By Emily Platt

I’ve never really liked soda. I grew up always asking for water at dinner, refilling my water bottle rather than buying a coke. Sometimes, if I was feeling indulgent I’d opt for a cranberry juice or lemonade, fearing the carbonation of soda and the inevitable syrupy taste. Yet here I am, on a regular Tuesday afternoon, guzzling down a refreshing, bubbly, delightful Puma Kola, the newest gourmet soda Pleasant Pops is now carrying from Sprecher Brewing Company. It tastes delicious, like cinnamon, honey, vanilla and cola. And yes, there is a ferocious puma on the blue label and he looks awesome. 

Sprecher Brewing Company, located in Glendale, Wisconsin, may not fit the Pleasant Pops mold of being a “local” manufacturer, but their focus on remaining a small company, consistently brewing high quality soda-pop, makes perfect sense. Founded in 1985, Randal Sprecher began making beer and soda in a small facility in Milwaukee. After nine busy years, he decided to relocate the company to a larger factory in Glendale, where all Sprecher’s beer and soda are still produced today. Considered a “micro-brewery,” brewing less than 15,000 barrels of beer a year, they’ve surely found their niche. Using local ingredients whenever possible, like honey and cherry juice, we’re thrilled to carry five varieties from their extensive soda collection.

If you like your carbonated drinks to taste like real fruits, roots and herbs, then try Sprechers. Their Ginger Ale has the charming tang of ginger, their Root Beer has the zing of sassafras, the Cream Soda will remind you of your childhood days, the Cherry Cola tastes like it’s poured right out of a 1950’s soda fountain, and the Puma Kola will make you feel like, well, an awesome puma. Can’t beat that when it comes to soda. Not even a soda-hater could say no.