Jan 302015
 

Root Beer Bowl XLIX
It’s that time of year when the Super Bowl comes upon us. The biggest TV event in the US and massive celebrations shall ensue. Being from the Seattle area, this is especially exciting to see the Seahawks return as defending champions. There are many wacky ways that have been used to predict the winner, from rabbits, puppys, porcupines, search engines, and video game simulations. These are of course all rubbish. The most accurate predictor is one that I’ve known for years but only now make public. It is the Root Beer Bowl Predictor. Look at the three best bottled root beers from the respective teams’ larger home zone, Seattle area for the Seahawks, all of Massachusetts for the Patriots, and see the combined ratings. The keg difference in the rating multiplied by touchdowns gives the spread. The best root beer will win. Every time. Without question. Seriously.

So let’s get on to the teams. The team “captain” in this case is the highest rated brew from the city proper. For Seattle this is the Seal of Approval rated Jones Root Beer coming in at the lowest 4 kegs. The rest of the Seahawks’ root beer team comes from a 20 minute drive to the north in Mukilteo, WA, where Orca beverages makes the near peerless Bulldog Root Beer and the solid Brownie Caramel Cream Root Beer. This gives a team rating of 12.5 with nothing but Seal of Approval brews.

For the Patriots the captain is Emack & Bolio’s Rock It Root Beer. Very delicious but a poor Head relegates it to a mere 3.5. The rest Patriots’ Root Beer team line up comes from from Worcester, MA. The first is Polar Classics Root Beer with a respectable 3.5. Their final member is a sleeper, Ginseng UP, but not the Ginseng UP name brand root beer (which I haven’t reviewed yet), but their default private label recipe that they supply to the world’s private labelers. A Seal of Approval brew at 4 kegs. Then the Patriots’ final lineup gives them 11.

Prediction: Though the Patriots have a strong root beer lineup, it isn’t enough to overcome Seattle’s all-star lineup. I see the Seahawks winning this by 10 points. GO SEAHAWKS!!!

Root Beer Bowl Team Lineups:
Seattle: Jones – 4; Bulldog – 4.5; Brownie Caramel Cream – 4 = 12.5
Boston: Rockit – 3.5; Ginseng UP – 4, Polar – 3.5 = 11


Jan 282015
 

Hank's Premium Root BeerSeal of Approval More than any other root beer, Hank’s is the reason that Eric’s Gourmet Root Beer Site exists. You see, the web was young and free hosting was just recently made available at places like Geocities. It was the cool thing to do to make a website. After seriously considering making a website about a combination of three of my favorite things, cheese, Jethro Tull, and Star Craft, (The Eric’s Cheese, Jethro Tull, and Star Craft Site was going to be AWESOME I swear) the idea came to make one about gourmet root beer instead. Since I’d only tried eight different kinds of gourmet root beer (there wasn’t a lot of variety in a town of 5,000 people) at that point I figured I needed to expand a bit. I found Hank’s online and asked my Mom to order it for me. I had a whole $15. She called and they said that they’d never sent anything to Washington State before and they figured it’d be very expensive. She said she’d have to call back because she was buying it for her son who was making a website but he didn’t have much money. Then they decided that since it was for a website, and thus free publicity, they’d send a whole case as a free sample. How very generous. Also, it put a lot of expectation on me to actually follow through and make the website since I was paid in advance as it were. And thus Eric’s Gourmet Root Beer Site was born.

This is sooo goooood! It has a wonderfully full Body that is rich and creamy and a nice spicy Bite. The Head is almost perfect. Aftertaste is very pleasant.

As you can tell, I really liked it then (I’ve kept what I originally wrote back in 1998). It put me in quite an enigma because at the time it was the best brew I’d ever had, but I hadn’t had very many. I put it at 4.5 kegs and after many years I revisited it in my Ultimate Root Beer Showdown and realized that after nearly 150 root beers, it was still the best. I really love this stuff. It is perhaps as close to perfection as we can come in this imperfect world. See how it rates against other root beers.

5 out of 5 Kegs, Elixer of the Gods


Jan 212015
 

A bottle of Windy City Soda Root BeerThis brew had been discontinued before I ever learned about it. I was left to mourn another root beer that would never be mine. Then the great Jon came a trading. He had several discontinued brands that were still in good condition. Being a true gentleman and ethical trading partner. He sent some right away without getting petty nor impatient over the details. This is another made in Chicago/themed after Chicago brew. I’ve been seeing those pop up a lot lately. I don’t know what it is about the city that inspires people to name things after it, but I dare say it is the most common city to be found on a root beer bottle. The label is rather plain, with brown hues and a skyline silhouette. It’s almost too plain. I could see this bottle blending into the background on a shelf with other brands.

The Body is sweet with some vanilla and caramel hints but is also a tad bland. The Bite is sharp and spicy. The Head is short yet frothy. The Aftertaste is very light vanilla. It’s pretty good and also refreshing.

Not a bad brew. But pretty generic in the not-a-bad-brew category. There really isn’t a lot to differentiate it from other root beers, plus it’s a tad bland. Maybe if it was completely fresh I would like it more, but I don’t think so. It is sad that they failed. There are worse brews that bear the Chicago name that are still going strong. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs