Richmond and the Visit to Rocket Fizz

Fortunes found me in Richmond Virginia (second time in three years), this time I was running the Monument 10K.  I more or less jogged the distance, and proceeded to enjoy Carytown to recuperate of course.

My recuperation was a three phase approach – sweet treats, chocolate and ginger.  My walk up and down the scenic Carytown “Mile of Style” found me visiting Jean-Jacques Bakery for my sweet treat, For the Love of Chocolate for my chocolate and Rocket Fizz for my ginger.  Apparently, I picked the right time to visit Carytown as the shop opened within the last year.

Rocket Fizz is worth a trip – 100s of sodas.  The sodas range from birch beer to ginger ale to ginger beer to classic colas. I scanned through the bottles (with the help of my other half).  I found four candidates – Cock ‘n Bull Ginger Beer, Sprecher Ginger Ale, Reading Draft Ginger Beer and Australia Style Ginger Ale.  The four bottles were refrigerated, and ready for consumption.

Cock n' Bull - GInger Beer
Cock n’ Bull – Ginger Beer

Sprecher Ginger Ale
Sprecher Ginger Ale

Reading Draft Ginger Beer
Reading Draft Ginger Beer

Australian Style Hot Ginger Ale
Australian Style Hot Ginger Ale

I went back to my hotel with a full bag of goodies, and a desire to sample them all.

The Reading Draft Ginger Beer was by far the best.  The Rocket Fizz Ginger Ale and Sprecher Ginger Ale were terrible. The Cock ‘n Bull Ginger Beer was OK.  The only one that I would recommend is the Reading Draft Ginger Beer, it was sweet with a spicy kick.  I’d love to have more.  The Sprecher was sub-par; I firmly believe in not using Honey as a sweeter in sodas.  The Rocket Fizz didn’t blow off any socks, it was blah.  The Cock ‘n Bulll was decent.

Great Trip to Richmond… I found sodas and had some fun sipping the sodas.

Tower Ginger Ale

I’ve blogged a couple of times about Roche Brother‘s Soda isle a couple of times.  I seem to magically find my way down the aisle and stop at the shelves with the Root Beer, Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale.

My eyes start the scan from the top to the bottom, and my eyes rest on the Towers section. There is a new entry right next to the Root Beer, and it’s the Ginger Ale.  While I do recommend the Root Beer, today I picked up the Ginger Ale.

Before I poured my Ginger Ale, I looked up the Tower Beverages website. They have a long history of sodas, and I’m encouraged by the website.

The first bottle of ginger ale I pick out of the package is poorly packaged – label screwed up, extra glue on the packaging.  It’s not encouraging – the first sense that is activated is sight and then feel and then taste.  I don’t consider this issue a big deal – it happens with any bottling line.

I pick up a second bottle, and try to open the top.  It’s not a twist top.  I rummage through the kitchen drawers and find the bottle opener.  I pop the top, sit down on the couch and take a sip.

It’s a decent ginger ale.  A little sweet right out of the bottle, and would be nice with a bit of ice in a glass. The Ginger Ale is good, not great.  I can’t wait to find the Ginger Beer in the aisle.

Tower Ginger Ale
Tower Ginger Ale

Bruce Cost Ginger Ale Unfiltered

The weekend of the 10th was a getaway weekend.  I headed to the airport on schedule, my ever predictable schedule that says “early is on time”.   Like every other human, I hate being rushed through security, rush to get on the plane, and rush rush rush. Rushing makes travel unbearable.

I avoided the rush, still managed to find the long line at security, and found I had time to pass before they called the flight.  One thing goes through my mind before a flight, stretch the legs, walk around, grab a drink, grab some gum, and prepare for the sardine can experience.

I listened to my thoughts, and proceeded to walk around Terminal B.  I started my loop around the airport. I had made it to Gate B20 before something caught my eye – Bruce Cost Ginger Ale.  The interesting thing is there is sediment, and the sediment caught my eye – actual ginger chunks.

I purchased a bottle at the Berkshire Farmer’s Market and continued my walk (I had to make it back to my gate to listen to the call for boarding/zones).  I made it back to the gate and sat down.

