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Soft Drinks--Any Local and Regional Favorites Where You Live?

I'm been looking at this topic for a while, and have been surprised how many small local soft drinks there still are around the country. Cheerwine in North Carolina, Ale-8-One around Winchester Ky., and Dr. Enuf around Johnston City Tenn. come to mind. There seem to be lots of root beers especially.

What are the favorite small, local, limited distribution soft drinks where you live?

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  1. While you're at it, there is also Sundrop from Gastonia in NC. Lemony, enough sugar and caffeine to make you beg for mercy. Definitely a regional thing.

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Thanks for that link. I did a search before posting, but didn't go back as far as 2003 obviously. My bad. Here's another one I just found.

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/338674

        But still interested in hearing from everyone about their local favs.

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          The first thing that came to mind was the first one mentioned in that thread: Manhattan Special (coffee soda). Great stuff, glad it's still around...

          1. re: johnlockedema

            Yes, Boylan's is good, sold in NYC as well.

          2. As a kid we drank a lot of Suburban Almond Smash. Great stuff. The new version out today is too cloyingly sweet.

            1 Reply
            1. Cheerwine has made its way north to Virginia. Tasty stuff. And one of the few things I miss about living in Kentucky is Ale-8-One. There's a Richmond company called the Switch that makes some interesting sodas.

              1. Moxie is still around here in New England: http://www.moxiefestival.com/. Definitely an acquired taste.

                1. Foxon beverages made in East Haven, CT, are well known along the shoreline. Many innovative as well as retro flavors.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: DonShirer

                    Foxon's birch beer is wonderful, so is their root beer.

                    Up here in New Britain, there's Avery's beverages. Their "Virginia Dare" lemon/grapefruit soda is out of this world. They have wonderful birch beer, ginger beer (for Moscow Mules, in a pinch), and cream soda. Some of the colors are whimsical and vibrant. Avery's also rents seltzer bottles and re-fills them, although the deposit is very high.

                    1. re: shaogo

                      shaogo, there used to be a small local soda company in Willimantic, name escapes me, made the best lemon-grapefruit soda, perfect with gin; their other flavors were equally as good. I should add that this was years ago.

                      We have "Tropical Fantasy" soda produced in Brooklyn by Brooklyn Bottling Company, manufacturing really crappy sweet flavors, pineapple, "blue" flavor, which I guess is cherry, orange, lime, ugh, we call them "50 cent sodas" as in "get me a 50 cent soda," as that's what they generally cost at the bodega.

                  2. Saranac rootbeer in upstate NY. I'm in downstate so I have to search for the few limited distributors here.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: nooyawka

                      I love grapefruit soda but cannot find one in the southern NE area that I like. GUS makes one but it does not really taste like grapefruit. Squirt can still be found in some stores but is too sweet (HFCS). Fresca is diet, BLECH! The best one I have had is Ting from Jaimaica. Anyone know where I can find this? Especially in Southern RI...

                      1. re: Sean

                        If you have an extensive population of Mexicans or Central Americans in your area, then you may be able to find Jarritos brand soft drinks. They have a grapefruit soda (Toronja) that's very good, and sweetened with sugar to boot.

                        1. re: johnb

                          With the passing of this year's passover, as a birthday gift idea for a friend that's crazy about real sugar Coke, I went around searching for passover (non HFCS) Coke, and ventured to the Latin American markets in my area as some posters have mentioned "Mexican Coke". And I discovered at least 2 types: those from Mexico and from Ecuador. They had Coke, Pepsi, Fanta, and Sprite. Tried the Coke and Fanta, after chilling in fridge. The Fanta was really awesome. The Coke I couldn't really make out a significant difference, though I so hoped it would. I'll probably try it again sometime to give it another chance. Maybe I should try the Latin American Pepsi too; maybe then it might taste good ;)

                      2. re: nooyawka

                        Appalachian Brewing rootbeer is better than saranac.

                      3. Barq's in New Orleans is like no other. They all taste so different of the different bottlers but New Orleans is the best. There is also Big Shot in New Orleans too.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: vttp926

                          Barq's is available in NYC also and is some good drinkin' root beer; the best for root beer floats and black cows, and so tasty straight too!

                          1. re: bushwickgirl

                            Barq's is owned by Coca-Cola. I thought it was a national brand.

                            1. re: BobB

                              CC bought Barq's in 1995 and made it its root beer brand (actually there were two mostly distinct Barq's companies, in NO and Biloxi--Coke bought both of them). Up until then it was a local brand in the south Louisiana and south Missisippi areas, and locals there still think of it as a hometown brand, which I suppose it is. But it has been national since CC bought it.

                              1. re: johnb

                                Wasn't Coke's house brand Ramblin' Root Beer?

                        2. Houston: St. Arnold Root Beer.
                          Indiana & Louisiana: Triple XXX Root Beer.