October 28, 2019
Soda has a bad rap. After years of being dominated by massive multinational beverage makers, and being blamed for a host of ills, many soda fans have been re-thinking their favourite beverage. The folks at Annex Ale Project are glad they are, since Annex has just launched two non-alcoholic craft sodas with no artificial flavours—and no high fructose corn syrup.
“Annex sodas are inspired by the craft beer movement and the idea that people should be consciously consuming the beverages they purchase,” shares Annex’s Therese Cormier. “Soda has a bad reputation and Annex strives to change that perception through transparency.”
Transparency for Annex means sharing exactly what’s in the can, unlike the secret recipe of one iconic cola maker.
“Root Beer is a flavour that many people can relate to but cannot identify what is in it. Annex was inspired to break down the flavours of traditional artificial Root Beer and make it from whole and natural ingredients. Made from ten different ingredients, it is the most complex soda to make and took over a year to develop,” says Cormier, adding that more than 40 test batches were made.
Annex’s spinoff venture, dubbed Annex Soda Mfg., uses water, cane sugar, brown sugar, molasses, sarsaparilla, liquorice root, cinnamon, and natural extracts that include sassafras, vanilla and wintergreen to naturally flavour its Root Beer, giving it an old fashioned taste.
“Whole ingredients help create sodas that have deep flavour and lots of mouthfeel,” adds Cormier.
After creating the Root Beer and getting the recipe just right, Annex began developing a craft Ginger Beer that uses fresh ginger and natural lemon as the flavourings.
“We wanted it to be spicy enough to stand out in cocktails but balanced so that consumers could drink a bottle of it in one sitting,” Cormier explains.
While Annex is probably best known as a local craft brewery, the company is also known for its love of experimentation. Annex is constantly making new and interesting drinks for its customers, and co-owner and brewmaster Andrew Bullied loves to play with his tools, crafting unique beverages meant to excite his customers and keep them hungry for new tastes.
Previously the brewmaster at Village Brewery, Bullied also worked at Banded Peak, where the first large scale batch of Root Beer was made in September 2016.
“The Alberta brewing scene is so collaborative,” explains Bullied, sitting at a long community table in the front of Annex Ale Project’s tap room. “There’s a lot of like minded people. People are super passionate.”
And now, customers who are passionate about a handcrafted beverage without the buzz can also find a natural, small-batch beverage just for them.
Find Annex Soda Mfg. Root Beer and Ginger Beer at your local Calgary Co-op grocery store.
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