NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Alex Gomberg comes from a long line of seltzer men.
His great-grandfather passed his business down to his son, son’s sons, and son’s son’s son.
“Everything used to get delivered, back in the day, directly to your house. You got seltzer, you got milk, you had bread, meat, ice,” Gomberg said.
His family keeps the tradition alive at Brooklyn Seltzer Boys.
“The whole reason that we’re still here is because it is a family business, and we just don’t want to see it go,” he said.
The business operates out of Gomberg Seltzer Works, the city’s last remaining bottling plant for siphon seltzer bottles. New York City water is triple-filtered, chilled, and carbonated. It’s then pumped into vintage, hand-blown glass bottles, many of which bear the names of seltzer companies from decades past.
“We’re now the last ones that do [this], so all the bottles have kind of been trickled down to us,” Gomberg said. “It’s all history. These are all original bottles that have been used generation after generation, so my great-grandfather could have been delivering these particular bottles.”
The bottles are cleaned and repaired in-house between deliveries, and the wooden cases are built by hand on-site.
This level of effort comes with a hefty price tag—a case of ten bottles will set you back about $45.
“Going to the supermarket, you’re obviously going to pay way less. I mean, there’s no comparison. It’s going to be fifty or sixty cents, maybe, for a bottle of seltzer, whereas [with] ours, you’re getting the home delivery service. You’re getting the personal attention,” he said. “But you’re also getting a quality product.”
The difference is in the fizz.
“When you take off the twist-off cap from a supermarket plastic bottle, it’s going to go flat after the first use. That doesn’t happen with ours,” he said.
Gomberg knows good seltzer.
“I don’t drink other people’s seltzer. The only seltzer I would ever have is ours,” he said. “Good seltzer should have bite. It should hurt the back of your throat.”
Gomberg says that, up to two weeks later, his seltzer is as bubbly as the first sip.
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What do Brooklyn Seltzer Boys customers have in common?
“They love seltzer,” he said. “I’m making people’s days delivering a case of seltzer. That makes my day, too.”
And when it comes to seltzer, every New Yorker seems to have an opinion.
“Everywhere I go, anytime I wear a Brooklyn Seltzer shirt, somebody always has something to say about seltzer.”
Brooklyn Seltzer Boys
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