Klassic Root Beer

Since Klassic Arcade 2.0 opened on June 30th, one thing has been missing that was a favorite at the old 1.0 location. Customers would ask about it, why we didn’t have it yet, would we be getting it, and most of all, WHEN would it make its triumphant return?

The good news is that our very own Klassic Root Beer is now back, and it’s better than ever! It’s the same root beer recipe that you love from the old location. Rich and creamy, with a good amount of foam on top, like any good root beer should have. You can get a 16 ounce cup for only $1.50 (or a 10 ounce cup for $1.00). Or, spend a little more and get a collectible Mr. Soda Pop pint glass for only $5.00 (it comes filled with root beer), and then you get unlimited $1.00 refills for life when you bring the glass back.

How is it better than ever? Because now that we carry Hershey’s Ice Cream, you can get a Klassic Root Beer float for only $3.00! We’ll combine vanilla ice cream with our delicious root beer for what my dad would call an “absolute taste treat”!

So stop in and have a glass of our Klassic Root Beer, or even get a root beer float. We’ll see you out there!

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Pumpkin Pie Soda Pop

Well, it’s that time of the year again. The leaves have (mostly) fallen, Halloween is past us with Thanksgiving struggling not to get overlooked by Christmas. And the eternal debate is here once more: people that like pumpkin pie and people that are wrong don’t like pumpkin pie. That debate will not be settled here.

For those of us who do like pumpkin pie (and the Soda Jerk is definitely in the “I freakin’ LOVE pumpkin pie!” camp), Maine Root Handcrafted Beverages™ has again released their Pumpkin Pie Soda. Klassic Arcade got its hands on one case, so there is a limited supply. You’ll definitely want to grab a bottle or two before they run out (last year they sold out by Thanksgiving).

This is a very good soda pop, that really tastes its best on a chilly, gray fall day. (Trust me, you don’t want this on a warm summer day) With a definite presence of pumpkin spice in every sip, you will definitely taste the pumpkin pie flavor throughout the entire bottle. Seems like Maine Root knew just how much pumpkin spice to add so as to not overwhelm, but you will find that it comes right up to the line of being too much. This is not mild by any stretch, but it is never too strong. I think they did a fine job of balancing the amount of spice with the proper amount of sweetness.

So if you are a fan of pumpkin pie and haven’t tried Maine Root Pumpkin Pie Soda, head out to Klassic Arcade and try a bottle. Then get an extra bottle to take home and wait to enjoy it with a piece of pumpkin pie (which the Soda Jerk just might do after Thanksgiving dinner!)

(photo courtesy of maineroot.com)

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Towne Club

Us Michiganders, we love our pop. Not soda, and frankly, not even soda pop. Just pop. We adore Faygo and Vernors, but there’s another pop that’s made in Michigan that’s not as known to as many people. That pop is Towne Club. You saw that right, “Town-with-an-e” Club. It may not be as widely known as those other Michigan-made pops, but it’s every bit as good, with 11 flavors available at Klassic Arcade 2.0.

Towne Club was started in the Detroit area in the early 1960’s as a less expensive alternative to Coke and Pepsi in the poorer neighborhoods. Customers would go into the “pop shop”, fill up their wooden crate with 24 ounce glass bottles, then bring the empties back and do it all over again. While the company fell on some hard times in the early 1980’s, Towne Club never completely went away, and with its 16 ounce screw-top bottles, it still has a niche place in the pop market. Those people that know Towne Club know that the assortment of flavors is absolutely top-notch.

The wide variety of flavors available at the arcade includes Root Beer, Michigan Cherry, “Honolulu Blue” Cream Soda, Strawberry Melon, Mango Orange, and six others. There’s something for everyone, and each flavor is delicious. My favorite is the “Honolulu Blue” Cream Soda (even though I’m not a Lions fan), with the Root Beer coming in a very close second. Kids love the bright colors, and adults love the nostalgia that comes from drinking some classic pop in a glass bottle.

So, next time you’re at Klassic Arcade 2.0, grab yourself a bottle of Towne Club and enjoy!

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(Photo courtesy of towneclub.com)

The Soda Jerk – Oddballs, Part 1

With summer break ending and gearing back up for the start of the school year, it’s been a full month since I’ve posted anything. Not that I have not drank any soda pop, perish the thought! Just that I’ve had other things on the brain. I hope to make one or two entries each week, now that I’ve settled into my new school year routine.

So a while back, after I finished my Ginger series, I started thinking about the unusual kinds of soda pop we sell here at Klassic Arcade, and I thought I would ruminate about the “Oddballs” of the soda pop world. My wife said something about takes on to know one, but I didn’t quite catch it.

The first two soda pops in the Oddball series are AMERICANA HONEY CREAM and JIC JAC BLUE RASPBERRY. Both are insanely good soda pops, and can be found in the Klassic Arcade cooler for $1.75 each.

So think of a really good vanilla cream soda, then think of honey being added in, and you have AMERICANA HONEY CREAM soda pop. It is a great twist on the traditional cream soda, and makes for a refreshing change of pace from the norm. Every flavor from the Americana line that I’ve had (4 of the 7 flavors we carry) is good, but Honey Cream is easily my favorite. Made with real cane sugar so it has that nice natural sweetness, without being overwhelming, it reminds me of my childhood, when a dessert treat would be a bowl of vanilla ice cream with pancake syrup on top (my parents, for some reason, did not believe in ever letting me have chocolate syrup). If you’re a fan of cream sodas (and who isn’t?!?!) and of honey, pick up an AMERICANA HONEY CREAM on your next trip into Klassic Arcade!

