Soft drinks are one of America’s guilty pleasures. We all know the big guys like Coca-Cola and Pepsi, but regional soft drink flavors can provide a special sense of pride. In a world dominated by large beverage brands, many regional soft drinks have stayed true to their roots and are still family owned and operated. Others have been bought by larger corporations, but continue to be distributed on a small scale in specific regions.
We compiled a list of the top ten regional soft drink chains we wish were available on a national scale. Some of these beverages, like Moxie, have such a strong following of loyal consumers there is a festival held in their honor. Other hometown favorites, like Chicago’s Green River, have even been called “nostalgia in a bottle” because of its long-term popularity.
Some of the soft drinks on our list have a strong social media following, while others are still growing. Cheerwine, for example, has over 123,000 likes on their Facebook. Other brands are not as supported on social media, though, like Chicago’s Green River, which has 474 likes on their Facebook page. This could be due to the fact that some soft drinks have smaller distribution areas or are not as popular with social media users. We realize that this isn’t the sole measurement of how desired any of these soft drinks are, though; we also considered the total area of a given beverage’s distribution, and whether or not it is available to order online.
Our soft drink flavors range from cherry to ginger ale, and while they may not be as famous as much as mainstream soft drinks, people are still proud and eager to track down bottles of these fizzy beverages. Honorable mentions that did not make our list, but are still popular and loved in various regions of the country, include Boylan’s Birch Beer, A-Treat, Hosmer Mountain Sarsaprailla, and Dublin Dr. Pepper.