It’s another typical workday in early June, and I’m at the end of my rope. For the last month, I’ve spent more time than I’d like to admit chasing a very elusive soft drink. Mtn Dew Liberty Brew touted a massive mix of 50 different flavors, like nothing else that’s ever graced the soda market to date. The drink was “promised” to release around May 15th, and I took Pepsi’s bait hook, line and sinker. I tried to find the new Dew in every grocery store and convenience store in my hometown, and every hunt came up empty-handed. For weeks I was wasting precious time that I could’ve spent doing something productive, like playing video games. Bothering friends, family, and various other associates, tracking down a soda that I may not even actually like became my personal cause. Hope was cruel. Hope was bitter. I wanted to slap each and every Pepsi employee that crossed my path. I couldn’t stand seeing everyone across the country slowly begin to accumulate their sweet blue dew (including my fucking editor). Finally, one a dreary Monday in which I was having an altogether shit day, a dear friend sent me a text:
At long last, the Blue Brew Dew was mine. This self-serving diary is meant only to prove a point. No matter what this drink would eventually taste like, I’m completely entranced based on the hype alone. But was all of this pining worth it? I don’t normally do this, but I feel a look at the packaging is in order first.
Mtn Dew took careful planning to make sure this looked distinct from the other blue drink they already have on the market with their Voltage flavor, with the most notable difference being the sharp looking red cap. What I’m more drawn to however, is the label. A brief overview of some of the things illustrated on the label: two screeching bald eagles, The Marlboro Man, some bison, and the most important imagery: a Statue of Liberty riding a motorcycle with a Liberty Bell on the gas tank. The word “hyperbole” doesn’t even encompass the feeling I get looking at it. In this age of Ronald Reagan t-shirts and phony-ass patriotism from the broheim demographic, the marketing of Liberty Brew is perhaps the final send off of this tired view of “Merica.” But anyway, enough of my negativity, how does it taste?
Speeding to the local convenience store with my hot tip, I filled my arms with as much Liberty as I could carry and I was out the door just as fast as I came in. The first bottle was consumed in the car on the way back to work. Straight out of the bottle the taste was one word, “SUMMER.” Naturally, there’s a very “blue” flavor to it all, but the supposed 50 different flavors means a different dip into the nostalgia stream with every sip. One sip reminds me of blue raspberry flavor-ice pops. Another sip reminds me of those Rocket Popsicles. I could taste Saturdays at the race track with my dad, baseball games, and striking out with girls not quite ready for my underdeveloped charm. My personal nostalgia isn’t an American president on a Velociraptor, but I guess I can concede the feeling of pure unadulterated jingoism to a few unfortunate souls. Many will find this to be too sweet, however after drinking Voltage off and on for a couple years, the Liberty sweetness feels just about right, especially in a nice tall glass of ice. After mulling it over for a while there was another soda that came to mind, and maybe the soda that even inspired this one, giving me a whole new level of nostalgia altogether.
A-Treat is a 100 year old soda company from eastern Pennsylvania that was a large contributor to my love affair with weird soft drinks. My first exposure to Birch Beer, Ginger Beer, and Blue Raspberry sodas were complements of A-Treat. The Blue Razz was curiously labeled with the now common “Natural and Artificial” flavor tag on each can or bottle. The more I taste Liberty Brew with its sweetness that stays in your mouth for hours, along with the funky blue residue that sticks to the glass, the more I can’t get Blue Razz out of my mind. Was A-Treat perhaps saying more than they realized? Is Mountain Dew reviving a dying flavor profile as admission of some sort of guilt? Is this the soda version of the Hydrox Cookie story? Okay Okay, I can’t do this, I can’t have another Soda Blog end with a multi-million dollar conspiracy. Let’s just pour one more glass and call it a night…
<takes another sip of Liberty Brew, reminiscing about old Summer Camps I never actually attended>
Verdict: Mtn Dew Liberty Brew delivers on its promise of a unique taste sensation with a clear conscious blue raspberry base. Most palettes, mine included, won’t be able to pick up the supposed 50 different flavors, but there’s more than enough subtlety to keep things interesting and all of us guessing the formula for the rest of the summer. If Liberty Brew is taken off the market as quickly as the maligned DewS.A. was, rev up the engines and start the convoy for Allentown, PA to give A-Treat some much needed support. But just to be safe, clear a bit of room in your basement for a stash of Liberty…they’ll be coming for this one faster than you think.
The Fucking Editor’s Verdict: I love the fact that Pepsi decided to go with the choice of Carolina Panthers blue on the labels and cans. Call me a shallow and vapid individual, but I like motorcycles, the Marlboro Man and screamin’ eagles. I definitely agree with Matt, this soda is best served on ice, sipped slowly on a sun-drenched porch. I highly doubt the possibility of 50 different flavors, I think that’s nothing more than a sales pitch since the only flavors I can detect are discarded sno-cone, blue cotton candy and Dr. Zog’s Sex Wax. So yeah, it’s pretty fucking good. The only alcohol I’ve tried to mix with Liberty Brew was some Boone’s Farm Strawberry Fields, and it would seem that 51 flavors are overkill. 9/10