Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

name your favorite sodapop


glenn
 Share

Recommended Posts

Once again, I'm begging for opinions to help me in choosing products for my upcoming cafe. Sorry to be such a pest. I previously posted asking for wholesale distributors of unique and hard to find sodas. However, I think I goofed - a better way to go about this is to have people chime in with their favorites. Sorry if this has been discussed - all I could find was a thread on ethnic and int'l sodas. It would also be helpful if you could include a few words about your choice(s). Much appreciated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you should be thinking about what your local distributors carry as opposed to what people's favorites are. In NJ, I can tell you that there are limitations as to what you can get delivered as far as esoteric soda brands go.

Boylan Bottleworks, which is based in NJ, makes one of the best soda lines there is. All their stuff is classic soda shop flavors, they use cane sugar as opposed to HFCS, and their diet soda line is also very good. By far their strongest products are their Red Birch and their Root Beer, and their Cane Cola, but their fruit flavors are also very good, especially the orange and black cherry.

http://www.thebevnet.com/reviews/boylans/

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, I came to those conclusions after banging my head against the wall. Bevnet is a great site - I get lots of my info there and from sodareview.com. Right now, it's coming down to one of three choices....

1. Boylan - my only hesitation is that they're fairly common in NJ and don't carry that "snob" appeal. But I agree, their quality is up there.

2. A bottler I found in W. Va. (Forest Park Premium) who delivers to NJ. A sample is currently on the way. They went into infinite detail about how good the product and selection are, plus I can affix my own label. How cool is that? Prices are comparable to Boylan. We'll see what the sample brings.

3. I'm waiting to get a quote from buying from popsoda.com by the palette. They say they have a number of stores that buy from them and shipping isn't too prohibitive. That would be my first choice, but I have a feeling they'll be charging more than I wanna pay. Another drawback is not being able to get a free refrigerator displaycase ($1000 or so value.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another good Soda company is Jones, they are known for some wacky and interesting flavors as well as their support for charitable causes. They also have stong NJ distribution.

http://www.bevnet.com/reviews/jones/

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the diet barqs -- and the Penefiel is a great apple flavored soda and is avalaible for distribution in NJ with other Mexican soda imports, including Mexican coca-cola and Mexican Pepsi and Mexican Orange Crush, all of which come in glass 12oz classic soda bottles. As far as I know, the Mexican coke (which is excellent BTW and is exactly like the original classic Coke formula) is the only one in the NJ area that can be bought in a -original- Coke bottle. Most of the bottles used in the Mexican Coke are over 20 years old, they just re-wash and re-sterilize them.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ya know, I got a whole bunch of snickers when I asked about Jones in the bevnet forum. But they have good reviews.

Henry Weinhard seems to have the most universal appeal among the afficionados. However, even though they're owned by Miller Brewing, they have no distribution in the east. But popsoda carries a big selection. Another one with big appeal is Whooppee, who happens to be local. But they have a small variety.

Here's the list I put into popsoda for a quote -

Henry Weinhard root beer

Whooppee cola

Boylan's creamy red birch beer

boylan diet birch beer

hansen's sasparilla

hank's black cherry

whooppee cocoa cream

henry weinhard orange cream

orange nehi

san pellegrino limonata

strawberry crush

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ya know, I got a whole bunch of snickers when I asked about Jones in the bevnet forum.  But they have good reviews.

That's because a couple of years ago they came out with a limited edition "gay" soda called Billy Pop, which was sort of a Tutti Frutti flavor. Billy Pop was released to promote the introduction of the Billy Doll (sorta like a gay Ken doll in a sailor suit) and they are also the official soft drink sponsors of the Gay Pride Parade in Seattle.

Most people outside of the Seattle area probably don't know that though.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, Jones sounds perfect for the big gay population in JC :))

What's with popsoda.com and whooppee? Getting wholesale info from them is like pulling teeth.

