fizz is the new flat

Around the New Year, I posted about Champagne.  Well, that and Sparkling Wine.  Traverse City is a long way from Champagne, France.  Be geography as it is, I decided to stay with the fizz for one more entry and talk sparkling soda.  It is summer – finally. What better time to enjoy a refreshing beverage?

During my college days, I had my stint of the branded soda/pop varieties.  However, as I aged I opted for water. And, still do.  Though recently, I discovered these new aged soda shit things and they are totally fun.

Fortunately, Traverse City has their own soft drink brewery –  Northwoods Soda and Syrup Company. To provide a balanced post, I chose to highlight two other companies that brew more of the sparkling/carbonated fruit drink variety.  Even though they aren’t local, they are equally deserving of recognition.


Two best friends Todd Woloson and Greg Stroh were hanging out in blue-sky Boulder, Colorado, having a drink and talking about life and stuff. They wanted to make a drink that didn’t just taste good, but did good for the world. They both loved the sophisticated, all-natural sodas common in Europe and decided it was time to bring that sparkling drink to America. They named their special new drink after a very special person, Todd’s daughter.

  • Izze was my first.  (pause)  Venture into ‘sparkling soda’, that is.
  • Blackberry and Grapefruit are my favorites.  Pomegranate has a slightly bitter aftertaste. Definitely down for trying Apple, though no desire for Clementine anything.
  • 70% juice  which is quite nice
  • Very bright, colorful packaging
  • owned by Pepsi, but I won’t hold THAT against them.


This website is way fun to peruse.

Jake the bald butcher at my favorite meat market here in Traverse started carrying Bundaberg Brews recently.  It was an impulse buy on my part.  One I am totally thankful I indulged.  Yes, this product has less fruit content and way more sugar.  But, it is surprisingly balanced.  The packaging is also cool.  Did I mention the website is fun?

  • it’s Australian – very Down for that Under
  • their specialty is Ginger Beer – apparently the sub-tropical soils of Queensland on Australia’s east-coast are perfect for growing ginger and sugarcane.  Who knew? 
  • even though it’s called beer it is non-alcoholic.  Be open-minded, okay?
  • they have a building shaped like a half-barrel complete with a tasting room and gift shop.
  • that website I referenced is called Brewniversean Infinite Cosmos of Brewed Content   indexing Mixology/Brewed Food/Upcycling  with everything from recipes that use the brews (Blood Orange Sweet and Sour Pork and Ginger Beer cake) to creative ideas that reuse both the rip caps and signature glass bottles.

Northwoods Soda

In 1988, some dude moved to Grand Traverse County, wanting to start his own soft drink company. So, he did.  By the end of the first year, he acquired 2 distributors a restaurant chain, and a few loyal customers.  To this day it remains the only local soft drink company.

  • pretty simple story – pretty simple, yet successful product
  • the signature flavors are ginger and root beer – both are actually too sweet for me
  • my favorite is the Lake Effect Pomegranate Lemonade – very smooth and refreshing

Well, that’s it for now.  There’s more, of course, but my fizz is running out.  I wouldn’t want my post to go … flat.

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