Food Fun & News
The Best Regional Sodas You’ll Find in Every State
When it comes to food, every state has a specialty. And it turns out, every state has its specialty when it comes to pop (or soda) too! Discover the best regional sodas out there, from sarsaparillas to sours and creams to colas.
Craving a soft drink that’s as sweet as it is delicious? Well, you better get yourself down to Alabama and pop open a can of Grapico. This soda has been a favorite in the South since 1916. As the website says, it’s “older than dirt but a whole lot sweeter. Enjoy these delicious Alabama original recipes, too!
Alaska: Ben’s Brew Root Beer
Baranof Island Brewing Company/via Facebook
You might think that in the wilds of Alaska you might not find a good pop, but think again! Based in Sitka, this small company brews root beer that’s served up at taprooms and sold in a handful of grocers up north.
Arizona: Simple Soda Co. Just Lime
Simple Soda Co./via Instagram
Based in Mesa, Simple Soda Co. proves that you don’t need a lot of fancy ingredients or wacky flavor combos to make a good soda. Instead, this company relies on fresh fruit for beautifully simple beverages. The company’s Just Lime soda, flavored with—you guessed it—just lime, is particularly refreshing (and might be good in a margarita!).
Fans of Grapette will tell you that this isn’t just any grape soda. Grapette is known for its sweet grape flavor with a bit of a kick. This brand disappeared for a while—from 1972 until 2000 to be exact—but now it’s sold exclusively at Walmart and Sam’s Clubs under the Sam’s Choice brand. Find out what other Sam’s Choice soda nearly beat out one of the biggest names in soft drinks.
California: Vignette Wine Soda
Here’s one we bet you’ve never seen before! Though it’s no surprise that a rosé- and chardonnay-flavored soda would come straight from wine country. These sparkling beverages are non-alcoholic, but they are made from the same grapes used to produce their namesake wines. The result is a fizzy, fruity drink that’s not overly sweet—it’s only sweetened with the grapes themselves. Even in California, this soda can be hard to come by, but you can always order online.
Colorado: Izze Sparkling Pomegranate
While you’re likely to find Izze all across the country these days, once upon a time, this brand called Colorado home. We don’t blame it for striking the big time—the real fruit flavors of pomegranate (and clementine, blackberry, and more) are always a treat.
Connecticut: Hosmer Mountain Soda in every flavor
How can you not love a soda boasting more than 30 flavors? This family-owned business carries everything from basics like root beer and cream soda to more unusual flavors like cranberry, pineapple, and peach. If you’re local, keep an eye out—Hosmer Mountain Soda releases new flavors monthly! These are 12 Costco foods you can only find in regional food courts.
Delaware: Dominion Root Beer
Fordham and Dominion are mostly known in Delaware for their wide variety of beers. However, the brewery also produces one of our top picks for regional sodas: a smooth and spicy root beer. The secret to this flavorful brew? It’s made from a colonial recipe found in the Library of Congress. Get in touch with history and try these colonial and pioneer recipes.
While Coca-Cola isn’t a regional soda anymore, you can’t deny its influence on Georgia. It’s been produced in Atlanta since the 1880s (though with a very different formula) and has grown to be the country’s most popular soda. Don’t miss these 10 soda secrets Coca-Cola isn’t telling you.
Hawaii: Waialua Lilikoi
In Hawaii, you’ll be happy to find Waialua Soda Works, which produces a handful of flavors that are as sunny and tropical as the islands themselves. Opt for mango or pineapple for some vacation vibes, though our preferred soda is lilikoi—or passionfruit. It’s a great way to get an authentic and refreshing taste of the islands.
Idaho: BuckSnort Root Beer
Out in Idaho, you’ll want to pick up a six-pack of BuckSnort root beer. This root beer combines sassafrass, wintergreen, and licorice for a unique flavor. Or, if you need some extra pep (since root beer is caffeine-free), try the bottling company’s Black Sheep: its classic root beer bottled up with espresso! Love coffee? Try these java-infused desserts.
Illinois: Green River
Green River was introduced to Chicagoans back in 1919 and it remains popular even a century later. This regional soda isn’t just any lemon-lime. In fact, this Illinoisan pop is mostly lime with just a hint of lemon—but we bet you knew that judging from its signature bright green color!
Indiana: Dad’s Root Beer
While this brand originally called Chicago home, it’s now headquartered in Indiana. Either way, there’s some real Midwestern love for Dad’s Root Beer—just see how well it did in our root beer taste test!
Iowa: Sioux City Sarsaparilla
Sarsaparilla might sound a bit old-fashioned, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a try! Sioux City makes a darn good one (and they make a darn good root beer too.
Kansas: Lost Trail Root Beer
Looking for a soda with a story? Lost Trail Root Beer is said to come from a recipe taken from Joe Marshall—a pioneer on the Santa Fe Trail back in the mid-1800s. Now a version of that recipe is made in small batches up in Kansas to preserve all that old-fashioned flavor.
Travel to Kentucky and you’ll have to try Ale-8-One, one of the state’s favorite regional sodas, that lies somewhere between ginger ale and a classic lemon-lime soda. Slightly less carbonated than traditional soft drinks, Ale-8 goes down smooth. Here’s where to find the best supermarket in every state.
Louisiana: Abita Root Beer
Abita Brewing has made a name for itself brewing beers of all kinds. It’s even made waves brewing an artisanal root beer—one flavored with real vanilla and yucca and sweetened with cane sugar.
Moxie may have roots in Massachusetts, but it’s Maine that really embraced this soda. In fact, the soda is Maine’s official state soft drink! Moxie is best described as an acquired taste. It’s not extremely sweet, but rather has some bitter notes, thanks to gentian root (an ingredient often used to make cocktail bitters). Whatever the case, popping open a can when you’re in Maine is a must (so are these recipes).
Maryland: Shasta (all kinds!)
You might see Shasta pop up here and there at your local grocer, but you can be sure you’ll find it everywhere you go when you’re in Maryland. This pop company is much beloved, and with flavors like California Dreamin’ and Tiki Punch, we understand why!
Massachusetts: Polar Orange Dry
While most well known for their seltzers, Worcester-based Polar also has a pretty big fan club when it comes to its Orange Dry. This sparkling beverage is packed with more carbonation than most sodas and seltzers and uses real orange juice and essence to get that refreshing flavor. Can’t get enough orange? Try these recipes.
Michigan: Vernors Ginger Ale
When it comes to ginger ale, Michiganders would argue that Vernors can’t be beaten. This formula is on the sweeter side but is still packed with plenty of ginger taste—and don’t forget about the extra carbonation!
Minnesota: Tree Fort Root Beer
In Minneapolis, you’ll find a brother-sister team dreaming up new takes on classic flavors at Tree Fort Soda. Each flavor has a unique twist—like ginger ale with a hint of lemongrass. What customers love most, though, is the root beer—slightly unexpected with flavors of sarsaparilla, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, and a bit of spearmint. Together they make a combination you’ll love to sip on a warm afternoon.
Mississippi: Barq’s Root Beer
Sure, you can find Barq’s just about anywhere now, but the brand has deep roots in Mississippi, where the beverage was first made under the brand Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works. Whatever the case, we’re glad for this Mississippi export and its distinctive flavor—as the slogan goes: Barq’s has bite! Try Barq’s (or your favorite root beer) in these tasty recipes.
Missouri: Fitz’s Cardinal Cream
Heading out to a ball game? In Missouri, you just want to grab a six-pack of Fitz’s Cardinal Cream. This cream flavored soda also has hints of berry—and it matches the Cardinals’ uniforms perfectly. If cream sodas aren’t your thing, Fitz’s makes an outstanding root beer too!
Montana: Flathead Lake Huckleberry Soda
Flathead Lake Gourmet Soda “delivers truly interesting flavors for truly interesting people.” With locally inspired flavors like huckleberry, we have to agree! Love huckleberries? Try this beautiful pie!
Nebraska: Goody Yellow Pop
Looking for a vintage throwback? Look no further than Omaha’s own Goody Yellow Pop. This soda is a rare find, but it’s worth a try! This mystery pop is full of pineapple and peach flavors, though most folks say it just tastes like candy.
Nevada: Pop Drinks
In Nevada, you won’t find any local bottling companies, but you can find Pop Drinks in Las Vegas. This next-level soda shop lets you combine classic drinks with fun mix-ins. Favorites include the Palms (a mix of diet coke, lime, and coconut), Oasis (that’s Sprite, piña colada puree, and coconut cream) and Red Rock (Pepsi plus cherry and vanilla flavors). It doesn’t get more glamorous for a soda fountain than that! Rather go old school with your soda shop faves? Try these recipes out.
New Hampshire: Squamscot Maple Cream
We love that New Hampshire embraces all things maple—even maple soda. Newfields-based company Squamscot makes a terrific blend of maple and vanilla for a Maple Cream soda that locals go crazy for.
New Jersey: Boylan Birch Beer
Whether you’re kicking back with a Jersey-style hot dog or a good hoagie, you’ll want a Boylan soda to wash it all down. This New Jersey bottling company got its start making birch beer but now makes a handful of tasty flavors, too, like Shirley Temple and Orange Cream.
New Mexico: Blue Sky Cola
Founded in Santa Fe back in 1971, Blue Sky prides itself on using natural ingredients to flavor its sodas—all of which are sweetened with real cane sugar. The brand has a handful of flavors from root beer to cherry-vanilla, but we like their cola quite a bit. It even placed in our cola taste test!
New York: Manhattan Special
If you’re not a tried-and-true New Yorker, you’ve likely never heard of Manhattan Special (you might not have made these recipes either, but you should!). This espresso-flavored soda has been enjoyed by folks in the Big Apple since 1895. It’s got a unique flavor for a bottle of pop, but that’s why we love it so much.
North Dakota: Flannel Fizz Rhubarb Soda
Flannel Fizz/via Facebook
In North Dakota, you won’t find any large-scale soda manufacturers. Instead, you’ll find small operations like Flannel Fizz out of Fargo. This two-person soda company produces comforting yet daring flavors like ginger-cranberry and lavender-cream all made from fresh ingredients. If you’re in North Dakota, be sure to grab a growler of Flannel Fizz Rhubarb. It’s the perfect way to savor that summer flavor.
Ohio: Frostop Root Beer
This Ohio-based chain is known for their exceptionally creamy root beer—perfect for folks that like their root beer to taste like a float whether or not there’s ice cream. You can find the root beer stands sprinkled across the country and six-packs at stores throughout the Midwest. Find out what happens to your body after you drink a can of soda.
Oklahoma: Triple AAA Kola
Triple AAA Soda Co./via Facebook
Triple AAA calls Oklahoma home. And if you find yourself down in cowboy country, you just might want to grab a bottle of cola—er, Kola. This cola gives you that old-fashioned soda feeling with a soft hint of vanilla and cinnamon. Be sure to try Triple AAA root beer too.
Oregon: Crater Lake sodas
Made in Portland, Crater Lake Soda uses all real ingredients—no high fructose corn syrups or foam enhancers. While the company carries a nice selection of root beer, cream soda, and other old-fashioned favorites, the apple-ginger soda just might be our favorite. This used to be a seasonal offering but is now produced year-round because it’s so beloved! Psst…you can make these apple recipes all year, too.
Pennsylvania: Any A-Treat
This Orefield-based brand is a staple in many Pennsylvania homes. And with so many flavors—ranging from root beer to birch beer, Big Blue to cream—there’s something for everyone to love. We recommend pairing whatever flavor you love with these homey Pennsylvanian recipes.
