The Soda Gallery: High-Fructose Corn Syrup Heaven
Try: Rat Bastard root beer
Don't try: spending less than 10 bucks here
I was on a mission to find Henry Weinhard's root beer. I know that some shmancy grocery stores in town sell six-packs, but they're always sold out by the time I get there (because Weinhard's is the shiiiiiiit), so I need a place that has access to cases of the stuff. And that place is Soda Gallery. If you're looking for a carbonated bev that's a little off the Coca-Cola Classic path, this little store in Bishop Arts has just the thing.
They have two walls of sodas: one wall of refrigerated stuff and one of unrefrigerated stuff. So, if you want to pop in for a Fukola Cola they have a cold one ready and waiting for you. On the other hand, if you're gonna buy a case of Rat Bastard they also have that unrefrigerated and ready to be shoved into the backseat of your minivan. (It's very popular among moms who're hosting playgroups for their little ones. Or, at least it's very popular at the playgroups I throw).
Should you decide to purchase a six pack at Soda Gallery, they let you mix and match. This was a brilliant marketing trick if you ask me. I got so excited about picking out a variety of flavors that I ended up spending like 30 bucks on two six packs of sodas (including Fukola Cola, Kiss grapefruit, Rat Bastard root beer, Boing!, Abita root beer and a bunch of Henry Weinhard's) when I had initially just planned on picking up a couple of bottles. They don't have a set price per six pack -- they still just charge you by the bottle -- so be aware of that while you're picking stuff out. I spent the whole time so blinded by label design that my stupid happy ass just walked right to the checkout without checking prices and then when the total came up, I got out my wallet and payed my "Hey, You're A Total Dumbass!" Tax. Whatever. (Side note: Damn this place and every wine seller ever. Yes, I regularly buy beverages based on their packaging. Yes, that makes me a dipshit. Yes, that means you get to charge me a million dollars just because you produce a bottle of wine called, "Meat Dick" that tastes worse than its name sounds. And I'm totally OK with that. Because I will get much more enjoyment out of laughing the entire way home and the entire time I fancily pour that shit into someone's Waterford than I would ever get from the actual taste of the drink. Gah, I'm such a consumer whore.) If you see each sugar-filled bottle as one happy high, that's way cheaper than buying a bottle of Valium. Especially if you're super crafty and can somehow get your insurance to take care of it.
Obviously, I found the Henry Weinhard's root beer to be delicious. It's my favorite root beer because it tastes like cream soda and root beer had a baby. A sweet, fun-to-drink baby. My second fave of the things I bought was the Rat Bastard (label definitely had a lot to do with that). But, I probably won't repurchase the Fukola Cola even though it's really fun to say. I found it grosser than Gary Busey.
In the back of the store past the refrigerators, there's a fun collection of old school candies. Pop Rocks caught my eye. I picked up a few bags of watermelon and fruit punch and let me just say, for the record, that if you drink a soda while eating Pop Rocks your brain does not, in fact, explode. It implodes. Which is actually really nice because it's way less clean-up.
The Basket: Henry Weinhard's (root beer, black cherry, orange cream), Fukola cola, Kiss grapefruit, Rat Bastard root beer, Boing! (guayaba), Abita root beer, Pop Rocks (Watermelon, Fruit Punch)
The Soda Gallery
408 N. Bishop Ave