View Full Version : Catawissa Bottling Company trip.
07-21-2003, 07:24 PM
My wife and I went up to the Catawissa Bottling Company in PA. over the weekend. What A place, you would have to see it to beleive it. Way out in the middle of the mountains, in a very old building with old soda machines, signs, and barrels all over the front porch. Kegs of Beer stacked up all over the side of the building. You go in through a side door to purchase product. On your right is a small cooler with drinks in it, in front of you is an old wooden rack with more product in it, up on a corner shelf to the left above your head is a selection of Moxie. All the sodas in returnable glass bottle. We got 3 cases of stuff, which is stacked all around you, it was packed in the old fashioned wooden crates. The little room all this is in is about 10 foot square. Very old building in need of repair. I thought the place was great! The bottles they bottle in came from old bottling companies from all over the place. They put their lables over the original ones. Some of the bottles are 50 to 60 years old. You must return them though. So I suppose when I run out I will be making another trip up there. My wife got a picture of me in front of the building. If I am able I will post it for all to see. If I can figure out how to do it. On a side note we also found coke in 6 oz bottles that had the 100th. anniversary of the York bottling plant on them. We also found A-Treat sodas here and there. I had supposed they went out of business. Nothing else was found that was worth reporting. Except maybe canada dry bitter lemon in small 6 oz. disposable bottles.
[ 11-03-2003, 08:29 AM: Message edited by: BottleBoss ]
07-22-2003, 12:48 AM
I think those Coke bottles are 8 oz. bottles. Central Coke has 100 yr. commemorative bottles here too in NR's celebrating 100 years of Coke in Cumberland, although the past almost 10 have been years of only a sales center, and most of the 100 wasn't Central Coke.
07-22-2003, 12:42 PM
I have A Treat bottles with the Big Ben label slapped on them.
A Treat just had an ad in a Pennsylvania supermarket industry publication.
I have been wanting to get to Catawissa to check the place out. BottleBoss any idea where (towns) that you found the A Treat and Coke York bottles?
07-22-2003, 04:32 PM
Also besides Moxie was there any other non Catawissa product there?
07-22-2003, 05:09 PM
A Treat is in Allentown, and I have seen their stuff down almost as far as where I live, but only in Giant supermarkets. They usually have about 4 feet in each store, or so. Other than that, you might find them in dollar stores, in small mom and pop stores, etc.
07-22-2003, 11:23 PM
Must not be the entire chain. My Martin's stores do not sell anything by the name of A-Treat, neither does any Giant I've ever been in, being around Chambersburg and Hanover.
07-23-2003, 04:03 AM
Since A-Treat delivers from their own trucks, I doubt you'd see it as far as Chambersburg.
07-23-2003, 09:27 AM
I remember drinking A-Treat at my grandmother's house near Scranton when I was a kid. I saw it recently on a website that sold out of date stuff. I hadn't seen it in years.
07-24-2003, 09:15 AM
They had the York Coke Bottles all over. Hanover, Hershey, A small store in Ashton which is just a few miles south of Catawissa. We were in and out of Catawissa pretty quick, I don't remember seeing that they had any other sodas except Moxie and Big Bens. They had a lot of Beer though.
07-24-2003, 10:22 PM
BottleBoss, a few more questions. Can you see the bottling operation? Do they still make Cola? Last 2 times I found any there was no Cola. How did you like the product? I liked all except the Grape.
07-25-2003, 04:47 PM
I don't know if they will let you see the bottling operation. We were actually in a hurry so we went in and out pretty quick. They seemed busy to. They did have Cola, I thought it was very good! The two cases I got were mixed cases. They had Cola, Birch Beer (clear and blue) which was very good, Lemon Lime (Lemon Bubbles they call it) which was great, Root Beer that is just O.K., Orange and a Red colored drink both of which I haven't tried yet. Next time I go I think I will pick up a case of cola and lemon bubbles each. They also have the same flavors in large returnable bottles. (much larger, quart maybee? I don't know) We didn't pick any of them up. The bottling operation appears to be off to the side of tha main house in an added on building that is connected to the house. It's worth a trip to be sure. I have their telephone number. I will post it later on when I get more time.
