Updated: Feb 18, 2019
San Antonio Start-Up Brings Back Locally Owned, Made Craft Soda
San Antonio, Texas - Locally owned and made craft soda returned to San Antonio after decades of being dormant. Southside Craft Soda founded in 2017 by craft beverage veterans Andrew Anguiano and Gregg Spickler recently completed their first bottling run of TexaCola at Alamo Brewery. TexaCola is inspired by their South Texas roots and uses regional ingredients including Texas Valley citrus, Mexican pure cane sugar, local honey and other natural flavors. This blend provides soda drinkers with a refreshing, natural citrus flavored cola.
"Our goal is to create familiar tastes with a nod to South Texas in every beverage. I really look to creating sodas that are unique, but most importantly, something that people will enjoy drinking," stated Gregg Spickler, co-founder and soda maker. Spickler, no stranger to brewing, is a native San Antonian and spends most of his time as the brewmaster of Alamo Beer Company. A Culinary Institute-Hyde Park alum, his knack for creative mixing extends far beyond beverages as Gregg also is an apiculturist (beekeeper). Spickler's ability to farm bees is an important reason Southside Craft Soda uses locally harvested honey as part of its formula.
"We infuse honey into our small batches to enhance the natural aspects of the soda, but also to show support for our local environment," concluded Spickler. Southside Craft Soda intends to build a tasting room and production facility along the historic Mission Trail, near the San Antonio River. The restoration of the river has reestablished the ecosystem. They look forward to supporting causes that encourage environmental preservation and education.
TexaCola is the first bottled soda from the Southside's portfolio and won't be its last. The company has various profiles that it hopes to release over time and add Bag-in-the-Box (BIBS) to its production. A recent distribution agreement with San Antonio based Hops and Vines, intends to accelerate the sales of the product. Hops and Vines services 22 counties in the San Antonio region.
"Our team is incredibly excited about bringing back craft soda to the area. This vision started in the Summer of 2017 after I had spent years doing marketing for food and beverage manufacturers. I could feel the creative energy in our culinary scene and felt there was an opportunity for beverages like ours to be introduced," stated Andrew M. Anguiano, co-founder and CEO of Southside Craft Soda. In 2017, San Antonio was selected as a UNESCO "Creative City of Gastronomy" recognizing the community for its innovation and culinary history. San Antonio shares this honor with Tuscon, Arizona, the only cities in the United States to be recognized.
"We believe that we are more than a soda company, we are ambassadors of our city and South Texas, so we take extra pride in what we're doing," concluded Anguiano. Andrew's lineage ties him to mission families who settled Spanish Texas in the early 1700's.
The company joins others shaping a new economic landscape in San Antonio. A recent boom of craft beverage manufacturers south of downtown is creating a beverage hub for the city. Freetail Brewing, Dorcol Distillery, Seersucker Gin, Southerleigh Brewing and others are creating a cluster of beverage innovation.
"We chose the Southside and the neighborhood we're in because we see the potential of changing the economic conditions, " said Rob Rodriguez, partner and COO. Like Andrew, Rob is a graduate of Harlandale High School on the city's Southside and has successfully built and managed several businesses. "The neighborhood we’re headquartered has a 37% poverty rate, but also has a World Heritage site right in the middle of it. If we can build a successful craft beverage company in our community, create jobs and share our heritage with visitors, we all win." The San Jose Neighborhood was selected as an Opportunity Zone and the San Antonio Missions attract over a million visitors a year.
To learn more about the start-up soda company visit them online at SouthsideCraftSoda.com or via social media. In the coming months, Southside Craft Soda plans on being part of festivals, fundraisers and provide samplings.
Southside Craft Soda (Southside) was founded in 2017 by craft beverage veterans Andrew M. Anguiano and Gregg Spickler in South San Antonio along the historic Mission Trail near the San Antonio River. The company specializes in creating flavorful craft beverages that are inspired by the culinary heritage of South Texas. The company introduced "TexaCola" in bottles on February of 2019. "TexaCola" embodies the spirit of the company by blending South Texas Valley Citrus, Mexican Pure Cane Sugar and infused with local honey. The use of honey not only enhances the natural aspect of our soda, but is part of our mission to support environmental preservation and education.
To learn more or to order please visit SouthsideCraftSoda.com or via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.