Feb 252015

Sioux City Root Beer BottleMy first ever gourmet root beer. I know what you’re thinking, what about Henry Weinhard’s? Well, this was the first that I ever tried. In fact, the very first gourmet soda I ever had was a Sioux City Birch Beer. Growing up we’d only drink our sodas from cans or plastic bottles. One day when I was between eight and ten years old, I think, my older brother told me about some amazing root beer like soda at the gas station several blocks from our house. The next day we walked there with some money and saw in the cooler fancy brown bottles of Sioux City Birch Beer, Sarsaparilla, and Root Beer. I was amazed. At the time I thought only beer came in brown glass bottles, never soda. Also the bottles were all fancy and embossed. I got a birch beer and was blown away by how good a soda could taste. Several days later I tried the sarsaparilla and then finally the root beer. Every week or so we’d trek down and buy one. After a year or so, the gas station stopped carrying it, and it would be another several years before gourmet root beer would come back into my life in the form of Henry Weinhard’s and then the rest. Once I started reviewing, I looked high and low for this but it was nowhere to be found in area around my hometown, only the sarsaparilla and birch beer. The year after my mission though, I found it at last in Sacramento.

The Body is average. Not too sweet and rather “soda-ish”. A good Bite, but on the harsh side and not too spicy. Only a fair Head. There is not much Aftertaste. All in all, good, but lacking in every department.

Well, I guess after all of those other gourmet root beers, this wasn’t so amazing in comparison. It still is a lot better than Cragmont or the following Safeway Select that I would pour out of a can. It also has one of the coolest bottles still with extra heavy glass and mister mustachioed cowboy with a six-shooter. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Feb 182015

Miners Brew Root Beer Bottle This was another brew that I thought I’d never taste, and never would but for the excellence of Jon. I’d read about it, but only after the brewery had closed up. It always breaks my heart to miss an opportunity to try a root beer. I think companies should mail me their last two bottles if they fold, so then they will at least be remembered. Anyways, Jon said he had some so we worked out a nice trade, being the gentleman trader he is. Now to complain about the name. You knew it was coming. Seriously, all that? I dream of a day when all root beers will be named a simple Root Beer. Like Jim Bob’s Rum Root Beer, or something like that. Then you get these people that just want to throw everything in there and it is really a pain. Why not just call it Miner’s Brew Root Beer and be done with it?

This has got a sweet and spicy Body that has a lovely caramel vanilla flavor to it. There’s also a slightest hint of some bitter fruity that I don’t really care for. The Bite is strong. It burns you when you first drink it and then again when you swallow. I like the spice in it, but there is a lot of carbonation burn. The Head is short and moderately frothy. The Aftertaste is vanilla that lasts a long, long time.

This is pretty good. I love that flavor, but it needs less Bite and more Head. Seriously, it burns hard and I really don’t appreciate that. A good brew should be equally enjoyable when sipped or quaffed. I know that there are those out there who like that kind of serious carbonation burn, and I’m sure they’d love this were it not discontinued. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Feb 132015

Root beer lovers of the world, this is a tragic tale. A young company making a gourmet root beer, Top City Soda Pop, was destroyed by fire nearly two months ago. It was a total loss, nothing was salvageable, and thus they are temporarily closed.

However, this doesn’t need to be the end. They’ve found a new location and are working to rebuild to bring Top City Root Beer back to a thirsty world. But they can’t do it alone, and that’s where we come in. To help get rebuilding funds, they’ve entered the FedEx Small Business Grant Competition, with up to $25k on the line. To make it into the final round, they need votes from people like us. So follow the link below and give your vote, please. For the love of root beer!