I am often on the lookout for food (or in this case drink) items that are hard to find on the west coast and that I remember from growing up on the east coast. One day I found some Saranac 1888 Root Beer locally so I let a childhood friend, who’s now in Phoenix, know what I found (another childhood friend of ours’ dad was a brewmaster at the Matts Brewery where Saranac is made). A few days later I came across an awesome video about local market that carries a huge variety of small independent soft drinks (watch the video below) so I shared that too. He replied that the next time he comes to L.A. to visit, I had to take him there to check it out – he’s been searching for good birch beer.
Fast-forward a few months and he came to town to visit, so we trek’d over to Highland Park to check out Galco’s. The place is awesome and loaded with all sorts of small independent or hard to find soda and beer brands. We even got to talk with John Nese, the owner of the market and who was featured in that video. Speak to Mr. Nese for just a few minutes and you really get a sense for his passion for what he does.
I asked for a recommendation for a cream soda and he explained that there are all different types of cream sodas, some are light, some are stronger, and some even have real cream in them. He then pointed to their own brand of cream soda, White Rose, which is locally produced and was resurrected by them. In fact, he told me that they were able to find the original equipment that was used to bottle soda back in the 1930’s and they purchased that machinery and got it working again. Not only a great story, but it tastes really good too.
Go check out Galco’s and find some really great drinks. (the address is below)