Monday, May 30, 2011

sprecher's soda

You may remember my mini-rant a few weeks ago against those who went to Milwaukee without me. And I promised that if I ever made it there, it would be beer and cheese galore. Well, shortly thereafter, Michael found some cheap tickets to the land of Wisconsin over Memorial Day weekend, and off we went.

It started off rocky. The bus to the airport didn't come for over an hour, and we barely squeezed on (the bus driver tried to tell us to wait for the next bus). Then we got off at the wrong terminal (the D instead of the B terminal! Damn you MTA and your scratchy PA systems. "D" should be distinguishable from "B" if at all possible). Then, we sat on the runway for an hour after having already lounged in the narrow terminal beforehand for hours. Finally, shortly before midnight, we arrived in Milwaukee. But then we strolled to the Enterprise desk and were told that they had underestimated their reservations for the weekend. We ended up having to wait for an additional hour while they called in cars from some mystical off-site land. Sigh. There were numerous calls to the hotel to make sure we would still have a room when we finally did arrive. But arrive we did, and we quickly went to sleep in anticipation of a big day of breweries and sightseeing for Saturday.

One of the breweries that I was really excited about seeing was Sprecher. I've already blogged about their caps in the past, and so far the sodas I've tried have been pretty good (thumbs up for the root beer... sideways thumb for the cream soda). I love their bottle caps and really wanted to see where, as they say, the magic happens.

It turns out that when Randy Sprecher started the company in 1985, he brewed only beer. Many of his visitors then were children, and he wanted something to give them at the end of the tour. So he started making root beer as well. Now they output more root beer than all of their other beverages combined.  Michael and I tried some beer at the end of the tour -- amber ales, which was delicious -- but we were more excited by the prospect of trying their Red Apple Soda, Cherry Cola, Ginger Ale, and Lo Cal Root Beer. None of them disappointed. (Well, maybe the Red Apple Soda -- it was too sweet.) The best part is that I've found a new favorite Cherry Cola. (I've been a Cherry Coke Zero drinker for quite some time.  But man! If I could find a local deli or store in NYC that sells Sprecher Cherry Cola, it would be all over for me.)

These soda crowns are fun: each with a unique color and font. The fonts are both retro and sincere -- a tough combination, to be sure. Their seasonal sodas have plain colored crowns... disappointing, to be honest. Think about the possibilities for Red Apple or Raspberry!

Another thing to note: I'm sorry to report that Sprecher is slowly switching over from their awesome 16oz bottles to 12oz. Stock up on 16oz's while you still can!

16 oz bottles! They're goin' fast! 

Root Beer and Red Apple Soda. The Red Apple Soda was really sweet, so I went back for some Cherry Cola. YUM.

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