Pop Art: Artisanal Sodas

On days like this, there is nothing I crave more than putting my feet up, relaxing in a cool backyard, and sipping on an icy cold glass of something bubbly. No, not champagne! Something a little more local, artisan, and, well, wholesome. Say hello to soda pop! Depending on where you are from, you may use alternative terms for this sweet and tasty treat. Terms like soda are most common on the East Coast, pop on the West, and then a slew of coke, soda pop ,and soft drink  somewhere in-between. But, no matter what you call it, we can all agree that it’s a summertime staple. In recent years we have seen an ever-growing artisan renaissance for most of our most banal — yet beloved — eats. Bacon, bread, sauerkraut, donuts, and more recently pop, have been reclaimed by foodies everywhere, and Victoria is no exception to the rule. Locally made, natural, and organic artisan pops are making a resurgence in the Garden City. Here’s just a taste of what’s available.

phillips float

Phillips Soda Works: Our favourite brewery now turned soda maker, prides itself on natural sodas brewed in Victoria. Using only raw cane sugar and natural herbs and spices, Phillips sodas are free from all the conventional store-bought soda ingredients such as artificial flavours and colours. Choose from their zippy Sparkmouth Ginger Ale or the classic Intergalactic Root Beer.

Recipe: Ice cream extraordinaire Autumn Maxwell (of Cold Comforts fame) recommends pairing Sparkmouth Ginger Ale with a couple scoops of Cold Comforts Ginger’s Revenge ice cream to make a Ginger Snap Float.

Address: 2010 Government St, V8T 1H3

Phone: (250) 380-1912



ice cream top down
top own phillips and cold comforts

island soda closer - dand and citrus

Island Soda Works: Handmade just outside of Coombs, Island Soda Works is a small soda distillery focusing on seasonal, wildly harvested and organic ingredients. Using natural fermentation to create its signature bubbles, Island Soda Works pop have a nuanced sweetness with little to no sugar, and actually have living probiotics. Their botanical flavours vary with the season, and currently include: Dandelion Flower and Citrus; No GMO Mojito with Cucumber, mint, and lime; and wild Salal and Ginger.

Recipe: Soda maker Mandolyn Jonasson recommends the Dandelion Flower and Citrus soda with a splash of whiskey or bourbon, and a twist of orange rind. Her pro tip is to scorch the rind with a flame first to help release the natural oils.

Address: 1430 Errington Rd, V0R 1V0

Phone: 250-203-1072


organic fare syrup

Organic Fair: Cobble Hill’s own Organic Fair whips up organic chocolates, herbs, and spice mixes, as well as house-made soda concentrates. Inspired by traditional old-timey soda pops, Organic Fair creates concentrated syrups (to make your own pop at home) using herbs, spices, fruits, and botanicals. Flavours include Kola, Root Beer (made with 15 herbs and spices), Lavender Lemonbalm Lemonade, Ginger Ale, Orange, and Cherry Cola.

Recipe: To make a fancy “grown up” soda, try diluting the Lavender Lemonbalm Lemonade concentrate with some sparkling wine instead of soda water.  With the addition of gin, this would make a killer “French 75.”

Address: 1935 Doran Rd, V0R 1L5

Phone: (250) 733-2035


Twitter: @OrganicFair

Facebook(s): Organicfair and Organicfairsodas

Written By:

Sophie MacKenzie is a food enthusiast through and through. When she isn't busy working early mornings shifts at a local bakery, she can be found creating and photographing original recipes for her wholefoods centred blog. Her ...

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