Rhode Island: Yacht Club in any flavor
Yacht Club Soda Factory Store/via Facebook
Yacht Club Bottling Works is the official soda and water company of Rhode Island. And the company takes this seriously, producing more than a dozen flavors. You’ll find options ranging from grape to grapefruit, strawberry to sarsaparilla and birch beer to classic root beer.
South Carolina: Blenheim Ginger Ale
Family-owned Blenheim Ginger Ale is made the old-fashioned way in three different strengths. Fans of powerful, spicy ginger ale should try the Old #3 formula, traditional ginger all lovers would be happy with #5 and #9—Blenheim’s diet variety.
South Dakota: Buddy’s Strawberry Soda
While it was first produced in neighboring Minnesota, Buddy’s is now bottled and enjoyed across South Dakota. The brand offers plenty of fruit flavors like grape and orange, but we like the candy-like strawberry for something different.
Tennessee: Dr. Enuf
We’ve all heard of Dr. Pepper, but most folks outside of Tennessee have never sipped Dr. Enuf. Branded as “the original energy booster,” Dr. Enuf is a lemon-lime soda unlike any other—it’s got a unique flavor with added vitamins and minerals. You won’t want to miss these 13 foods with regional names you’ll argue about forever.
Texas: Big Red
If you’re getting ready to barbecue in Texas, you better have Big Red on hand. This soda is popular all across the Lone Star State (and across the South, too). Non-locals be aware: Despite the name and color, Big Red isn’t cinnamon or cherry—it’s actually cream with just a hint of lemon and orange oils. Be sure to serve it up alongside these Texas recipes.
Utah: Apple Beer
Looking for a crisp and refreshing soft drink made from real fruit? Well, you might want to get out to Utah to try Apple Beer—the carbonated soft drink made from real sugar and real apples. Despite its name, this beverage is non-alcoholic (it’s also caffeine- and gluten-free). Learn about 10 reasons why you should give up soda—including diet soda—for good.
Vermont: Sap! Maple Soda
This beverage company rose to fame after appearing on Shark Tank. The way the maple soda was hyped up on TV, you know we had to try it! We have to say that this soda—which packs plenty of health benefits like antioxidants—is a great way to enjoy Vermont’s most beloved export.
Virginia: Trussings Craft Fizz
In Richmond, you’ll find artisanal soda company Trussings Craft Fizz. The soda masters there combine local produce—like apple and sage—for soft drinks that really taste like Virginia. And guess what—no added sugar either so you can feel good about enjoying a tall glass of Berry Basil as you relax on the porch.
Washington: Jones Soda Fufu Berry
Seattle-based Jones Soda is well known for producing oddball soft drink flavors—they released a complete Thanksgiving dinner line of sodas, including turkey and gravy, in the past. However, the company’s most iconic flavor is just as unique. Fufu Berry soda combines a few berry flavors with a hint of lavender (according to some) for a sparkling beverage you can’t forget.
West Virginia: Mountain Dew
It’s not local, but it’s the most popular pop in West Virginia. And if you want more ways to enjoy it, check out this recipe (you won’t believe it uses soda!).
Wisconsin: Jolly Good Sour Pow’r
Jolly Good is known for putting the pop in Wisconsin, as the slogan used to go. This vintage brand recently got a reboot in 2016 and offers a handful of flavors like cream, piña colada, and grape, but perhaps Sour Pow’r—a grapefruit and lime combination—is the brand’s biggest claim to fame. We think it goes especially well with the state’s unofficial cocktail: the brandy old-fashioned.
Wyoming: Jackson Hole High Mountain Huckleberry
In Wyoming, you’ll find that Jackson Hole Soda embraces all things local. Its High Mountain Huckleberry makes use of one of the region’s most popular fruits. If you prefer something a bit more standard, they make “the best dang old fashioned” root beer too! Once you’ve tried a sip, learn the one food you have to try in every state.
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