Thursday, June 20, 2013


Its been suggested I put up a FAQ. So, here's the ones I can think of. Have a question? Just ask. Will be randomly updated. 

1. How did you start this?

Well it started with birch beer. I found birch beer at the independent grocer that I frequent (actually they frequent to me. They deliver!) I hadn't seen birch beer since I moved out of Massachusetts. So I purchased some, and it was just like I remember. That led to web searches about birch beer. I ended up on one site that mentioned something about the "ever elusive" spruce beer. Spruce beer? Never heard of it. I love chasing things down on the internet, so off I went. I found spruce beer, and it grew from there. Spruce beer isn't all that elusive either. Persistent web search gives you many sources of it. Have about a case of it now.

2. But why so many "weird" sodas?

My only answer is why not? I sure didn't know there was this many sodas out there, so why not aim to taste them all? Rocket Fizz alone has 500, and I've found a number of sodas online they don't carry. So its a quest now. Hey every one needs something weird, yet still a goal. Plus if I've had all 500 of what Rocket Fizz carries, I get something like a tshirt. *UPDATE* I have found a web site that has 1221 different sodas. At the rate of 2-3 bottles a day, it will take me about year and a half, 2 years....

3. Why no review of Mountain Dew, Sprite or Pepsi type of sodas?

How boring that would be. While some of these I can get at my local grocery store (Ideal), think most would agree my grocery store isn't like most grocery stores. It is independent and tends to have different or gourmet items. Ever heard of Bird's Custard Powder? Not many have. Its very British and another thing I've have problems locating at a box or chain type of store. The store is a little bit more expensive, but I also like the idea of supporting a local business. Any grocery store anywhere in the US has Pepsi, Mountain Dew and the like. Why talk about something everyone has already tasted?

4. How do you drink the soda?

I break probably every soda tasting or soda enjoyment rule there is. I'm different, what's new? All the sodas I try are in bottles (though some are available in cans). I drink the soda at room temperature. A lot of people would say my AC in the summer is cranked to arctic levels anyway, so I suppose it is somewhat chilled. I drink straight from the bottle, no plastic or glass cup involved. I don't swish the soda all around in my mouth like I'm tasting wine. May hold it in my mouth a tad longer than normal, but no swishing. No crackers in between sodas like a wine. I don't pretend to be some grandmaster of soda.

5. Why write reviews?

Again, why not? Maybe some one will stumble on my blog, read some of it and try something different.

6. What's HFCS?

High Fructose Corn Syrup.

7. Why do you give so much history and background on the sodas?

Once more, why not? I like reading and watching history stuff, and this is just an extension of that. I enjoy adding the tidbits of information. You should be glad I spare you most times. I look up origins of all the soda I try. Read it or don't your decision.

8. Where do you buy the soda?

I'll be putting up a separate blog page with soda buying tips. I'll link here and in main title when its complete. Link here.

9. Why are there sometimes a lot of errors in what you type?

I have PD, I'm not perfect and my thinking tends to get ahead of my typing. Plus spell check doesn't catch up to form and from. I try and proof read, but I don't always do so.

10. What's your "regular" soda?

7up. But I'm finding I don't drink near as much since I started drinking odd flavors. Think spruce beer would make the regular list as well.

11. Why no caffeine?

There's a lot of conflicting research about PD and caffeine. Some studies say its inversely proportional to developing PD (as in the more caffeine the less likely a person is to develop PD). However also studies that say women are more likely to develop PD with high caffeine consumption, because of estrogen. In terms of people with PD and caffeine, there are some studies that say it beneficial, some say its not. Some say its great for specific PD issues. There have been no long term studies of caffeine's effect on PD. Seems counter productive to me. PD causes sleep issues, as in insomnia. So why consume something that will exacerbate that? My doc says no, research is varied. YMMV.

Won't be many, if any, energy sodas on this blog.

12. Why so few daily?

I try and limit myself mainly for health and calories sake. I'm just trying to be more aware of what I eat and drink. I allow myself some things like soda, as I do believe if you say completely no to something, its all you'll crave. I also think drinking a lot of soda at once would make the latter sodas not be an accurate tasting.

13. Why so many at the start?

Think I explained this, but I started tasting/drinking before I started blogging so I had to catch up. May not write up soda everyday. May end up posting 4 or 6 on  1 day, just because I didn't blog every day. Update: From the end of June on, each soda will have its own post. I've broken up some of my older bigger posts, and may still break them down further

14. How do you keep track of all the sodas you've tasted so you don't repeat sodas?

OK, every brace yourselves to laugh. I use a spreadsheet. Considering how spreadsheet phobic I am, and how a spreadsheet makes it look like this is a profession or business, it works.

15. Have you ever been sent "free" soda by a manufacturer?

Nope. I'm just one person with an infrequently viewed blog. Don't care how many views I get, its something I enjoy doing. Really don't think a soda company cares about how one person in the middle of cornfields feels about their sodas.  I've gotten a couple "freebies" from friends.

16. Do you use a rating system?

I don't use stars or mugs or a 1-10 scale or anything. My ratings are usually: Love it! Would buy and drink again; Not bad, would buy again, but not going to buy a lot or work to find it again; If you sat one I front of me, I'd drink it, but won't buy myself again; and lastly, won't drink ever again, set one down in front of me and there is no way you can force me and I might hurt you. Its informal, but it works for me. 

17. Will you ever taste and review diet soda?

Sorry, but the artificial sweeteners are not something I can tolerate. Rather drink a bad sugar or HFCS soda than a good diet soda.

18. Are their any flavors you won't review?

Yes. Unfortunately I do not find anything coffee flavored good. From the real coffee, to coffee ice cream, and yes coffee soda. I can't see reviewing something I know I don't like to taste. Chocolate might fall it this category. I know there are a few chocolate sodas around, and I suppose it will depend how they taste. I'm not a chocolate fan. Can't think of anything else.

19. What's with the (#)?

 July 1- ABANDONED!! (Just my way of helping me keep track of things. They are seemingly out of order in the first groups of posts, that's because I rearranged some posts. Number sequence is off, count isn't.)

20. What's PD?

Parkinson's disease

21. Where do you get you history and such info?

Most often the company's web site. Wikipedia as well. I probably should site sources for direct quotes, but most often I'm just summarizing what I read as opposed to direct plagiarism. If you have questions about the history and information, I can guide you to  where it is. Have to admit, I think one little blog from someone in the middle of no where is the least worry for plagiarism. I'm not taking credit in some major published source, and I'm telling you here where I get the info. Yeah, not a perfect system of foot notes and bibliography, but I just don't see the point.

22. Are you a soda expert?

Heck no!! This blog is just my personal opinions on unique sodas. I drink 'em, why not write about them?

23. If you drink one kind of soda from a brand and don't like it, will you drink the other flavors from that brand?

Yes I will. Have to admit I'm a little more excited when its a company who's product(s) I've really liked, but I hold no grudges and look at (or taste at) each soda individually.

Plug here for a fellow soda tasting video blogger. Patrick does a great job, and I enjoy listening and watching his reviews: he's also on YouTube 

This isn't really a question, but if someone has a soda they want me to try, I'll gladly do so. If its one I cannot locate, but you have a steady supply where you live, I may ask you to ship it. Since I have friends in many different regions of the US, I may eventually ask about popular regional sodas, and shipping them if I cannot locate it (I'll cover cost and shipping). But that's in the very distant future if ever.

I've covered all the questions that people have asked me. Anything else, as I said, just ask.

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