with enough sugar to make a diabetic pass out after just reading the label, but Bickford’s does a really nice job using their cane sugar to accentuate and not overload the flavors they want to get across. Bubblegum is a very love-hate flavor in the cream soda world and Bickford’s navigates around that by adding touches of raspberry and vanilla cream to balance it out. The result is something you don’t see often, one you’ll want to put in your mouth. Throw this on some ice and kick back. Cheers, mates.

Craft Soda: A Five Star Explanation

There’s something magical about cracking open an ice cold glass bottle of soda and drinking it down, filling you with nostalgia and sugary satisfaction. For a long time that feeling was lost as soda’s popularity plummeted due to society’s growing concerns about the chemicals and unpronounceable mysteries on the ingredients label. But now, young and old pioneers of the beverage industry have reintroduced your favorite fizzy treats in new ways, with a new identity: they call it craft soda. And the craft soda business is booming. So before we get into the heart of what we’ll be doing at Five Star Soda, we wanted to fill you in about what craft soda is, why it’s quickly rising in popularity and why the hell some weirdos on the Internet made a review Web site about it.

What is it?

Craft sodas are simply made to taste better. They’re usually in glass bottles. Most of them have a vintage feel. And if you ask around, connoisseurs will tell you craft soda retains several principles that make it different, namely the ingredients used and how it’s made.

“Craft sodas tend to be more unique than mass produced sodas especially when you consider the flavor profiles and ingredients used.”
– Freya Broughton | Grand Teton Brewing Soda Program Manager

Good soda is simple. You know what the main ingredients in soda are? Carbonated water and a sweetening agent. In the craft soda world, if your sweetening agent isn’t cane sugar, you’re basically the devil. It’s a standard. If a company uses high-fructose corn syrup, the rest of the ingredients in their bottle better start with holy water and end with liquid gold. The quality of ingredients matter to craft soda drinkers. They matter just as much to the bottlers. Take it from David Yudkin, the owner of Hot Lips pizza in Portland, OR, who produces a line of sodas known for using real fruit: “It really is a point of differentiation…. Using fresh ingredients, you have an opportunity to create a relationship with the customer.” Quality is a word closely associated with craft soda. Natural flavorings, pure juices, 100% [insert whatever]… these are descriptions often used to describe craft soda ingredients. Apart from cane sugar and water, ingredients like honey, spices, 100% fruit juices, and homemade syrups are commonly used. Many are often void of preservatives. You won’t see sodium-hydrowhatthehellisthisgoingtodotome5g4m or other weird chemicals in craft sodas. But remember, because craft sodas are of higher quality, they’re often more expensive and elusive than that can of colon coater you guzzled with your hot dog last month at your weird neighbor’s barbecue.

How craft soda is made also differentiates it from the bigger retailers. And it’s almost always smaller, local operations cranking out the best stuff. Some companies might employ 50. Some might employ two. The latter is way more common. Much like craft beer, craft soda is brewed in small batches and not mass manufactured. In fact many companies, like Sprecher, actually make their sodas using methods and equipment originally designed for brewing their beers. The similarities between small-batch soda and alcohol are actually surprising. Take Bundaberg for example, an Australian company famous for their ginger beer. According to the company’s international brand manager, Daniel Flecker, “Bundaberg Brewed Drinks can take up to 7 days to brew a delicious craft soda” due to fermenting the cane sugar with yeast and maturing the beverage.” Pretty wild, huh?

Why is it popular?

Taste. Perception. Variety. $$$. First and foremost, people drink craft sodas because they taste better. They taste authentic, but just as important, they feel authentic.

“Everyone likes a treat and…. quality soda fills that yearning for something special.”
– Charles Funk | CFO Orca Beverage

Perception is key in the craft soda movement. People love that old school feel, the nostalgia, at the heart of soda. It resonates with Gen Xer’s because they grew up with those vintage sodas in glass bottles and it appeals to millennials because the younger generation gravitates to what feels genuine. What could be more genuine than a little carbonated water, sugar and natural ingredients made by local folk like you and me? (Can’t you just feel your inner hipster coming out? Let’s do yoga and get fair trade coffee after this.) Today’s generation asks “what’s in this?” and if they don’t know, you’re probably not getting their business. They want real. As Broughton says, “Higher quality ingredients market your product for you.” Case and point, Grand Teton Brewing is one of several soda companies famous for using natural water. Specifically, they use “glacial run-off filtered 300-500 years with Teton Mountain granite and limestone” Honestly, do I know what that really means? Absolutely not. Do I want to try it now? Yes, in fact, I need to. Craft soda is no doubt a niche market, but it’s popularity continues to fizz. New, local bottlers are popping up everywhere, from Waynesville Soda Jerks on the east coast to Doggone Good Soda on the gold coast. It’s all cause and effect, supply and demand. People are ready for it, so new craft sodas makers are creating more products for public exposure. I think Flecker put it well when he said, “Consumers love the idea of drinking a beverage that ‘they have discovered.'” And there’s plenty to discover. The flavors are endless. From staples like root beer and cream soda to Toxic Slime and chai cola; there’s bound to be something out there for you and more than enough to experiment with. Just be careful, experimenting has created a lot of weird memories for me.

The use of higher quality ingredients to be different, production in small batches, local bottlers, a target audience of connoisseurs… do these principles sound familiar to another craft bottled product? Maybe one that defines your Friday nights and haunts your Saturday mornings? Beer. I’m talking about beer, craft beer in particular. Craft beer has exploded over the past few years, so much so that it’s really affecting sales of mass-produced water lighter beers. It’s undoubtedly accounted for a portion of craft soda’s rapid ascent as the newest cool kid in the beverage industry. Many craft beer brewers are actually getting in the craft soda game too as the next logical step. A quick google search of craft soda brewers will reveal the link. And why not? As Stevens Point Brewery operating partner, Joe Martino, points out; soda can be produced relatively quickly and turns a higher profit margin than beer. Even the big boys are getting in on it. Pepsi recently introduced Kaleb’s Cola, a soda void of its parent name and marketed to the more sophisticated soda drinker. This more than any other industry move is probably the greatest proof that craft soda has arrived and is here to stay.

 

Why are we covering it?

We’ve always gravitated to what was different, like cream sodas or ginger beers, since we were little. It wasn’t until two or three years ago that people started calling the sodas we liked “craft,” but I guess everything needs a name. Like so many people who love this stuff, it’s sentimental to us. And we felt like it wasn’t being talked about enough online in a proper forum. But I don’t think it would be fair to not acknowledge a couple sites out there who review sodas/beverages that hit on this subject. So check out Thirsty Dudes and The Soda Jerks. With craft soda really hitting its peak, new bottlers are coming up with fresh takes on old flavors and veteran bottles are using old production methods to create new ones. We want to be a resource where people can come and find out what it is they’re be getting in that bottle. Because let’s face it, you pay for what you get and some of this stuff is expensive. Hell, I’ve seen premium craft sodas retailing anywhere from $10-$32 dollars. I’m gonna need some intel if you want me to fork out that kind of cash.

We think every soda has a story. We’re here to tell them.

It’s an incredibly exciting time in the world of craft soda. We’re not afraid to be a little smug in saying we think craft soda is better than its mass-produced counterparts and should be portrayed as such. We’re a classy bunch around here. We plan on presenting ourselves in an upscale fashion. #CraftBrewedCraftReviewed, as we say. But I think we’ve said enough. There’s your history lesson. If you read this far, congratulations, you’re clearly not one of my ex’s. Stick with us. We’ll review some good stuff. We promise. Every soda has a story. We’re here to tell them. Cheers.