AX 22 Post-Thoughts #5 – Belly Up To the Bar

August 14th, 2022 in Anime Expo 2022, Rants by

This was something that I had not seen before at AX, or maybe I did, but I paid it no heed. It’s just this was a very popular stand that I needed to find out more about, as there was always a line in front of it, even worse than trying to see the “Trash Taste” boys.

This is Wild Bill’s Craft Beverage Company. They vend high-quality soda, promoting that they use pure cane sugar and no high-fructose corn syrup, it is vegan and gluten free and they help veterans. They have a variety of flavors, so it’s not just cola and root beer, but black cherry and butterscotch. They also have a mojito and an orange cream and other flavors. For the convention, they were only pouring ten flavors, but I assumed they were the big sellers. Personally, not a big fan of blue raspberry.

They also had mugs that were specifically branded for AX 22 and here is where the confusion comes in: how much DID it cost for this?

You would buy a mug, maybe a lid and a straw and possibly a drink purchase program. I saw a person drop $140 for the multi-color mug and however many days he would be refilling. It’s just, how much soda can you handle?

I was recently told by the doctor that I was pre-diabetic, (Damn, I so much wanted to be a Pre-Raphaelite) so I am in a better position to control health things now, before I cross over the line, than after. The big nix was to reduce the amount of sugar I consume. Reduce bread, reduce booze, reduce soda pop (Actually, they said cut it out totally, but that’s a hard one to follow). Now, since soda can easily blow your sugar allotment, that is the big target to attack. (You want a real horror story? Read the label on the back of a soda bottle. You can detonate your RDA for the day on just one can. And you want to scarf down three or four during that same time? And how big are the mugs?)

The thing is, there were two lines there all day. And I mean ALL DAY. The first were people buying into the program. I wanted to be subtle about it, so I looked at the pay screen (and I know how bad THAT looks) to see costs ranging from $14 to $210, but since I wasn’t aware of how the program worked, and a bit too nervous to go ask (as I always feel it in a chance to sell you on all of this), I was left to my own devices.

They also had two stands at AX, but they did not fully mimic themselves, so some flavors that were at the West station, were not at the South station. It’s just that if I am going to invest in this, I had better like it, right? There did not seem to be a way to sample things. I remember when I had my first RC Cola years and years ago and I did not like it. But I didn’t invest that much into it at that moment.

Since this was more of a passing interest, I didn’t inquire about a sample program at the booth (although that should be an option they have, right?) and I am not going to drive 25 miles to decide I’m against it (the nearest location for me when I got home).

It would make sense (sorta) as a group purchase, but then you have to hand off the mug from one to another to make it work and you know how hard it is to link up with one another at a chaotic convention. And is it unlimited free refills? (I ask, as there are photos of Bill’s booth in other locations, proudly displaying that feature). I did think I saw money pass over the counter, but how can you look like you are not looking at them when you ARE looking at them? I want info, not your credit card number!

I did have an evil thought cross my mind: on the last day of AX, go to the Lost and Found and ask if anyone turned in a red Wild Bill mug with a blue tag around the handle? I got stopped by the wife and the daughter. The daughter felt it was morally wrong; the wife didn’t want another piece of drinking equipment around the house. Oh, yeah, right, and it’s also morally wrong. Yeah, well, I guess….

So, I now have questions with no real answer and no direction home, so I will just put this to one side and see how I can approach this in the future. Now, BEER, on the other hand………….

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