Monday, May 29, 2017

Reading Draft - #85, 4.7 out of 12

Reading Soda Works produces 13 soda flavors in glass bottles.  They desire a true “old-fashioned” feel combined with a Pennsylvania Dutch taste.  They produced handcrafted soda since 1921 and continued without interruption at its original location.  They carbonate the soda 1n Grundy Tanks that contain a carbonation stone that adds carbonation under low pressure.  Besides cane sugar, some say they add Splenda.


Triple filtered carbonated water, pure cane sugar, natural and/or artificial flavors, Carmel color, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness)

Nutrition 12 oz. serving (from the bottle)

170 Calories
35 mg Sodium.
43 g (14 %) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 1.0 out of 3 mugs

The brew at very little aroma.  At first drink there is an off aftertaste I could not place.  The sugar level is balance yet my mouth was dry after the first sip.  I am not a fan of the overall taste, very little vanilla, caramel or root flavor.

Head – 1.5 out of 3 mugs  

There is a full head that dissipates quickly. 

Zip – 1.2 out of 3 mugs  

There is a sensation of odd flavors in this well balanced carbonated beverage.  It is almost hard to call a root beer.

Post Consumption Impression – 1.0 out of 3 mugs  

While I wanted this to be better, it is just not to my liking.  It was almost a little over fermented (if that is possible).  There is a bitter aftertaste that was not very pleasing.

Would I recommend this at 4.7 out of 12 mugs?

It is unique, and you may want to try the brew.  I was not able to finish the entire bottle, so start cautiously.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Bedford’s - #84, 6.75 out of 12

B.R.P. Enterprises, d.b.a. Northwest Soda Works, often referred to currently as “Bedford’s Sodas” was the brain child of Ed Bedford in 1983. It took Ed a year to find a couple of investors and launch the first bottling in 1984. Steve Sourapas, then owner of the Dr. Pepper Bottling Company in the Georgetown area of Seattle was a believer in the idea of marketing a premium crème soda, which Ed choose to call Crème Beer! Crème Beer was a very popular flavor during and following prohibition, many a small town and larger brewers as well went into the soda business when they could no longer produce beer.

Investors eventually decided to go other directions and two thirds of the company was sold to Unique Beverages of Everett Washington. Unique marketed the product for about five years and decided to put it up for sale. At that time Ed purchased the stock of Unique and became sole owner of the brands. At this time Ed decided to change all the formulas from corn syrup to pure cane sugar and only produce in glass. Working with Orca Beverage of Mukilteo Washington, the company is seeing continual growth today and has added three new flavors. Today you can find Crème Beer, Root Beer, Ginger Ale, Ginger Beer and the latest Orange Crème offered through many grocery stores and restaurants throughout the United States.

Bedford, now semi-retired, following nearly 45 years in the beverage business is enjoying his passion in the soda business, traveling just enough to enjoy watching the company grow again and teaching his children about the business for the future.


Carbonated Water, Caramel Color, Pure Cane Sugar, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Gum Arabic Qualia, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate as a Preservative

Nutrition 12 oz. serving (from the bottle)

180 Calories
40 mg Sodium.
44 g (15 %) of Daily Carbohydrates
 mg Caffeine

Aroma and Flavor – 2 out of 3 mugs

Before I start, this is another brew that has Quillaia.  The last few I noted a similar strange, hard to place taste and thought it may be the Quillaia. 

The aroma is a very vanilla scent with slight root beer undertones.  The first sip was smother and very strong in the caramel and vanilla flavor.  This is a very unique soda.  There is a cherry Dr. Pepper hint to the flavor.  There was that aftertaste that I have found before in the Qualia beverages.   Not sure if that is the odd taste or not?  The aftertaste left me with a dry mouth.

Head – 1.0 out of 3 mugs  

The head was rather small and short lived.

Zip – 1.75 out of 3 mugs  

The zip is rather limited.  While there is a flavor that is unique, then blend is limited to vanilla, caramel and slight cherry.   

Post Consumption Impression – 2 out of 3 mugs  

I did enjoy the drink yet did not like the dry mouth sensation after finishing the brew.  I would not hesitate to try it again, unless there was a favorite available as an alternative.

Would I recommend this at 6.75 out of 12 mugs?

This is the first time I see sugar listed as the third ingredient.  There is a higher than I prefer in sugar and sodium content yet that should not deter trying the beverage.  The brew would have been a point higher without the cherry taste.