As I mentioned in my post about BevReview business cards, I recently attended the National Restaurant Association show here in Chicago to check out what was on display in the world of beverages. I was joined by my friend Nicko Sahlas, founder of BevReview's partner site, as we explored the thousands of exhibitors showcasing their products and services.

Steve & Nicko

Now, the NRA show (not to be confused with that "other NRA") is primarily focused on the foodservice industry, restaurants, and hotels/motels, so when it comes to the beverage side of things, everything is filtered through that perspective. Here at we take a look at the non-alcoholic side of the coin, thus we didn't dig into the Wine, Spirits, & Beer Event that was taking place as part of the convention.

I'm going to be writing reviews on many of the beverages we tried at the show, so keep an eye on in the coming weeks for that. While the "Big 3" were in attendance (The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, Dr Pepper Snapple Group), it often was the smaller brands that had the most interesting products and stories. I'm hoping to spotlight a lot of these brands and hopefully introduce something to diversify your tastes! It was a lot of fun to get out from "behind the screen" to talk to the folks that bring these items to market, from owners to distributors to marketing & PR folks.

As we gear up to write about many of these beverages, here's just a taste of what we saw…