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Posts from the ‘Hard Soda’ Category


Review: Not Your Fathers Mountain Ale

Not Your Fathers Mountain Ale as the name would suggest is a hard soda version of Mountain Dew.  Mountain Dew is a slang term for moonshine and the original formula was developed as a mixer in the 1940’s.  After several changes in ownership and recipes, the Tip Corporation of Marion Virginia created the current formula and re-launched the brand in 1961.  PepsiCo acquired the brand in 1964 and today Mountain Dew is the fourth best selling carbonated soft drink in the USA.  Only Coke, Pepsi, and Diet Coke sell more.  Diet Mountain Dew is actually the ninth best selling carbonated soft drink.  After creating the hard soda category with the launch of Not Your Fathers Root Beer in 2012, the Small Town Brewery has gone on to release several additional flavors including NYF Ginger Ale, and NYF Vanilla Cream Ale.  Small Town Brewery is now part of the Pabst Brewing Company portfolio of beer brands.  Not Your Fathers Mountain Ale is brewed as a beer with spices.  Natural flavors and FD&C Yellow#5 color are added.  Read more »


Review: Fitz’s Hard Key Lime

Fitz’s Hard Key Lime is the second hard soda collaboration between Fitz’s and The O’Fallon Brewery.  The first was Fitz’s Hard Root Beer.  Fitz’s Root Beer first appeared in St. Louis at a local drive in restaurant in 1947.  After disappearing for several years the brand was revived and is made according to the original recipe.  Fitz’s currently produces over a dozen soda’s including Key Lime and Cardinal Cream, a red cream soda named for the local baseball team, and Kaldi’s Coffee Cola, a natural sugar cane cola blended with genuine Kaldi’s freshly brewed espresso roast coffee.  The building that houses Fitz’s was build in 1928 for the West End Bank.  The space became a Chinese Restaurant in the 1980’s.  Fitz’s Key Lime is brewed as an ale at the O’Fallon Brewery with the same distinctive flavors of tart key limes and natural pure cane sugar found in Fitz’s Key Lime craft soda.  The O’Fallon Brewery opened in 2000 and was sold in 2011.  Since then they have built a new brewery and added their own bottling line.  They currently craft over 30 year round and seasonal beers. Read more »


Review: Coney Island Hard Lemon Lime Twist

Coney Island Hard Lemon Lime Twist is one of four hard soda flavors this division of Boston Beer Company currently produces.  The other flavors include a Hard Root Beer, Cherry Cream Ale, and Orange Cream Ale.  At one time they also made a hard Ginger Ale.  I was sorry to see  Ginger Ale is no longer featured on the Coney Island website.  It scored very high and actually tasted like Ginger Ale, instead of Ginger Beer.  Coney Island is also rolling out a new look with their line of hard soda.  Gone is the old school bottle label design.  In it’s place is the bright colorful label shown here.  Hard Lemon Lime Twist is brewed as an ale with natural flavor and caramel color added. Read more »


Review: Best Damn Cream Soda

Best Damn Cream Soda was just released.  Cream Soda is the third hard soda flavor this division of Anheuser Busch has crafted.  The other flavors include Root Beer, and Cherry Cola.  The Best Damn line also includes Best Damn Apple Ale, and the soon to be launched Best Damn Sweet Tea.  While cream soda may be thought of as a secondary soda flavor, the first published cream soda recipe dates back to 1852, 34 years before Coca Cola was first produced.  This original recipe included egg whites.  Maybe that’s why Coca Cola quickly became a dominant soda brand.  Today, most cream soda’s are produced by brands more associated with root beer than cream soda, including IBC, A&W, Barq’s, Mug, and Dad’s.  That said I am a fan of cream soda, and while I’m not claiming to be a Cream Soda Sommelier, I’ve tasted over a dozen cream soda brands, and I know the difference between an average and a great tasting one.  Best Damn Cream Soda is brewed as an ale, and then aged on real vanilla beans with natural flavors and caramel color added. Read more »