Or maybe you’re more of a super-sweet, fruity-candy-flavor lover. In that case, you can’t do better than a JIC JAC BLUE RASPBERRY. I have no idea who first decided that a raspberry flavor should be made blue, but thank goodness it exists! Sweet raspberry flavor, mixed with uber-sweet candy flavor! It is a taste treat that harkens back to one’s childhood days, vaguely reminiscent of cotton candy in a bottle. I’ve had three different brands of blue raspberry soda pop, and JIC JAC BLUE RASPBERRY is clearly the best of them. So pick one up on your next trip into Klassic Arcade!

The Soda Jerk – Ginger Ale Part 3

So for this new entry in my ginger series, I am tackling a bottle of COCK N’ BULL GINGER BEER…in fact, I am drinking as I am typing (actually, I alternate between drinking and typing). Let me start with this simple statement: I absolutely love Cock n’ Bull!

So what makes this a ginger “beer” instead of a ginger “ale”? Actually, it’s not a true ginger beer. It’s a ginger ale (carbonated water flavored with ginger), but my guess is that it has such a strong ginger flavor that the term “beer” is used. A true ginger beer is brewed/fermented, though it does not have to necessarily have to be alcoholic. I have made my own ginger ale that might be considered a ginger beer, since there is not carbonated water involved, but yeast provides carbonation. But I sidetrack myself.

So what’s Cock n’ Bull like? To paraphrase a classic Simpson’s episode, it’s like there’s a party on my tongue, and everybody’s invited! Unlike the last two gingers (Americana and Boylan’s, both available at the Klassic Arcade), Cock n’ Bull attacks your tongue from the moment it leaves the bottle, like a bunch of little ginger pieces clawing onto your tongue and not letting go! Yeah, you could say it has a sharp flavor.Ginger overload, and it is so good! I find it so sharp, that the vapors coming off your tongue can sometimes tickle the throat.

Cock n’ Bull is as good with the last swallow out of the bottle as the first. The aftertaste on my tongue is like a piece of ginger-flavored candy, coexisting with the lingering bite. That’s what I really love most about Cock n Bull, a razor-sharp ginger taste that stays with you. 

Try a bottle of Cock n’ Bull Ginger Beer next time you’re at the Klassic Arcade…it will be a taste treat for your mouth!

The Soda Jerk – Ginger Ale Part 2

So why do I love ginger ale so much? One word – refreshing! Ginger ales are never heavy or syrupy. They are instead very light and crisp, which is probably why I prefer them in the summer versus the winter.

And gingers are not even my favorite flavor! Just wait until I sing the praises of root beer and orange cream soda pops (mmmmm….orange cream!)

So after I threw back some pizza rolls (because I make wise decisions, that’s why), I decided to have a bottle of BOYLAN’S GINGER ALE (which, coincidentally, can be found at the Klassic Arcade, along with several other flavors of Boylan’s). I poured the bottle into my frozen Klassic Arcade glass mug (which can also be purchased at the arcade for only $5, with $1 refills of our draft root beer for life!) that I keep handy. Now I really like every flavor of Boylan’s I’ve ever had, and Ginger Ale is no different.The one word that I think best describes the bottle I had would be…”crisp”.

BOYLAN’S GINGER ALE is not too heavily flavored, it does not have the “bite” that some other gingers have. Instead, it has an elegantly simple pure ginger taste. It is made with cane sugar, and the flavoring consists of ginger, lemon, and lime oils. Clearly the ginger oil is the dominant one. It pours almost clear, with just a slight ginger color to it. On a sunny day, it tasted nearly perfect!

So I can highly recommend that the next time you’re out at the Klassic Arcade and a thirst comes on you, crack open a bottle of BOYLAN’S GINGER ALE (we do ask that you pay for it first). You’ll be glad you did.

Join me tomorrow when I have another brand of ginger ale with the grilled New York strip steak dinner I’ll be having…I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about it!

The Soda Jerk – Ginger Ale, Part 1

Whether it’s Ginger ALE or Ginger BEER (don’t worry parents, it’s not alcoholic!), it’s an extremely refreshing beverage in the warm summer weather. Granted, we haven’t had a whole lot of summer weather in SW Michigan, but that does not take away from it’s gingery goodness. Heck, being a fan of Alton Brown’s classic show “Good Eats,” I have for the last several summers even made my own ginger ale to enjoy on those hot summer days.

In other words, I absolutely love a good ginger ale.

Now, I need to preface this series of posts with the following information (still a source of tension between me and my wife): while I like it, I do not consider Vernor’s to be a real ginger ale (It’s more of a ginger cream soda), so it will not be included in my discussion on ginger ale.

So the discussion begins today with my thoughts on AMERICANA HONEY LIME GINGER ALE. It’s ingredient list is simple enough: carbonated water, cane sugar, extracts of lime and ginger, organic honey, and a couple other standard ingredients. Carbonated water flavored with ginger is the mark of ginger ale (vs. ginger beer).

So how was it? For me, it is not one of my favorite gingers that the Klassic Arcade sells, but it is a bit different than most gingers, and that’s because of the lime. Honestly, I could not tell that there was any honey involved. I could tell there was a bit of lime involved, which provides an interesting counterpoint to ginger’s sharpness. The lime is not strong enough to take away the innate ginger flavor, but for several minutes after drinking, it’s the lime that remained dominant in the aftertaste (again, I couldn’t sense any honey).

This is a solid ginger ale, worth it if you want something a little different or like knowing that real can sugar is involved. You can get AMERICANA HONEY LIME GINGER ALE for $1.75 at the arcade, in the middle of the five cooler sections.

I have four more bottles of gingers, just begging me to drink them and discuss their virtues. And I am more than willing! Be back soon with thoughts about another ginger.