What about Hank's? I think I found a local distributor. However, the bevnet forum comments also dissed them but their rating are up there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jason, have you actually tried Jones soda? I never have. I did find a local distributor for Jones as well as gus (grown up soda.) However, the reviews on sodapopreview.com aren't very good for the few sodas they rated. I'll have to pay a visit to dreaded starbucks and try it. Have you tried gus?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You'll discussion of GUS here.

As I've already stated, I was not very impressed.

BTW, my all-time favorite pink grapefruit soda is by Hansen's. I don't know if it's available on this coast.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jason, have you actually tried Jones soda?  I never have.  I did find a local distributor for Jones as well as gus (grown up soda.)  However, the reviews on sodapopreview.com aren't very good for the few sodas they rated.  I'll have to pay a visit to dreaded starbucks and try it.  Have you tried gus?

Yes, I've tried several of their current flavors including quite a few of the "retired" ones. The green apple is very good, the vanilla cola is good, and the cream soda is nice and simple.

The cool thing about them is that they do have such a varied line, and come out with new flavors pretty often, some of them strictly limited edition for holidays and stuff.

I think if you had a mix of Jones and Boylans you are in pretty good shape. Are you planning to do any fountain sodas? Like vanilla/chocolate/orange cokes, the old fashioned way?

As for GUS, I haven't tried it yet.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know of a distributor that delivers Hansens - I checked. As it stands, it will be a combo of Boylan's, Whooppee and Jones. The first 2 are local (and great) and Jones has a major distributor. It's strange how we all want we can't get - boylan's is a hot commodity out west and it's very hard to find.

I'm surprised at is the lack of distributorship for nostalgic sodas in the east. Such a shortage does not exist out west. I wonder if it's correct to assume that no east coast distributor has stepped in to fill the void because of lack of demand. I don't think so though. It's an opportunity waiting to happen.

If things go well, sometime down the road, the plan is to buy a palette from realsoda.com. The shipping would add to the cost by about 20 cents per bottle, but I think it would be worth it even if I had to eat the added cost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the diet barqs -- and the Penefiel is a great apple flavored soda and is avalaible for distribution in NJ with other Mexican soda imports, including Mexican coca-cola and Mexican Pepsi and Mexican Orange Crush, all of which come in glass 12oz classic soda bottles. As far as I know, the Mexican coke (which is excellent BTW and is exactly like the original classic Coke formula) is the only one in the NJ area that can be bought in a -original- Coke bottle. Most of the bottles used in the Mexican Coke are over 20 years old, they just re-wash and re-sterilize them.

Jason, I keep meaning to ask, do you have any info on the distributor?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say, and people can sneer if they want, nothing beats a diet Dr. Pepper. And in some areas of the country, it is near impossible to find. The sugar stuff, sure. But for us diet fans... bleh.

Diet Dr. Pepper is my choice of cold, carbonated caffeine in the morning, so for me it's important to find it. We sorts don't have a coffee emporium on every corner. *snerkle*

"My tongue is smiling." - Abigail Trillin

Ruth Shulman

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

As evidenced in earlier discussions, Mexican (and foreign "domestic" sodas) are becoming increasingly popular. Perhaps it might be cool to offer Coke, 7Up, etc. from the Mexican bottlers, who use cane syrup instead of corn syrup. Also, Dr. Pepper from Texas and Barq's from Louisiana - I'm sure you could find those somewhere online or through distributors...

You'd get the name-brand recognition, but also some caché among people who care about these things. (Also, using real sugar vs. corn syrup is a) good during Passover and b) might make those that are "organic" leaning give it a shot - even if it is soda pop.)

Just a couple of ideas...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not familiar with the "boutique" brands under discussion here, but I'll cast my vote for Dr. Brown's black cherry and cream sodas. Some of the best I've had. :rolleyes:

"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

lambretta, I agree 100%. The mexican imports have exactly those qualities I'm looking for --- they're great, not loaded with chemicals and, very importantly, have that ever so elusive snob appeal. :))

For some stupid reason, I'm having a problem finding a disributor, not that I've looked very hard. No major distributor is gonna touch this and risk the wrath of the major bottlers. I need to learn Spanish - I did find a distributor but I don't speak the lingo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...