ABC sodas, root beer hail back to nostalgic brewing

ABC sodas, root beer hail back to nostalgic brewing

SILVER SPRING TOWNSHIP — “It’s delicious.”

The simple statement from Dena Thibeault of Camp Hill described why she enjoys Appalachian Brewing Company’s (ABC) Appalachian Root Beer. The root beer and ABC’s five other craft sodas are made at the new Appalachian Brewing Mechanicsburg facility in Silver Springs Township.

For those familiar with the sweet aroma that rises from a glass of old-fashioned homemade root beer, that nostalgia is realized when Appalachian Root Beer is served from a bottle, draft tap, growler or soda gun.

Artie Tafoya, ABC director of operations and brewmaster, dedicated the ABC Mechanicsburg location as the sole production facility for the company’s craft sodas.

“We started construction in August of 2013 and opened in June of 2014,” he said.

ABC repurposed a former Cadillac-Hummer dealership to house craft soda brewing and bottling equipment, as well as a stylish, modern bar and restaurant that seats 260. A traffic light at 6462 Carlisle Pike helps make egress and ingress from the highway convenient.

Tafoya began brewing root beer and ginger beer in 1997 when the first Appalachian Brewing Company location opened in Harrisburg. He soon added a clear birch beer to the brewpub menu.

The Brewpub, its beers and sodas gained recognition in 2004 as PA Preferred products by the emerging Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture program. Although ABC has always offered its soft drinks in half gallon growlers, customers asked for six-packs. ABC added the craft sodas to its selection of bottled beverages.

“Our customers tell us, and each other, what they want,” Tafoya said. “We began bottling the craft sodas in 2007.”

The ABC Appalachian Root Beer, Appalachian White Birch Beer, and ABC Ginger Beer are made with pure cane sugar, ranging from a 7–11 percent content.

“Our sodas contain no high-fructose corn syrup or caffeine, and are gluten-free,” Tafoya said.

The root beer and birch beer include a touch of honey to round out their flavors, he noted. The ginger beer contains a fresh ginger extract that imparts a pleasant, spicy ginger bite. Appalachian Diet Root beer is made with Stevia, an all-natural sweetener, and has 15 calories and 1 gram of total carbohydrates.

ABC has also introduced two new soft drinks, “Citra,” with notes of lemon, lime and grapefruit, and Appalachian Craft Cola, to round out its soda line-up.

“In 2008, ABC was part of a PA Preferred program that landed our bottled sodas in Giant Food Stores,” Tafoya said, adding that “today, nearly 1,000 grocery stores in Central PA and Maryland carry six-packs of the bottled sodas.”

All ABC locations, including Camp Hill, Collegeville, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lititz and Mechanicsburg offer the craft sodas.

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