The unmistakable, spicy aroma of ginger fills the warehouse space
where B. Stiff and Sons Specialty Sodas are made. Head of Production, Jim
Glenn, is working on a batch of Ginger Beer – a new flavor for the company.
This is the first batch that will incorporate fresh ginger, and a small food
processor whirrs as he tosses in pieces of knobby ginger root. The fresh stuff
is mixed with a ginger puree and steeped for about an
hour. After steeping, the
ginger solids are carefully wrapped in a game bag (similar to a cheesecloth),
which is suspended in the tank to help flavor the soda – a process cheekily dubbed
“Hopefully this will give it a bigger ginger kick,” explains
Glenn, as he ties the 15-lb bag of ginger solids up in the tank. “We’re
constantly improving the recipe, altering it little by little. It already has
great texture and great flavor; we’re just working on getting more of that
Hot water, sugar, and flavor extracts (ginger,
lime and spicy pepper) will swirl around the g-bag as the tank recirculates (the
liquid pulls from the bottom and then dumps back into the top) for four hours.
After chilling, Glenn will add carbonation and then package the bubbly beverage
in cans. The whole process takes three days per batch.
Ginger Beer is one of four new flavors produced by B.
Stiff and Sons Specialty Sodas – a company that claims Oskar Blues Brewery as
their parent. Previously, they made only B. Stiff and Sons Root Beer. Two years
ago, King Soopers and City Market started carrying the Root Beer in Colorado
stores; where the beverage eventually become the top-selling local Root Beer and the
second-best selling craft soda overall.
Now, the company is gearing up to introduce the following new flavors
to consumers: Ginger Beer, Orange Cream, Cream Soda, and Black Cherry. “These
flavors were chosen because they’re old-school, nostalgic flavors that you
can’t find anywhere else,” said Sales Manager Geoff Hess. “Our soda is
truly handmade, with every small batch being tasted and tweaked. We’re looking
to rejuvenate these classics with new twists.” The Root Beer recipe is being
revamped as well, resulting in a 20% reduction in sugar – a change made in
response to consumer feedback.
The distribution plan for the new flavors is off to an
aggressive start. After the official release April 1st, they will be available at multiple large grocery chain stores across Colorado, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Retailers include
ABC Liquors in Florida and Engels Markets in North Carolina; along with numerous local retailers.
“The company is projecting approximately 600% growth in 2016
based on current success and enthusiasm,” said Hess. “We’ve begun construction
on our new production facility, with the goal of taking over the entire craft
Follow @bstiffpop for news and updates.
For a list of local, independent retailers who offer B.
Stiff and Sons Specialty Sodas, contact Geoff Hess at firstname.lastname@example.org