May 242017

Pint of LTD Brewing Company Root BeerSeal of Approval Yesterday and Monday I was in Minneapolis for another job interview but this time for a different company, doing different things. Choices choices if I get offers from both. So anyhow I was in Minneapolis and looking for root beer. Remembering the fabulous brew at Town Hall Brewery and others, I had high hopes for another amazing Minnesota find. I discovered the LTD Brewing Company was not far from my hotel and immediately set off. LTD stands for Limited Batches, Unlimited Possibilities. It was started by two friends who met at college in 2003 and set off on a quest to make their own beer. This eventually turned into a brewery rather than some college kids trying to get drunk cheaper. Early on in the process, though, they made a commitment to have quality root beer, the kind Minnesota is known for. They didn’t disappoint.

The Body is oh so sweet and creamy and rich and utterly delicious. There’s tons of wonderful vanilla flowing through it. It also has quite a sharp and substantial Bite from a myriad of spices yet manages to finish smooth. The Head is amazingly tall and it takes the multiple pours before the glass can actually fill with brew instead of foam. The Aftertaste is strong vanilla with some wintergreen undertones.

Wow! This is so good. So sweet and spicy, yet smooth and creamy and just really what I want to see in a root beer. Dang Twin Cities area, you have got the highest concentration of Seal of Approval brews I know of. This might be the place for me to live.

4.5 Kegs

The LTD Brewing Company.

The LTD Brewing Company.

The LTD Brewing vats.

The LTD Brewing vats.

Only $2.50 for a pint of some of the world's best root beer.

Only $2.50 for a pint of some of the world’s best root beer.

May 172017

US Foods Craft Root Beer BottleIn case you hadn’t noticed, craft sodas have really become a thing in the last few year. This is great news for a reviewer of gourmet craft root beers. It’s become so much of a thing that even larger companies are getting into it. US Foods, for those who don’t know, is a large restaurant supplier and wholesaler. They created a Craft Artisan soda line to address our needs of fine craft root beers in our restaurants. They are all natural as well. The picture on the label is some French chef type person. I think he’s a chef. He looks French, with the beret and the striped shirt. His expression is not one you’d expect on a root beer bottle for sure. Despite this coming from a large restaurant wholesaler, they don’t really supply many places in the Puget Sound Area, so I ended up ordering it from Minnesota.

The Body has a nice vanilla and sweet birch flavor accented by spices. It is well proportioned. The Bite is small put present with a bit of cassia and nutmeg burn. The Head is medium but fizzes away very quickly unfortunately. The Aftertaste is a light birch and vanilla.

This is a good one. It has a nice birchy tang to it, but the Head is disappointing. Additionally, it could use a little more rooty depth to it. But it’s definitely worth getting with your meal. I’m glad to see that root beer world is getting this kind of addition. Here’s hoping more companies follow suit. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

May 102017

Pint of Montana Brewing Company Root Beer Last week I flew to Billings Montana for a job interview. That’s right, I’m thinking of changing careers. So I was out there to interview and since I needed to buy lunch I figured I’d try to find a root beer. I’d looked up and found the Montana Brewing Company before I arrived, but the path there was fraught with disaster and setbacks, like accidentally renting a car in the middle of town instead of the airport, to trouble with the GPS, to finding parking. All of this had to be done to give me enough time to eat before my interview. On the way I saw a broken box in the middle of the road with loads of wrapped chocolate bricks littering the road. I almost stopped to pick them up, but then remembered, root beer is the focus. Speaking of which, the Montana Brewing Company. I don’t know how long its been there, they don’t say on their website and I forgot to ask, but I do know that it is the most awarded brewery in Montana. So they must do some good stuff there.

The Body is a little mild, with a classic, soda fountain flavor. It’s almost creamy with hints of vanilla, but nothing else strong. There’s a little Bite from spice and the carbonation is almost too harsh. The Head is okay, but on the short side and fizzes away too quickly. The Aftertaste is light wintergreen and cane sugar.

This is a pleasant, but entirely forgettable brew. Nothing special, yet nothing bad. It’s good enough to drink with your lunch, though. I had their Holy Cow Dip sandwich with sweet potato fries. This was also good but not super amazing. So this whole thing was good, but not really worth a pilgrimage.

Three kegs

My lunch, the Holy Cow Dip and sweet potato fries. I'm not sure why it's called what it is.

My lunch, the Holy Cow Dip and sweet potato fries. I’m not sure why it’s called what it is.

The Montana Brewing Company taps. The root beer tap is the far left.

The Montana Brewing Company taps. The root beer tap is the far left.

The brew vats.

The brew vats.