I always like to find an obscure microbrewery root beer, and this brew just screams low volume microbrewery. Conversations with Mr. Glewwe himself verify the infancy and scale of the operation (as does the primative website). The label is black ink on standard 18 lb printer paper that I think they just glue (Glewwe?) on the bottle. It seems to be printed out from an old ink jet as well, classic. The bottle itself is quite different than your standard long neck root beer bottle as well and it isn’t a twist top. It seems that they pay people $1 per six pack of empties and they don’t care about color or shape so they’re doing some good recycling. What a find! The big conundrum for me is that it is called Spring Lake root beer but it is from Prior Lake, MN. So which is it? Spring or Prior, or is it the Prior Spring? Whatever, on to the important stuff.
Wow! What a full and complex Body! There’s lots of wintergreen and creamy vanilla with some birch as well that surfaces after the initial contact with the core root beer flavors. There’s also a subtle honey flavor. It isn’t super sweet though so you can relish the flavors. The Bite is pretty mild but not absent. There’s some spice kick to it but an unbelievably smooth finish from the malto-dextrin. The Head is short and medium froth. It fizzes down quickly but not too quickly to seriously hurt the rating. The Aftertaste is creamy wintergreen with hints of vanilla and honey, though, wintergreen is by far the dominant flavor.
So again, wow! What an amazing and unique brew. It’s like they took a root beer and a birch beer and combined them in a way to get the best of both. The bottle does come with a warning reading “This fine beverage could leave you wanting more. We say ‘Just ask for More.’ Drink and Enjoy” I assume that More is one of their distributors or something, but indeed, this does leave you wanting more. Lest I be all praise it could use a better head and a slightly spicier Bite. It also says “Made with the finest ingredients and patience in accordance to traditional brewing practices.” I believe them on this one. They proved it. I highly doubt that this brew will remain in obscurity much longer, and all’s the better. I look forward to the day I can just pick this up at a specialty foods store near me. See how it rates against other root beers.
Here is a quick response to some of the questions.
Yep, glued on – using kids glue sticks. Water soluble, so easy to clean.
Well, Prior Lake is our postal address, but we are actually in Spring Lake Township. There are 3 major lakes in the area: Upper Prior Lake, Lower Prior Lake, and Spring Lake. Yea, confusing, but adds character along with the confusion.
And a question for Eric – what is “URI”? Did you mean “URL”? I doubt west coast folks care much about the University of Rhode Island.
Ah, thanks for the info. I’m glad I was extra careful then when I cleaned the bottle so I didn’t ruin the label. I collect the bottles after all. The “URl” is a lower case “L” That’s the WordPress form, I didn’t make it.
yeah, it is a great drink! glad you got to try it. i may have to order some more for myself, i miss it.
actually it is “URI” with a capital “i” in the form. i think it stands for “universal resource indicator” instead of “locator”
Oh, really? As I said before, it’s the WordPress form so I don’t really do much with it.
Hi Anthony. I heard that Eric heard about us through you. Thanks. Is there some sort of root beer convention I am missing? But if you want more, just ask for more. And now that I know that “More” ought to be our distributor, we may need to add a e-mail address for “email@example.com”. Whatcha think? Too campy?
There’s no convention, yet. I just crawl through other reviewer sites to see what I haven’t had. Anthony has the biggest list and puts websites on so really, I hear about a lot of root beers through him, though not by asking him what is a good root beer. I think you definitely need to make More the distributor. You want some awesome root beer, just ask for More, he’ll get it to you. 😛
I think a convention would be interesting. And I after looking at your links, the Society of Root Beer in Wisconsin Dells would make for a great venue for the 1st annual (bi-annual? tri-annual?) event. Centrally located in North America – complete with established (if cramped) quarters. I have hand carried ours as far as DC, and shipped to Nagasaki. I would make the trip. Then again, I am nuts.
That could work, though if we had a big conference, I almost feel that the 1st one should be in Philadelphia, since that is where root beer was born.
Philadelphia would work too – and close to one of my favorite chocolate factories (Wilbur in Lititz, PA). Traveling a 1,000 miles make “close” a relative idea.