As an adult, I have never had the urge to drink. Yet, there was always one part of the drinking community that highly intrigued me and honestly made me jealous. Of course what I’m referring to is the world-dominating force we know as craft beer. Craft beer is cool. When you hear anyone involved in the craft beer scene describe a newfound beer it’s normally with the same enthusiasm you would find a first time parent describing their child. From the beer’s color to the way the bubbles tickled their lips. No detail is ever forgotten, it truly is love at first sip. I wanted that. Luckily, there is something out there for sober dorks just like myself. Craft Freaking Soda. The same heart and soul that our local breweries pour into pint glasses around town, are being made and distributed alcohol-free and served across the country in a smaller, but very real, craft soda movement. At the forefront of this locally is Brew Five Points, who carry Jacksonville’s largest selection of handcrafted sodas. Void caught up with owner Jack Twatchman and asked a few questions about non-alcoholic fizzy drinks.
Void: What was your reasoning in offering a craft soda option inside of Brew?
Brew: The idea to carry craft soda began with my partner, Jason. He has a three-year-old and wanted BREW to not only be the kind of place he could bring his son but also a place that would have something he’d be into. We think sodas are pretty cool too and so do a lot of other people. It’s been a pleasant surprise how popular they’ve become. The sodas we carry are all in line with our philosophy for all our products. The selection is carefully curated, highly rated, and all are made with real sugar.
Void: How many different types of soda/ brands do you carry?
Brew: At the moment we have 25 different options from a variety of brands. Some are here to stay while others will rotate in and out. We don’t necessarily want only what’s most popular, we are all about switching it up and giving people the opportunity to try new things.
Void: What is the price range for the Sodas that Brew carries?
Brew: Most of our sodas are in the $3 range. You can’t find most of them anywhere else in town and they are only delivered once a month from Tampa.
Void: Is there a certain demographic that you have noticed gravitate towards sodas over other drinks that Brew offers?
Brew: What’s been most surprising is the number and diversity of people who have embraced them. Obviously, they are a great alternative for the non-drinkers but may people just want to enjoy one in the middle of the day.
Void: What is your favorite Soda?
Brew: My favorite would have to be Hank’s Root Beer. It’s nothing crazy but it’s done really well. It’s just super rich and creamy with the right amount of sweetness and spice. They make one hell of a Vanilla Cream Soda as well!
Void: What is the most off the wall soda that Brew offers?
Brew: We have several that are pretty unique. Manhattan Special Espresso Soda and Mr. Q Cumber Soda are weird ones that people really dig but the weirdest one we have right now is definitely Cicero’s Candied Bacon Cream Soda. It starts like a regular cream soda but finishes with a smoky aftertaste. It’s probably not something you’d want to drink everyday but it’s worth trying for sure. It’s an example of the kind of thing we’ll buy a case of and rotate with something else. I think next up is a salted caramel root beer!