For decades, craft soda maker, Fiz Sodas, part of College Club Beverages, has produced classic flavors using 100% cane sugar. And that’s what makes craft sodas a healthier alternative to mass produced sodas since those producers use modified corn syrup.
The craft soda industry is exploding since people want to know what ingredients they are consuming plus support local family businesses. Fiz was originally started in 1922 as Family Bottling Works by Lou and Joe Petix’s grandparents from Sicily, an area known for their Italian waters and sodas. Fiz Soda production is sill housed in the same Rochester building all these years later. Some of the equipment is from the 20th century with additions to automate production.
I spoke with Lou and what a production it is. Water is triple filtered through natural filtration methods: first through sand, next gravel and then activated carbon. CO2 is added for effervescence and then syrups for flavoring. Fiz has 20 natural flavors that change with the seasons and include: Syracuse Orange, Buffalo Birch Beer, Roc City Root Beer, Jamaica Stone Ginger Beer, Black Cherry Wisink and my favorite and a classic New York specialty, Cream Soda. Tasting a 100% cane sugar soda or pop, as it’s called here, you immediately notice the clean flavor and with the Cream Soda, it fills your mouth with a soft cream flavor and the bubbles make it satisfying and fun.
Since Seltzers are a current rage, Fiz has several flavors and are available at their Grape Street location, their distribution center on Ridge Rd and at specialty retailers. Their Facebook page has more location and flavor details.
Lou told me, “people love the benefit of our quality ingredients and we’re a family business they like to support.”
Cheers to that!
Opinions of the author are her own and products were purchased or otherwise noted for discussion. I welcome your comments and suggestions for food and specialty items from upstate New York and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org