Jan 112017

Silver Creek Brewing Company Blonde Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalThis was the first blonde root beer I’d ever heard of, and only one of three that I know of. It’s made by the Silver Creek Brewing Company in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. They’ve been around only since 1999. They’re small but they still do a unique root beer which is pretty cool. I like the blue and orange-ish label. You don’t get a lot of bright blues on root beer bottles. I’m not so sure about their logo. It has the historic Grist Mill in which they brew, and then a big squiggly blue line all over the picture. Like they wanted to emphasize the creek after they made the picture and just drew it in there. It’s also made with pure cane sugar. I had the hardest time tracking this down but luckily another craft root beer lover, Tony, hooked me up with a sweet trade.

This has a sweet creamy Body with a lot of vanilla. There’s some mint in there as well. Its core is mild but not lacking. It is a smooth brew with not a lot in the way of Bite. I like ’em smooth though I wish there were a bit more spice. The Head is nice and tall. It does dissipates a little faster than it others but hangs around for long enough. The Aftertaste is a nice minty vanilla that lingers awhile.

I truly enjoy this rather unique take on root beer. I liked the other blonde root beer too. This one’s got that nice minty hint to it as well. Definitely worth drinking whenever you can get it. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Jan 042017

Happy Camp'r Root Beer Bottle Another home brew from Minnesota. It reminds me a lot of Spring Lake Root Beer. They both have black and white labels that are home printed on standard printer paper glued to the bottle. They both are little home brew operations only about 40 minutes apart. And, they both say something about grandpa on the bottle. If I didn’t know any better I’d say they were made by the same guys, but I do know better and their ingredients are different as well. It seems like Happy Camp’r is trying to one up Spring Lake, as Spring Lake says “As Good As Grandpa Remembers” and Happy Camp’r says “The best root beer grandpa’s ever had!” I wonder what will be next in the War of Grandpa Root Beer One-upmanship. But label aside, the real question is how I like it.

The Body is sweet and a little creamy, but much more dark and with licorice and molasses flavors. The Bite spicy but a little harsh. I wish it were a bit smoother. The Head is very tall with decent staying power but by no means top tier. The Aftertaste is licorice and molasses that finishes a little bitter.

So this is decent but not my style. When I’m a grandpa, I know which of these Minnesota brews I’ll be recommending. I don’t know what my grandpa would say about them, as I’ve no grandpas left, but maybe he would try this and say its the best he’s ever had. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Dec 282016

Homer Soda's Maple Syrup Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalHomer is a small farm town in Illinois. The soda company that bears its name is family owned and operated. They sell some of there own flavors and bottle other flavors. This root beer came about one day when the family went to the Champaign County Forest Preserve and learned how to make maple syrup. They were so excited they went home to make their own syrup, presumably from their own sugar maple trees. They liked their syrup so much that they wanted to see how it tasted in a root beer, and thus the Maple Syrup Root Beer was born. They even donate a portion of the sales of each bottle back to the CCFP as a thanks for the inspiration, which is always nice to see.

The Body is dominated by a rich maple flavor that’s accented by creamy vanilla all around a standard root beer flavored core. It’s nice to see they didn’t skimp on the root beer, just added a lot of maple syrup. The Bite is adequate but nothing is noteworthy of it. The brew itself isn’t overly smooth. The Head is medium-tall but fizzes down quicker than I prefer. The Aftertaste is luscious maple syrup and vanilla.

I love maple and vanilla. This is a good brew. It reminds me of that original Tommyknocker which had maple syrup as well. Though this isn’t as hearty, it’s definitely one I’m going to keep in stock. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs