Excel Bottling and Ski Soda

Lona’s LiL Eats carries a variety of quality products from Excel Bottling in Breese, Il. All our fountain sodas are made by Excel using pure cane sugar.  We also proudly carry Excel beer, which we consider to be the best session beer selection in the St Louis area.

Excel Bottling has been crafting cane-sugar soda in 1936. Ski Soda is the well-known flagship of Excel.  It is a brightly colored yellow, lime-orange flavored soda that packs a caffeinated punch.  We also carry it in diet.  Excel’s root beer, called Frostie, is of a smooth, creamy character and a champion amongst root beers for sure.  The ginger ale is a real ginger ale and not to be mistaken for Canadian Dry, which is more like Sprite’s doppelganger.  The taste is strikingly similar to fresh candied ginger in a thirst-quenching liquid form.  Black Cherry has a sweet cherry start with a sensual peppery burn on the back drop.  The Cherry Breese tastes like childhood- a Shirley Temple meets a cherry snow cone, that’s right!  The sugar cane lemonade has a beautifully balanced sweet and sour deliciousness.  Finally, the entire staff’s favorite mix- Ski mixed with Cherry Breese, not to be mistook with the Cherry Ski, this mix is for some reason so much more delicious in our humble opinions.

Now about that beer.  It was introduced to us by our neighbor Rod Burguiere, who turned out to be head brewer.  He told me he used to be at Stone Brewery in San Diego, and being a Bell’s man,  I thought, “ok, that’s cool if you like everything hoppy, I’ll consider his IPA.” We met, did a tasting, and so blown away was I, that I decided to take one of each profile. Rod stays true to profile, not bleeding every line with fool-hardy hoppy creativity, but a master of intentionally pure outcomes. The Southside stout is focused not veering too sweet or chocolaty, great roasty notes with a very clean finish, and for the alcohol content surprisingly light.  In fact, every beer he brews is surprisingly light and energizing, not unlike our food. In this regard, I actually prefer drinking Excel beers over the Western Michigan breweries that tend to carry my favorite flavor profiles.  The Bose Rogan is a heavily roasted rye beer that has the taste of a heavy hitting porter, but is accompanied by a refreshingly dry finish- not unlike a good Japanese beer.  It’s under 5%, and the best dark session beer I’ve ever had, in fact I painted many a walls while sipping on it.  The Flash Bang is a highly hopped wheat beer with strong grapefruit aroma.  It packs a hoppy punch, much like a heavily-hopped session IPA, yet has the lightness of a summer-time beer.  Last but not least, the Eastside IPA- a gem of west-coast style IPAs.  Heavily hopped, with a danky aroma, a blast of floral flavors, and packing a healthy 7% punch- a lot of fun.

As far as we’re concerned, Excel Bottling is where it’s at in these parts.

Come drink with us!