What's the soda pop equivalent of a sommelier? A sodaelier? A softdrinkteur? A popologist?
Whatever the label is, John Nese of Galco's Soda Pop Stop is one. He's the man who knows everything about practically every soda ever made (and we almost didn't even want to include "practically" there, because he probably knows all, honest truth).
His is the Highland Park soda emporium that regularly shows up on all the foodie channels, again and again. And those foodie channel hosts? They fawn over the place. It is, in short, one of LA's libation-based superstars.
Why? Galco's sports over 500 different sodas, many of 'em hard to find and many of them very interestingly flavored (if you haven't tried a flower-flavored soda yet, well... you haven't tried a flower-flavored soda yet. But you should).
Now Mr. Nese and his wondrously fizzy landmark are set for the annual Galco's summertime bash. It's a soda pop tasting, of course, and it gets carbonated on Sunday, July 28.
A few to-knows: It's year three for the Summer Soda Tasting, but years one and two revealed this to be a very, very popular event. Not only do locals like offbeat pop, they like Mr. Nese and his store, which has roots in the 1800s (though not as a soda shop). In short? You may queue up, but you'll get your sips in, if you have a ticket.
Two? Mr. Nese will unveil a new Soda Creation Station. You can control carbonation strength, flavor, and then foop! You bottle your very own soda. ("Foop," we imagine, is the sound of a cap going onto a bottle.)
Three? Galco's has its own soda line: White Rose. If you attend the tasting, you'll be among the first to try cherry, the line's newest flavor. You like being first, right? For good things, at least.
Four? Bundaberg sodas from Australia, Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer, and Hippo sodas from Texas will all be up for the sampling.
And five? All proceeds -- we love those two words together -- will help the Friends of the Southwest Museum coalition. Carbonation helping out culture -- sweetness.
We know, we said it is in Highland Park, but let's call Galco's part of the larger, most wonderful Highland Park-Eagle Rock nexus. It's one of the gems of the area, and much loved. Hence the long and lively queues of soda aficionados you'll see out in fizzy force on Sunday, July 28.
A ticket is fifteen bucks day-of, $12 ahead of time.