B.R.P. Enterprises, d.b.a. Northwest Soda Works, often referred to currently as “Bedford’s Sodas” was the brain child of Ed Bedford in 1983. It took Ed a year to find a couple of investors and launch the first bottling in 1984. Steve Sourapas, then owner of the Dr. Pepper Bottling Company in the Georgetown area of Seattle was a believer in the idea of marketing a premium crème soda, which Ed choose to call Crème Beer! Crème Beer was a very popular flavor during and following prohibition, many a small town and larger brewers as well went into the soda business when they could no longer produce beer. Bedford’s dad always was a crème soda drinker and always referred to it as crème beer. The first package produced by Sourapas was a 16 oz. glass bottle with Styrofoam wrap around it, most products at that time were similar, this was before 20.oz. plastic bottles were the offering to the consumer on the go!
Sales would continue to grow in the popular size and additional packaging followed, cans and one liter bottles were added, and eventually 12 oz. glass as well. Soon Bedford added bottler/ distributors to service as many as nine states.
Investors eventually decided to go other directions and two thirds of the company was sold to Unique Beverages of Everett Washington. Unique marketed the product for about five years and decided to put it up for sale. At that time Ed purchased the stock of Unique and became sole owner of the brands. At this time Ed decided to change all the formulas from corn syrup to pure cane sugar and only produce in glass. Working with Orca Beverage of Mukilteo Washington, the company is seeing continual growth today and has added three new flavors. Today you can find Crème Beer, Root Beer, Ginger Ale, Ginger Beer and the latest Orange Crème offered through many grocery stores and restaurants throughout the United States.
Bedford, now semi retired, following nearly 45 years in the beverage business is enjoying his passion in the soda business, traveling just enough to enjoy watching the company grow again and teaching his children about the business for the future.
A last note from Mr. B, enjoy my wonderful drinks, always ice cold, “never with ice”.