Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Root Beer Display in Grocery Store from 1960

I belong to a Facebook group called "Old St. Paul" about St. Paul's history. Someone named Jean posted this of a root beer display from St. Clair and Syndicate Ave in St. Paul in 1960:

Root Beer Display, St. Paul, 1960

Her caption:

"Root beer has been a long standing tradition in our family. On both sides of my parents.

Our go to was Dad’s Root Beer on occasion, but most times probably cause of 7 kids and it being far cheaper than single servings...our dad drove out Rice Street to the A & W stand just past Little Canada Road and brought the refillable gallon glass jug with him. Hauled home that ice cold frosty jug with its rivulets of water running down its sides and we’d enjoy Root Beer Floats.

For years, my widowed maternal grandfather would come to dinner every other week after my dad passed away. He’d either request my mom finish the meal with Root Beer Floats or Strawberry Shortcake made with those molded cakes one got at the store. (I got so I could not eat the later ever again).

But after dad died, my brother’s got inventive as mom did not continue most of our dad’s fun times. They started making their own root beer in the basement in a kind of still type contraption. Calling it 1919 Sewer Water. It had the strongest flavor of yeast. After it was made, it needed a dark shelf time. So, they put it into the cabinets that had previously been our kitchen in our basement home. My mother still did the wash down there, and was none to happy to find a number of the bottles had exploded and poured syrupy goo down the cabinets, to the counter and then the floor. Dark BROWN goo. That ended that.

But my first time ever eating pizza at Mama’s Pizza while still in High School, I ordered a root beer with it. Now, I seldom drink any pop, but if I’m going to have pizza, I yearn for Root Beer, and if its available- it becomes a throw back memory meal. 

May your Memorial Day 2018 weekend be one of joy and memories of OSP."

I wanted to share that here.  :)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Hosmer Cola-Blue

I cracked into this while cooking recently:

Hosmer Cola-Blue

Brand: Hosmer Cola-Blue.

Origin: Willimantic, CT.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Review: This was a typical "good" cola. It had a deep flavor with a strong slightly fruity aftertaste. It was pretty good, but pretty much like other decent colas.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Root Beer Tasting at Blue Sun Soda

On Saturday morning, my boys had a cross country race at Como Park. After that, we headed north to Blue Sun Soda for their free root beer tasting party.

Root Beer Tasting at Blue Sun Soda Shop
The 10 sodas (and tiny sipping cups on either end) ready for sampling.

I had previously had all but "Fiz Roc City" root beer. Left to right in that photo above was Red Arrow, Dorothy's, Always Ask for Avery's, Bedford's, Death Valley, Squamscot, Fiz, Zuberfizz, Dang!, and Cool Mountain.

Root Beer Tasting at Blue Sun Soda Shop
My 1st grader got in on the action. We tried all of them and kept track of what one we liked best.

Root Beer Tasting at Blue Sun Soda Shop
You were supposed to grab a bottle cap and vote for your favorite by putting it in the corresponding bucket.

Root Beer Tasting at Blue Sun Soda Shop
Henry liked Dang! the best.

Root Beer Tasting at Blue Sun Soda Shop
Dorothy won for me. Dang! and Zuberfizz weren't far behind.

Dorothy was my 2nd ever review on this blog nearly 6 years ago. I gave it an 8. Dang! actually got a 9 from me when I reviewed it, so I guess my tastes were a little different this past weekend. Blue Sun Soda noted on Facebook that Zuberfizz was the overall winner.

Blue Sun Soda Shop
Their selection of their made-in-house Whistler soda.

Pinball at Blue Sun Soda Shop
My pre-schooler played some pinball.

Blue Sun Soda Shop
Playing an old bowling game.

Sodas at Blue Sun Soda Shop
"Springtime Sodas."

Blue Sun Soda Shop
The boys on a noisy elephant with games and the root beer tasting in the background.

Sweet treats from Blue Sun Soda Shop
Enjoying some small sugary treats on the way home.

 I left with 10 bottles of new soda. I had just a few more from my old stash to drink first, but then I'll start in on these new sodas. I bought 2 Whistler sodas that I'll need to have soon because as I've noted recently, their caps don't seem to hold their seal for very long.

UPDATE: Blue Sun Soda added on Facebook the ranking of the top 4 of the taste test: "#1 Zuberfizz, #2 Dang, #3 Red Arrow, #4 Dorothy's." So Henry's and my picks were #2 and #4 out of 10. They also noted that they go through about a case of each soda at these "tasting" events, so they went through about 240 bottles total!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Dead World Twilight Shuffler Root Beer Zombie Soda

I'm done with finals! **Yay!** Earlier today, I sat in my classroom and graded while drinking this:

Dead World Twilight Shuffler Root Beer Zombie Soda

Brand: Dead World Twilight Shuffler Root Beer Zombie Soda

Origin: Detroit, MI.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar.

Review: Ever since this tasting of "Dead World" sodas at Blue Sun Soda, I've been relatively impressed with this "novelty" brand. I was hoping this wouldn't let me down. And it was pretty good! It was quite smooth and relatively creamy. It maybe had a slightly "off" aftertaste which knocked this down a point, but it wasn't horrible. I need to keep trying Dead World Sodas!

Score: 7 out of 10.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Fireman's Brew Black Cherry Soda

This was my 2nd "Fireman's Brew" soda in a month. (I'd picked up a few the last time I was at the Blue Sun Soda Shop)

Fireman's Brew Black Cherry Soda

Brand: Fireman's Brew Black Cherry Soda.

Origin: Inyokern, CA.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Cane Sugar.

Review: This was pretty smooth - almost TOO smooth. I would have called this a "black cherry CREME soda" if it were up to me. The black cherry was strong and about spot-on. Not a bad soda, just quite smooth.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Jones Birthday Cake Soda

I'm sipping on this during class right now:

Sweet and very cake-like.

Brand: Jones Birthday Cake Soda

Origin: Made in Canada.

Purchase Place: Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market, Minneapolis, MN.

Sweetener: Inverted Cane Sugar.

Review: Oh my God. It tastes like a sugary fun-fetti birthday cake. For real. I *like* sweet sodas, but this is too sweet to drink. It's a sipping soda for sure. If you like sweet cake/frosting like at a kids birthday party, you'll be happy with this. If you sometimes think some sodas are too sweet, this might be one of them. Good flavor, but a bit too sweet.

Score: 6 out of 10.