the stranger

Four years ago, my friend Web asked if I'd drive to Houston with him to buy hundreds of aluminum-clad seltzer bottles. This was not an unusual question from someone who uses antique arc lamp housing as a liquor cabinet—I didn't even ask why he wanted the bottles. Since then, he's ordered a 100-year-old seltzer machine from Maine and commissioned local Haulin' Colin to build him a bicycle trailer. Web now runs the first bike-powered seltzer delivery service on record.

"People on the street laugh at how slowly the cart moves," Web says. I also laugh, but the cart's industrial charm is worth its pace, especially when it's rolling through the park under a striped beach umbrella. The bottles are armored because water can only be carbonated under pressure (cue the Queen song) high enough to make ordinary glass bottles explode.

Compared to docile supermarket brands, this seltzer has a bite, and it sprays out of the bottles with clown-drenching force. "When I'd just gotten the machine working, a guy ran across the parking lot yelling, 'Shoot in my face!'" Web told me. Personally, I like my seltzer in a glass of gin, but if you live on Capitol Hill, you can shoot (seltzer) wherever you want, $10 for four bottles and $15 for six. recommended