07-31-2003, 04:03 PM
Since that last post I tried the Orange Soda- VERY GOOD, and the red soda which is a Cream Soda. It was also very good.
11-03-2003, 09:26 AM
Went up again this weekend to drop off the bottles from last time and pick up some more. I got a list of the flavors they sell, they are as follows: Birch Beer, Orange, Grape, Root Beer, Creme Soda, Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Cola, Moxie, And I think Black Cherry. We picked up 9 cases. They only cost like $4.00 a case with returns. The Grapefruit Soda was interesting because they are using old Grapefruit Crush bottle caps. Old Cork lined caps, pretty neat. All of the flavors are really good. All in wooden flats. 24 bottles per flat. It was a long trip though. 3 hours one way. Bottle types: All 7 oz.old returnable, Sun-Drop, Nemo, Hazle Club, Jefferson, Catawissa, 76, A-treat, Sheps, Upper 10, Regal, and misc. other bottles from long gone places. All bottles have to be returned for re-use though, or they won't have anything left to fill. I wonder How much stock they have and how long they figure they can hold out bottling like this? For a long time I hope.
Bob The Forester
11-06-2003, 06:05 PM
I used to have a different name on here and back in the summer I originally made the first post suggesting you guys check out Catawissa. It's my local soda company about 15 miles from my parents' home in Mt. Carmel so I figured I could inform you guys of a few things. Catawissa Bottling Company has a website that can answer many of your questions. http://www.catawissabottlingco.com/
They are a family-owned bottling company and I would imagine you could get a tour if you called in advance and asked politely. They also sell tonic water. Their blue birch is a local favorite in addition to brown and clear birches. Their products come in 7oz, 120z, and 32oz returnable glass bottles, 20oz and 2Liter plastic and Moxie comes in plastic and cans. They also sell 1/4 barrels, 1/2 barrels, and large mix systems to many local businesses. For 4th of July me and my friends got a half barrel of Big Ben's cola and some liquor. After 3 days of 10 people drinking cola non-stop (not to mention a few keg stands and cola bongs), we still had 7 gallons left. Ahhh the memories thanks to the Catawissa Bottling Company :D
Now, about A-Treat: They are still alive but they don't really distribute very far from their Allentown location. I occasionally see their soda in 20oz and 2Liter plastic (YUCK!!) bottles when I am in eastern-central PA. I doubt you could find A-Treat outside of possibly a 75-mile radius of Allentown. Grocery stores and gas stations in that radius usually have it. Definitely try their pineapple soda if you can find it.
11-06-2003, 07:46 PM
And your original name was.....?
11-06-2003, 08:06 PM
A-Treat is in Lancaster, I bought it at the Giant location in the downtown part of the city.
Bob The Forester
11-06-2003, 09:32 PM
My original name was Returnables Rock. :cool:
11-06-2003, 10:39 PM
Thanks for the link. Either the site is new or Google and Yahoo did a lousy job of searching because I've been looking for a site for over a year.
11-06-2003, 10:57 PM
After looking over the Catawissa site I found an article there that mentions Confair Beverages and Confair Bottling. Google and Yahoo yield nothing unless you want info on the companies pension. Are these bottlers of beverages or distributors? Anyone know? I've never seen any stuff with the Confair name in Williamsport or Muncy Pa area where these companies are located near.
11-07-2003, 07:55 PM
I'm not finding out much else, either. The owner of the company was Zehnder Confair, who was also a state senator instrumental in the construction of Interstate 80.
I did find a link mentioning the installation of one of their coolers.
Paul's Market (http://wolnewberry.com/newsletter/paulsmkt.htm)