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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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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