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Tugs: A New Short Film About Tugboats

We have a brand new short on the scene! TUGS premiered at the 2011 South By South West Film Festival in Austin, Texas and is currently screening at festivals around the country.

In some ways a companion piece to SELTZER WORKS, our new film profiles the cutest boats on the waterways of New York Harbor, celebrating (as Seltzer Works does) a previous era in the city.

Check out the website for more info on screenings and how you can order the new TUGS mug!

Tugboats at the 2010 Great North River Tugboat Race and Competition

CATEGORIES: Film News Merchandise


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Thanks Seattle!

We got a very nice shout out this week from the Seattle Jewish Film Festival. Their audiences voted us the Best Short of the festival!

We are tickled like the seltzer bubbles in the back of your throat!

CATEGORIES: Film Festivals Film News


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Drink Seltzer: Don’t Get Your Soda Stolen

Kool Keith drinks the seltzer! But only so no one will steal his soda!

Thanks to our friends at Thank You Tote Bags for sending along!

CATEGORIES: History Seltzer Sourcing


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We’re Gonna Be In Pictures!

To celebrate our upcoming broadcast premiere on POV, the award winning documentary program on PBS, we thought we would share some of the great press we have received during our festival run.

During our Hot Docs screening in May, a wonderful food writer saw the film and was inspired to write a story about Magda, Canada’s OWN last Seltzer bottler. She interviewed us for the article which was first published in MacLeans and then The Atlantic picked it up. Twice! And the Brooklyn section of the New York Daily News wrote about us for one of our Rooftop Films Screenings.

The film is still playing at festivals around the country, check back on the Screenings page for more info.

And we were so excited to see one of our favorite movies, The Thin Man keeping the seltzer close by. This mug needs it to mix with his whiskey. “A Manhattan you always shake to fox-trot time”

CATEGORIES: Film News Screenings


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Seltzer Works Broadcast Premiere

We are just THRILLED to announce that Seltzer Works will have its broadcast premiere on PBS’s award winning documentary series POV.

We have been paired with festival favorite Edge of Dreaming and will air on Tuesday, August 24th at 10pm in New York. POV is picked up my most PBS stations across the country but check your local listing here.

CATEGORIES: Film News Screenings


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Egg Creams and Rooftops

We’ve had a great few weeks in seltzer land. Another trip out to Canarsie to fill up some bottles for a family party down in Philadelphia. Mom insisted on making egg creams for everyone, and they were a hit! We also came across this beautiful old French seltzer bottle in an antique shop down there. The double bulbous seltzer bottles are fairly rare and very old. This one had “veritable setzongene d. fevre” engraved on the pewter nozzle valve.

We also had our first screening that Kenny and his whole family attended in New York City last night. The great Rooftop Films did a program of New York Non-Fiction on the roof of a high school in the Lower East Side. It was a beautiful summer evening and a perfect night to watch short films. Kenny got great questions following the screening and we got lots of wonderful feedback from the audience. Looking forward to another rooftop screening in July! Maybe we will try to get Kenny to bring some seltzer this time.

CATEGORIES: Film Festivals Screenings Seltzer Sourcing


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Jewish Champagne 2.0

Went down to visit Kenny last week to give him one of our amazing Hatch Show Print posters and get a seltzer fill up. We needed a case to go with our Memorial Day long weekend BBQ!

Kenny and his brother-in-law Irving, have been looking into other options for people who want that biting seltzer taste, but can’t be home for the delivery man or live out of a delivery zone. They found a comparable seltzer down in Argentina called Bariloche that comes in siphoned, recyclable bottles. Irv and Kenny gave as a bottle as a taste test and we loved it! Great bubble structure and really good fizz that retains its compisition through the life of the bottle. But you can’t beat the charms of the old bottles!

Just before our Stranger Than Fiction screening at the IFC Center this week, we stopped in somewhere for a can of the bubbly and spied this big display right up front by the check out. Looks like Dr. Browns is pushing out the Cel-Ray, once referred to as the ‘Jewish champagne.’ I don’t think they have a chance. For my money, its the Bariloche all the way.

CATEGORIES: History Merchandise Screenings Seltzer Sourcing


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Who Fills Those Bottles?

When we first heard about Gomberg Seltzer Works, the stories weren’t so much about Kenny, but about his seltza men; the five or six guys that are still out delivering the heavy glass bottles to thirsty customers all over New York’s five boroughs.

There is Walter Backerman a true charecter with great seltzer stories. There is a great radio peice about him here. And Eli Miller whose truck is actually a station wagon, and who has been immortilized for generations to come in the children’s book The Seltzer Man written by Ken Rush. And of course the now infamous Ronnie Beberman who had a terrible accident on his route last year, but couldn’t wait to get back on the truck. (Ronnie’s hands are the ones you see stacking the crates in our film.)

Much has been written about these delivery guys and many of them are second or third generation. But who are the people around the country who keep the bottles filled?

There are only a few seltzer fillers (or works) left in the country. One that we have been especially interested in is the Pittsburgh Seltzer Works, they have just sourced equipment and a new truck from Rhode Island and there is nothing stopping them now! We have also read about Under Pressure in Seattle, who deliver on a bike! And the Seltzer Sisters in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

But, unlike the delivery guys who fill up with Kenny, most of these fillers operate their own delivery services. We have yet to find a place like Gomberg’s where all the delivery guys have their own routes and customers. Just like in the old days.

Ronnie’s Truck

CATEGORIES: Seltzer Sourcing


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Hot Docs – Home Town Show!

Just wrapped up a wonderful week at Hot Docs. It was something of a homecoming for Seltzer Works as I was born and raised in Toronto. The film was paired with Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker’s Kings of Pastry. Which was of course a great honor and Chris and Penny are lovely. They are starting a new film with The National, one of our favorite bands!

The film screened at the Bloor Cinema, one of the biggest rep houses in Toronto and the place we used to go watch Rocky Horror Picture Show in junior high school! We had such a wonderful response at the screenings and lots of ‘foodies’ came out to see the program, including Sarah Elton, whose book The Locavore is taking Canada by storm. It seems Gomberg’s Seltzer is sustainable!

It was a great week and it just primed us for our next round of screenings including our New York premiere on June 1st!

Sharing the stage with (from right to left) Penny, Chris, and Lynn from Hot Docs

CATEGORIES: Film Festivals


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Welcome to Seltzer Works!

Hi there — we’ve just launched this site, thanks for visiting! We’ll be posting more information about the film, upcoming screening and TV broadcast dates, and other developments as they happen.

In the meantime, check out the limited-edition Hatch Show Print poster, and see the screening dates page for upcoming showings.

CATEGORIES: Film News Merchandise