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Local Bubblies

The New York Times has an interesting article on local sodas — funny, I didn't realize that Moxie was local to New England. I think birch beer is also a New England specialty as well.
Manhattan Special, founded by Ms. Passaro's great-grandmother in 1895 and still operating out of its original plant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, may not be familiar to people outside the New York metropolitan area. But generations of New Yorkers have grown up with it, and it remains a strong seller in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. It is one of a surprising number of older regional soda pop brands — including Moxie in New England, Cheerwine and Blenheim in the Carolinas, Vernors and Faygo in Detroit, Buffalo Rock in Alabama, Big Red in Texas, Ale-8-One in Kentucky, Apple Beer in Utah, Bubble Up on the West Coast, and Green River in the Midwest — that have limited distribution and no national profile but remain popular on their home turf.
There were two local soda companies near where I grew up: Clicquot Club, in Millis, and Miscoe Springs, in Mendon. I think that both companies would make deliveries (with returnable bottles); we bought Miscoe, which came in tall bottles [this link is categorical proof that you can find anything on the net] that proclaimed “33 % More !” and I loved to save the bottle caps. I think that eventually Clicquot Club was bought by Cott, and then the plant was closed. Miscoe faded away but was revived in late 1970s, but instead of delivery, you could buy their sodas in 16 oz. returnable bottles (perhaps they thought they could operate well after the recently adopted bottle bill), which I'd lug cases of back and forth from our house to the local liquor store. Other local (or non-global) brands I've tasted:

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
rackmount
Jul. 23rd, 2003 05:41 am (UTC)
vernors: best ginger ale ever. makes your nose explode. faygo is gross, in a sort of ne-hi kind of way. on the other hand, they have the chutzpah to have flavors like grapefruit and "red".

it's the way in the midwest that you an order "red pop."
rpkrajewski
Jul. 23rd, 2003 05:55 am (UTC)
vernors: best ginger ale ever. makes your nose explode.

Now I'll have to try it !
velvetbeet
Jul. 23rd, 2003 06:46 am (UTC)
Fizzy
I'm headed to Maine in less than 2 weeks (to see Miss Beetrix and the rest of the family). I think I'll try out some of those sodas- (except Moxie which I tried once upon the suggestion of my father who apparently has no taste buds). There's a great locally produced rootbeer I get at Pat's Pizza in Orono (Birch beer?). I think that company also makes a Strawberry soda.
rpkrajewski
Jul. 23rd, 2003 06:54 am (UTC)
Re: Fizzy
Mmm. The little companies always seem to have a bigger variety — Miscoe did strawberry soda, too.
beetrix
Jul. 23rd, 2003 07:00 am (UTC)
Re: Fizzy
The little soda company in question is S&OK soda out of Orono Maine! They make birch, cream, grape, rootbeer, strawberry and orange in nice glass bottles.

Apparantly they do not have a website. Pity.
velvetbeet
Jul. 23rd, 2003 07:46 am (UTC)
Re: Fizzy
S & OK is wicked good!
ex_snej373
Jul. 23rd, 2003 09:25 am (UTC)
Hmm, I've lived most of my life in California and never heard of Bubble-Up. But Vernor's is easily obtainable if you know where to find it. It really is quite good, though I think it's got some other weird flavoring in it besides ginger...
berlinvirus
Jul. 23rd, 2003 02:43 pm (UTC)
My Soda Supplier
Ifs, Ands & Butts is my soda supplier. They mail. Good selection.
josephbuck
Jul. 23rd, 2003 07:13 pm (UTC)
I have always been a fan of Jamaican Ginger Beer by D&G. Nothing takes your mind off of hot jerk chicken like an equally spicy beverage.

In L.A., there is a place that actually has some of the old/regional sodas...

http://www.sodapopstop.com/home.cfm

I have also heard that at the Coca Cola Museum they have fountains where you can try international local stuff.

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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