Jan 172018

Frost Creek Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval Frost Creek Beverage is from Texas has been around for over 15 years. They recently have turned their flavor expertise to craft sodas and make a line of seven flavors including their root beer. They use only triple filtered water and pure cane sugar, no HFCS. I was thrown off at first, since the label seems to be the same dimensions and materials as some of the private label stuff. Contacting the company revealed that the sodas are all their own formulae, but they are mixed and bottled by two different bottlers, depending on the region. That makes sense, a lot of guys do it that way. They’ve got a nice and simple, yet classic looking label, which I really like.

The Body is sweet and rich with creamy vanilla wrapped around a spicy sassafras core. There’s even a hint of wintergreen. The Bite is spicy, but not too much so. It finishes smooth too, so it’s about a perfect Bite. The Head is short, unfortunately, and doesn’t last long. But it isn’t too short and doesn’t fizz away too quickly. The Aftertaste is sweet vanilla; lovely, lovely vanilla.

This is a wonderful brew. I love that spicy and that smooth, sweet vanilla. I wish it were a bit foamier, but it’s still more than enough in all departments. I’m proud to give this one my Seal of Approval. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Jan 102018

Tractor Soda Company Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval Tractor Soda Company is a fairly new company out of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Like a lot of new entrants to the soda market, they are focusing on only organic and non-GMO ingredients with no HFCS. Somehow they even manage to use organic sassafras in this brew, which I thought was against some FDA rules. They demand everything is responsibly sourced as well to have minimal environmental impact. So much do they want to reduce their impact, that they’ve discontinued bottling in favor of only shipping syrups to various soda fountains. This is, actually, more environmentally friendly, but not as much fun for a root beer gourmet like myself who doesn’t do soda fountains. Luckily, after they had discontinued bottling, I found a couple at the Seattle Rocket Fizz store, and was able to grab four. Very lucky indeed.

The Body is rich and complex, with sassafras, birch, wintergreen, and other herbs mixing together for an elaborate take on the archetypal root beer flavor. Then aged vanilla surfaces to steal the show. It isn’t overly sweet though, and there’s a dark molasses flavor as well that’s a bit out of place. The Bite is near perfect with the right amount of cinnamon and nutmeg and carbonation mixing together for a tasty burn. The Head is nice and tall and foamy. The Aftertaste is aged bourbon vanilla. I love that flavor.

Delicious! … and complex, and wonderful. This is a solid brew by any measure. I wish it were a little bit sweeter, and not so much molasses, but those are minor complaints on arguably the best organic brew I’ve had so far. What a shame they don’t bottle it anymore. Maybe someone near by will get it on draft. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Jan 032018

Tree Fort Root Beer Bottle I have a friend who’s a wonderful person, but is absolutely horrible at sending me root beer. She moved to Ithaca, and didn’t send me the Ithaca Soda Company Root Beer despite my always asking. Then she moved to Minneapolis, where this is made, and didn’t send me any of it. But that’s okay, because she’s still awesome and I was able to find another fine fellow by the name of Caleb traded with me and got me some. I like the name, as I always wanted a tree fort. But I grew up in a desolate wasteland where trees were hard to come by. My parents planted a maple tree when I was eight or so, but I think only now has it reached climbing size. So no tree fort for me. This brew is one of those all natural types with lots of botanicals ingredients like chicory, spearmint, peppermint, and marigold. I’ve never had marigold in a root beer before. They have traditional spices flavorings as well, but really, marigold? It pours out an orange color. Makes me wonder if it’s one of those rare and strange herb tea root beers.

The Body is very herbal with ginger and honey and dominant flavors. There’s sarsaparilla as well as some slightly bitter flavors. It has a spicy Bite from clove and ginger and cinnamon, but it isn’t too strong. The Head is decent. The Aftertaste is honey and ginger.

Yup, another sweet carbonated herb tea. It makes sense considering if you Google “chicory herb tea” or “marigold herb tea” you’ll get a lot of hits but far fewer if you search “marigold root beer”. It’s one of the better ones of this genre, with the honey and ginger and cinnamon really shining, but when I want a root beer, I don’t want an herb tea. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs