Breweries in Calgary and Canmore talk about artisanal sodas, including some of their favorites and what sets their particular soft drinks apart.
Craft soda seems to be everywhere these days as more brewers enter the market. We sought out representatives from four local manufacturers – new and old – to recommend their favorite soda and discuss what sets their particular pops above the rest.
Annex Manufacture of soft drinks
Annex Ale Project was making soda before it even started making beer. While waiting for a brewing license, co-owner Andrew Bullied created a root beer, which became the first Annex product to hit the market. Annex’s newest soda is artisan cola. Like the others, it is made from freshly squeezed ingredients. “You can’t really walk away from cola and get too crafty with it because people have a strict view in their minds of what cola is,” Bullied says. “[But] ours is a little less sweet. It’s very vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon on the front.
4323 1 St. SE, 403-475-4412, annexsodas.com, @annexsodas
Dandy Brewing Company is a new player in the soda making game with its playful DandyPop line. Each box has a tear-off sticker designed by art director Jag MacKenzie. While you’d think Cherry Vanilla Cream Soda would be a hit with young people, brewery co-founder Benjamin Leon says his kids prefer the tonic. “It’s more grassy, a sort of citrus soda, compared to your usual tonic,” says Leon. “Every time we ask someone to try it out, they’re kind of blown away. “
2003 11 St. SE, 587-956-8836, thedandybrewingcompany.com, @dandyalesyyc
The Grizzly Paw Pub & Brewing Company
Grizzly Paw has been making soda for 16 years and employs a master brewer-like soda maker who is the creative lead and sole producer. But the flagship root beer is still # 1. “Kids love it, it tastes great in cocktails, it’s that simple,” says former employee Kristina Cardinale. In addition to the two Canmore Grizzly Paw locations, sodas can be found at retailers across Western Canada.
Two locations in Canmore, thegrizzlypaw.com, @thegrizzlypaw
Minhas artisanal sodas
When the locally operated Minhas Craft Brewery acquired a brewery in Wisconsin, it also bought the homemade soda recipes that the previous owners created to survive the Prohibition Age. “We now use organic cane sugar, but the feeling that soda evokes when you taste it will definitely take you back to the time you were a kid,” says co-founder and CEO Manjit Minhas – in particular, soda pop. orange cream, which tastes like a creamsicle in a bottle. Minhas sodas are available at Sobeys, Safeway and Calgary Co-op stores.
1314 44 Ave. NE, 403-695-3701, minhasbrewery.com, @minhasbrewery