12 Retro Soda Brands You Need To Try

Move over beer and wine. Soda is the new beverage of choice for on-trend get-togethers. Many are serving hard-to-find rare sodas to inject old-fashioned fun into get-togethers. Instead of tasting craft beers and rare vintages, this is a fun alternative.

Vintage soda is gaining a major following, with fans hunting everywhere for a flavor they have yet to try. Big soda companies are getting on the bandwagon as well. For example the re-release of New Coke to time with the release of the third season of Stranger Things.

Vintage soda tasting parties are also quickly becoming a trend. Best of all, every age group can participate.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to celebrate retro soda ginger ale on March 13 —National Ginger Ale Day. These 12 sought-after brands are a great place to start.


First released in 1876 in Lowell, Massachusetts, Moxie is considered one of the first mass produced sodas. While Moxie’s flavor is said to be a combination of tart and clean with notes of licorice and wintergreen, everyone tastes something different. This makes Moxie a great icebreaker for a tasting party.

Boylan Bottling Company

Created as an elixir by pharmacist William Boylan in 1891, Boylan Bottling Company’s Birch Beer still makes us feel good. We can see why. 

Each soda by the in Paterson, New Jersey company is still crafted in small batches using pure cane sugar. Joining the classic Birch is such fun flavors as Ginger AleBlack Cherry, Shirley Temple – even Sparkling Lemonade. Their signature long neck glass bottles make a social-media worthy presentation at any gathering.

Dad’s Root Beer

Hailing from Chicago, Dad’s Root Beer and it classic herbaceous root beer tang has enjoyed a cult following since 1937. Fun fact — Dad’s was the first company to sell a beverage in a six pack.

Frostie Soda 

Frostie Root Beer’s roots start in Baltimore in 1939 where it quickly gained popularity, adding additional flavors like blue cream and orange soda. The Christmas-like scene of snow and a Santa-like bearded character found on the label make these beverages particularly appealing for holiday get-togethers. They’re just as welcome as a cool refreshment on a hot summer day.


The oldest continuing soft drink company run by the same family, Cheerwine is, like the tag line says, “uniquely southern.”

Originating from Salisbury, North Carolina, the wild cherry beverage with a deep red hue invented by L.D Peeler is a fine vintage that you guests will certainly cheer-ish. Fun fact – the POPular pop was called Cheerwine because of its deep red wine-like hue and the cheery disposition in brings!

Reading Draft

If you’re looking for a soda to transport you to simpler times, then Reading Draft soda is just the vehicle. Since 1921, Reading Draft has been offering Pennsylvania Dutch Classics like White Birch, Root Beer, and Sarsaparilla to its home town of Reading Pennsylvania. 

They also have some newer flavors like Citrus Twist and Honey Pear too. What will really have guests stopping to take notice is the signature image of a train on the label, harkening to Reading’s history as a major railroad hub.


Brownie Caramel Cream Root Beer was first introduced in Detroit in 1929. Its deep caramel cream flavor makes it sweeter than other root beers on the market. The fun Brownie sprite on the label makes a for whimsical presentation. This beloved brand enjoys quite a cult following.

Johnnie Ryan

Johnnie Ryan has been a flavored soda favorite in the Niagara, New York area since 1935. This soda line made with pure cane sugar runs the gamut in terms of flavor from the classics like Cola, Ginger Ale, Root Beer and Cream Soda, to more unique flavors like Birch Beer, Cherry and Black Cherry.  

Bubble Up

Bubble Up is the extra fizzy lemon lime precursor to 7Up from Sandusky, Ohio. The extra fizz showcases the light citrus flavors making it a refreshing summer’s day beverage. It is coveted by those who prefer a “kiss of lemon and a kiss of lime” to please their palate any time of year.


The French brand of sparkling lemonade and other fruit sodas, Lorina, has been delighting customers since 1895. The company takes its name from a British ship that saved French lives during World War II (the original name of the tangy, bubbly beverage was Victor Geyer’s Elixir). 

Lemonade and Orangeade were the founding flavors, with Pink Lemonade, Lavender, and Blood Orange joining the family later. All are still made using water sourced from France and sweetened with beet sugars.

Grapefruit Kiss Soda

Little is known about its origins, but we can’t deny the perfect tart yet sweet flavor of Grapefruit Kiss. In fact, the food website Serious Eats named this vintage soda it top grapefruit flavored soda.

You don’t need a degree in FIZZ-ics to see that retro sodas add a POP of excitement to parties and the everyday. From their small batch recipes made with pure cane sugar, to their fun retro labels, even to their glass bottles. Every step of the sipping experience transports you back in time. 

Along with National Ginger Ale Day, you can also have the green light to celebrate soda on National Root Beer Float Day – August 6, and National Ice Cream Soda Day June 30. Yeah more holidays to celebrate!

 Though the specialty and regional soda sipping experience is rare, more and more candy shops, convenience stores and specialty food stores are carrying specialty soda than ever before. Making it easier than ever to add retro soda to your next get together.

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