I opened the bottle, and took a sip of the cold liquid (having shaken it first).  I’d give the Ginger Ale about a 7 out of 10 without ICE.  I think if I had Ice it would have been an 8 to 9.   The sediment was unobtrusive, yet visible.  A great taste with a slight aftertaste that would have been cut by Ice.

Bruce Cost Ginger Ale Unfiltered
Bruce Cost Ginger Ale Unfiltered

Simpson Spring – Ginger Ale

Saturday found me again at the Natick Farmer’s Market. The Market has moved inside and is shockingly well attended even with the venue changed from the common. It’s moved across the way to the Common Street Community Church.

One vendor is particularly good – Simpson Spring Beverages. Simpson Spring is “the oldest independent bottling plant in the United States, providing pure spring water and old-fashioned, hand-mixed soda in a variety of favors, classic and new”.   They vend soda from one of the tables in the market.  I’ve purchased it many times, and today I am breaking out the Ginger Ale.

The soda is delicious. It’s slightly dry, not too sweet, and tastes great.  It’s a 10 out of 10.   The other sodas are worth it.

/Simpson Spring Ginger Ale Simpson Spring Ginger Ale

Head to Head – Fever vs Trader Joes

I enjoy ginger – ginger ale, ginger beer, ginger brew. I tend to accumulate random bottles and things to try.  My secret backlog had Trader Joes Triple Ginger Brew and Fever Tree Ginger Ale. Does anyone else think “head-to-head taste-off”?  I certainly didn’t… who wants to mix awesome flavors.  I want to drink every incredible drop and taste every incredible ginger note.

I had chilled the Trader Joes Triple Ginger Brew for an hour.  I popped the top and poured it into the glass. I took a sip, and I didn’t take another. A simple reason caused me to reject the Brew – Honey, Lime from Concentrate.  They overpowers the Ginger.  It killed the Flavor.  I do not recommend it to drink straight, if you use it as part of a mix, it might be OK.


With the taste of the Brew in my mouth, I needed to wash away the flavor profile.  I opened the Fever Tree Ginger Ale – Delicious.  It’s a subtle ginger ale, and is nice to sip. Can you guess which ginger drink won?    As you can see below, Fever Tree won my taste palette and saved the day.

Nothing Left with the Fever Tree
Nothing Left with the Fever Tree

Boylan Ginger Ale… Just one, on ice

According to Wikipedia, Boylan Bottling Company is a soda company based in New Jersey.  Their sodas were first introduced to me in Manhattan, I drank a Boylan Root Beer and Black Cherry.    First thoughts… delicious…. packed with flavor.

Time for take two… Boylan’s has made the way to Massachusetts. I picked up the four pack from my local supermarket (Roche Brothers has a great gourmet soda section).  I purchased the four pack of Ginger Ale, and put them in the Refrigerator.

I pull a bottle out and pop the top.  My second impressions… way too sweet. It needs Ice.   I  wouldn’t really recommend this without ice.  It’s not my favorite, it’s worth a sip and a drink with ice!  Without Ice, I find it too sweet and over powered by the Cane Sugar.

Net is… I won’t rush to buy.  I won’t turn down a Ginger Ale.

Boylan Bottling Company - Ginger Ale
Boylan Bottling Company – Ginger Ale



I decided to do it. Yes do it.

It is… Dedicating a Blog to Ginger.  I have such a hard time finding my favorite spice / drink and food when I want.   What’s the best Ginger Beer? What are the cool recipes with Ginger?  What are the best Ginger candies?  What are the most interesting medicinal cures? What are the most interesting places to travel and have ginger?

Ginger (Ginger Root) is a spice found in the South East Asia and African nations.  Per Wikipedia, 1.6 million tons were produced in 2008.  1.6 million tones of the beautiful flowering plant and spice were harvested, transported to market, sold, and consumed.  I plan on consuming as much of that as possible. It’s delicious and spicy.

Stay Tuned for more posts, experiences and updates.
Ginger in China 01