Chelsea soft drink

This has been bothering me for years and no one I talk to seems to know anything about it. Hope someone out there can help. I am from New Orleans and when I was about 12 (crica 1978) I used to buy a soft drink in a green bottle called Chelsea. It tasted sort of like ginger ale, but here’s the interesting part - it supposedly contained a very low percentage of alcohol, but not enough to make it unavailable to minors, especially in a place like New Orleans where liquor laws are permissive and rarely even enforced. I really loved it but eventually it disappeared from the stores and was never heard from again. Years later, I thought about it and wondered what became of Chelsea. Was it just poor marketing and sales or did some killjoy group like MADD get upset about selling booze to minors. I have asked many people if they remember it, but no one else does. Could I have dreamed the whole thing? My Internet research has yielded zero info. Anyone else remember this strange and short-lived but delicious concoction?

Don’t know much about Chelsea, Nas but as for your statement equating MADD with some kind of “killjoy group getting upset about selling liquor to minors”, I can think of a few who would disagree rather vigorously, myself included.

What a great marketing ploy - get the kiddies hooked on alcohol. Or cocaine.
First one’s free, kids!

Omnicientnot: I respect your opinion about MADD and I would not like to see this question turn into a debate over the merits/dangers of alcohol consumption.

As for getting kids hooked on alcohol, I don’t think that there was enough alcohol in Chelsea to make it addictive (it produced no buzz even in a 60 lb. child) but I will admit that walking around with it made me feel kind of grown up.

i’ve read somewhere (forget where, of course) that the coke syrup contains (or contained) about a half percent alcohol content…it also mentioned that you would die of a sugar overload before you’d get drunk…

As a side note, even the orange juice you buy contains about 1/4 to 1/2 percent alcohol.

“The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.” - Humphrey Bogart

I must have missed this one, but I usually hang out around the Great Debates and BBQ Pit forums.

Chelsea was a soft drink developed by Anheuser-Busch in the late '70s/early '80s, in an attempt to break into the soft drink industry.

It contained something like 1/2 of 1% alcohol, and there was much negative publicity from MADD, AA and such jumping up and down and screaming and wringing their hands over this mega-corp getting kids hooked on alcohol; even though this kid drank over a six-pack of the stuff and never copped a buzz.

Coupled with luke-warm market appeal, A-B decided to drop the product.

Considering what happened to the tobacco industry, it seems to have been a wise move. God knows how many lawsuits would have been filed by twenty- and thirty-something alcoholics claiming Chelsea turned them into alcoholics.

<FONT COLOR=“BLUE”>"…and 'ware the litiginous bastards, for doth they ever come with briefs and motions."</FONT>

You did not dream it. I remember the green wine cooler like bottle. I loved the drink it was the original near beer. Do you remember Prontos the orinal Sun Chips?

The secret ingredient? dead People!

I don’t think this is accurate. Chelsea was introduce in 1978, while the little girl killed by a drunk driver that led to her mother starting MADD didn’t happen until May, 1980. So it’s pretty unlikely that the then non-existing MADD was causing negative publicity.

Funny that many people seem to really object to MADD.

Not quite, it was about 60 years too late to claim that distinction.

It wasn’t removed from the market in '78 when it was introduced. It was removed in the early 80’s, some time after MADD formed.

It was introduced into seven test cities in September of 1978. The protests caused Busch to announce in Nov. 1978 that they were removing the alcohol. THe drink was removed from the market in November of 1979 because of poor sales, according to Busch.

Another concern of the many groups who opposed it–it was packaged like beer and foamed with a head when you poured it. Critics suggested this was a stratagy.

I’m impressed that someone dug up an eleven year old thread to reply to. What is it with the recent spat of zombie threads? Maybe it’s old enough to drink Chelsea, now.

Geez, what did these groups think about (gasp!) Root Beer?! (Foams with a head and actually has the word ‘beer’ in its name!)

I was 12-13 myself when this product came out. We used to buy it by the 6 pack and the bottles were green in color. We thought we were so cool drinking this “beer”, as it was rumored to have alcohol in it, that we thought were gettting away with something somehow.

We would always take at least a 6-pack with us roller-skating and lock it in one of our locker. Oh how niave we were!!! LOL

Yes I remember this well. I believe this was our first so called “addiction” We were heart broken when it was pulled off the shelves.

This zombie has arisen again.

People are weird. In order to naturally carbonate anything, you introduce yeast and sugar to the liquid. As the yeast eats the sugar, it produces carbon dioxide and, yes, alcohol. If you’re carbonating a soft drink naturally (instead of beer, say), you add a ton of sugar (for taste and to get the yeast to work faster) and stop the carbonation process before much alcohol is produced by refrigeration. Any soft drink naturally carbonated using this method will contain a very small, but measurable, amount of alcohol.

I can’t believe there’d even be an uproar about this, but I’ve underestimated prudishness before. I think they pulled draft RC cola off the shelves for a similar reason - the “Draft” part on the bottle was too reminiscent of labelling on beer cans for some people’s comfort.

People are weird.