Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Malta

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Malta (also called young beer, children’s beer, or wheat soda) is a type of soft drink. It is a carbonated malt beverage, meaning it is brewed from barley, hops, and water much like beer; corn and caramel colour may also be added. However, Malta is non-alcoholic, and is consumed in the same way as soda or cola in its original carbonated form, and to some extent, iced tea in non-carbonated form.

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In other words, Malta is actually a beer that has not been fermented. It is similar in colour to stout (dark brown) but is very sweet, generally described as tasting like molasses. Unlike beer, ice is often added to Malta when consumed. A popular way Latin Americans sometimes drink Malta is by mixing it with condensed or evaporated milk.

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Nowadays, most Malta is brewed in the Caribbean and can be purchased in areas with substantial Caribbean populations. Aside from the islands of the Caribbean, Malta is also popular in Caribbean coastal areas such as Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela and countries that share a Caribbean coast. Malta is brewed worldwide, and is popular in many parts of Africa like Nigeria, Chad, Ghana, Cameroon, and in the Indian Ocean. This beverage is also popular in several parts of Europe, especially Germany. Malta Guinness is brewed under license internationally.

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Malta originated in Germany as Malzbier (“malt beer”), a malty dark beer whose fermentation was interrupted at approximately 2% ABV, leaving quite a lot of residual sugars in the finished beer. Up to the 1950s, Malzbier was considered a fortifying food for nursing mothers, recovering patients, the elderly etc. Malzbier in its native form was finally superseded during the 1960s by its modern form, formulated from water, glucose syrup, malt extract and hops extract, which had been on the market since the malta_001latter half of the 19th century, notably in Denmark. Such formulated drinks are to be called Malztrunk (“malt beverage”) according to German law, since they aren’t fermented. In colloquial use, Malzbier has nevertheless remained, along with other nicknames such as Kinderbier (“children’s beer”). Some native Malzbiere can still be enjoyed in Germany, notably in Cologne, where the taps of breweries Malzmühle and Sion sell it alongside their traditional Kölsch. Many German breweries have a Malta in their range, sometimes produced under licence (for example Vitamalz).

Malta is also occasionally called “champagne cola” by some brands. However, there is a separate type of drink with this b26398db-f1b6-4a2a-87d5-0d2169d04484_1.99b73500672fb55ba1b255fd57652b09name, having a flavour and consistency more akin to cream soda. Despite this appellation, neither drink is a champagne or a cola.

Due to its distinctive colour, Malta is sometimes known as black brewed beer.

Malta is high in B vitamins. Some breweries, like Albani Brewery of Denmark, fortify their non-alcoholic Malta beverages with Vitamin B complex. Albani Brewery claims on their website to have been the first brewery to create non-alcoholic malt beverages in 1859.

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Generally speaking, Malta is readily available in stores in Latin America. It is, however, a little more difficult to find in the United States and Canada.

Soda & Soft Drink Saturday – Faygo

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Faygo Beverages, Inc., is a soft drink company headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. The beverages produced by the company, branded as Faygo or Faygo Pop, are distributed in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, Central Southern regions of the United States, and southern Canada. Faygo is imported in Europe by American Fizz, an official distributor of Faygo. Faygo Beverages, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Beverage Corporation, started in Detroit, Michigan, in 1907, as Feigenson Brothers Bottling Works.

History

Faygo_10The Feigenson brothers, who developed Faygo, were originally bakers from Russia. Faygo first became available in 1907 in bottles with only three flavors: grape, strawberry, and fruit punch. These flavors were based on the Feigenson brothers’ cake frosting recipe. They charged three cents for one bottle, and five cents for two bottles. The brothers bought their first delivery truck in 1922, and started home deliveries the following year. They also introduced a low-calorie version in the 1960s called Ohana. In the 1980s they introduced flavored carbonated water.

Faygo_03In the 1920s as the company expanded, they thought the brand name “Feigenson Brothers” was too long and changed it to Faygo. The brothers ran the company until the mid-1960s, when they turned it over to their sons. In 1969, the company created a series of radio and television advertisements featuring a fictional cowboy called the Faygo Kid, who was portrayed in animation for television commercials for Faygo Old-Fashioned Root Beer.

Faygo_06Because the drink had a limited shelf life, the company only sold its products in Michigan until the late 1950s. Company chemists later resolved this issue by installing a filtration system to remove impurities from the manufacturing plant’s water system. In the 1960s, the soda’s regional popularity expanded when the company began advertising during broadcasts of Detroit Tigers games. Commercials produced in the 1970s featured “everyday people” on the Boblo Boat singing the “Faygo Boat Song”. Tree Sweet Products Corp. sold the company to National Beverage Corp. in 1987. In 2007, Faygo celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Reception

Faygo_05Faygo brands were praised in the September 2009 issue of Bon Appétit magazine, ranking Faygo Root Beer as the best tasting American root beer, describing it as “dry and crisp, with a frothy head, a good bite and a long finish”.

In pop culture

Faygo_09The horrorcore group Insane Clown Posse references Faygo in several of their songs. Positive audience reaction to an early concert performance in which Violent J threw an open bottle at a row of hecklers resulted in the group continuing to spray their audiences with the drink. They repeated this practice which developed into the Juggalo culture’s “Faygo Showers”.

Rapper Isaiah Rashad references peach Faygo on his album Cilvia Demo in the song “Brad Jordan”.

Rapper Machine Gun Kelly references Faygo in his mixtape album Black Flag in the song “Street Dreams”.

Rapper Eminem also mentions Faygo in at least 2 songs; ‘As the World Turns’ (Slim Shady LP) and ‘Marshall Mathers’ (The Marshall Mathers LP)

The character Gamzee Makara in Andrew Hussie’s webcomic Homestuck is notorious for his addiction to Faygo soda, as mentioned numerous times in the comic.

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