Review: Henrys Hard Grape Soda

Henrys Hard Grape Soda was just released.  It is one of four hard soda flavors produced by the Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company, a division of Miller-Coors.  Henrys is named for Henry Weinhard, a German who immigrated to the US in 1856.  In 1862 Henry purchase the Liberty Brewery in Portland Oregon.  In 1864 he also acquired the City Brewery where he moved the entire brewing operation.  This brewery was the oldest continuously operating brewery in the west until 1999 when after Miller Brewing Company acquiring the brewery, they closed it.  Like many breweries, the Weinhart Blitz Brewery survived prohibition by producing premium soda.  Today four of those soda’s are still produced.  Henrys Hard Grape Soda is brewed as a malt beverage.  Cane sugar, natural flavors and certified color is added. Read more »


Review: Wild Sit Russ Alcoholic Citrus Soda

wild-sit-russ-alcoholic-citrus-soda-copyWild Sit Russ Alcoholic Citrus Soda was recently released along with the previously reviewed Wild Alcoholic Rock & Rye Soda by the Wild Ginger Brewing Company.  They join a lineup that already includes Wild Ginger Alcoholic Ginger Beer and Wild Root Alcoholic Root Beer.  Wild Sit Russ is brewed as a premium malt beverage with natural flavors and color added before canning at 4.5% alcohol. Read more »


Review: Wild Docta Alcoholic Rock & Rye

Wild Docta Original Hard SodaWild Docta Alcoholic Rock & Rye Soda was released June 2016 along with Wild Citrus.  Both are hard soda’s brewed by WG Brewing Company in Nashville Tennessee.  They join a hard soda lineup that includes Wild Ginger Alcoholic Beer and Wild Root Alcoholic Root Beer.  Faygo is the only brand I know of that makes a Rock N Rye Soda.  With a name like Wild Docta I was expecting a hard Dr. Pepper flavored soda.  WG Brewing founder Jamey Grosser learned the art of brewing from legendary moonshiner Popcorn Sutton. Read more »


Review: Coney Island Hard Cherry Cream Ale

Coney Island Cherry Cream Ale Image - CopyConey Island Hard Cherry Cream Ale was just released.  This is my 7th hard cherry soda review.  Four of the seven have been hard cherry cola’s.  Cherry Cream Ale is made with ale, natural flavors and caramel color by the Coney Island Brewing Company, an independently operated brewery owned by the Boston Beer Company.  The Coney Island Brewery crafts several beers including Kettle Corn Cream Ale, Cotton Candy Kolsch, and a Watermelon Wheat, along with Coney Island Hard Ginger Ale, Root Beer, and Orange Cream Ale.  Read more »


Review: McAles Hard Ginger Ale

McAles Hard Ginger Ale - CopyMcAles Hard Ginger Ale is one of four hard soda flavors produced by McAles Brewing Company in Los Angeles California.  It is contract brewed in Lacrosse Wisconsin at the old G. Heileman Brewery that operated from 1858 to 1996 and was most famous for producing Old Style Beer.  Their other hard soda flavors include Root Beer, Orange N Cream, and Cola.  McAles Hard Ginger Ale is described as a smooth brewed old fashioned hard ginger ale made from a secret family recipe.  McHales Hard Ginger Ale is a flavored malt liquor brewed with a complex natural blend of ginger spice. Read more »


Review: Henrys Hard Cherry Cola

Henrys Hard Cherry Cola Soda - CopyHenrys Hard Cherry Cola was just introduced.  This is the third hard soda produced by Blitz-Weinhard Brewing Company, a division of Miller-Coors in Milwaukee Wisconsin.  Henrys is named for Henry Weinhard who left Germany in 1856.  By 1862 he purchased the Liberty Brewery in Portland Oregon.  After merging with the Portland Brewing Company in 1928 the name was changed to Blitz-Weinhard.  The brewery survived Prohibition by producing soda, syrup, and NA beer.  Today four of those premium sodas, Henrys Weinhard Root Beer, Orange Cream, Vanilla Cream and Black Cherry Cream are still produced.  Henrys Hard Cherry Cola is a malt beverage made with cane sugar and natural flavors.  It is sold in 6 packs of 12 ounce bottles and 4 packs of 16 ounce cans. Read more »