Local soda company opens ‘alternative taproom’ in time for Dry January
A craft soda company in the Twin Cities is opening an “alternative taproom” ahead of the new year, when millions of Americans are expected to participate in “Dry January.”
“It’s like a craft brewery but no beer, all soda pop!” said Davod Zarghami, co-owner of Northern Soda Company. “We definitely want folks to know there is an alternative taproom if you’re looking for that experience but without the alcohol.”
Northern Soda Company opened its original location in Arden Hills back in 2018, mixing and canning craft soda.
In October, the business moved to a new location in New Brighton, which now houses both its production line and a new taproom.
The taproom opened to the public in late November.
“We want to be super welcoming, whether it’s a family of four with young kids or they want to take grandpa out for an old-school, retro soda or even a corporate outing that wants to have a safe venue to host their gathering in. We want to be that safe place for everybody, including recovery folks,” Zarghami said.
Zarghami expects an increase in business during the month of January, when an estimated 35% of American adults are expected to give up drinking as a New Year’s resolution, according to food and drink research firm CGA.
Northern Soda Company will have 10 flavors of soda on tap that can also be bought in growlers, in addition to about two dozen additional flavors available to purchase in cans.
The taproom offers hot food, such as pizza and jumbo pretzels, along with snacks like chips and salsa.
“The camaraderie has been really cool to notice. There are some regulars that are already coming in,” said Tanya Zarghami, taproom manager. “We’re going to have mocktails come out every weekend too, different mocktails. We just hope to be the space where people come together and we’re really excited for everyone to try our experience.”
A growing number of bars and restaurants in the metro will have mocktails on the menu during the month of January.
Those who sampled the taproom at Northern Soda Company told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS they enjoyed having a non-alcoholic option.
“This time of year, it’s a lot of holiday parties, New Year’s is coming up, it’s nice to have a little variety without necessarily as much consequence I guess,” said Avery Bentrott, who visited from Blaine. “This is our first time coming here. We heard nothing but good things about it, so we hopped in and it did not disappoint.”
Northern Soda Company is also collaborating with the St. Paul Winter Carnival on a signature soda, which will be released on Saturday inside the taproom. The event runs from 12-3 p.m. and will include games and family-friendly activities, along with appearances by Winter Carnival royalty.