Mar 042015

Old Soaker Root Beer BottleFor a brewery that only started in 1995, I’m really surprised they were able to get the name they did. I mean, the Atlantic Ocean is pretty big and borders a lot of states and towns which have existed for hundreds of years. And you mean to tell me, that in all that time, in all of those places, no one thought of naming their brewery after the gigantic ocean next to them? You’d think that name would have been snapped up in colonial times. But it wasn’t. And even for The Atlantic Brewing Company, it wasn’t their first choice. Go figure. The Old Soaker part is a treacherous granite ledge that is only visible at low tide which has lead to the sinking of many a ships probably, hopefully. If it didn’t I’d wonder why they called it the Soaker. I really like the label. It seems there are more and more ships on the labels lately.

The Body is sweet and creamy with vanilla and caramel hints, but it doesn’t taste quite complete. There’s something missing that should be in there that I just can’t place. The Bite is solid and spicy with a smooth finish. The Head is phenomenal! It’s so tall and frothy I couldn’t pour the whole bottle at once. The Aftertaste is light vanilla and something slightly bitter, not my favorite.

This kind of reminds me of the Intergalactic Root Beer, in that it doesn’t taste whole. It is a decent brew with some bonus points for that amazing Head, but it just feels lacking in some way. The slightly bitter Aftertaste is also a drawback. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Feb 282015

Myers Avenue Red Root Beer BottleMy dad found this one in his internet searches for new root beers the year after I got back from my mission. He thought it was the coolest concept, a red root beer, so he had to try it. The red is from the cinnamon which was something else that got him excited. Myers is a root beer with a storied past. Supposedly in 1893 the original maker of the soda invented the root beer float, inspired by the snow on top of the black Cow Mountain which reminded him of a scoop of vanilla ice cream. He called it a black cow, after the mountain. Interestingly, I’ve never actually had a root beer float with a Myers before. My dad loved this root beer above all others and always kept a store of it. I awarded it the Seal of Approval. Then one day, the stuff I got for him was, different, much different. I thought it was a bad batch, but we noticed that the ingredients and nutritional info were different. We got more and it still tasted rancid. I talked to the people at The Root Beer Store and they too, noticed the difference. They even called the company who swear it’s the same, despite the ingredients difference. I gave them some time, to sort it all out, and then bought two bottles to do what needed to be done.

The Body is overpoweringly fruity and sour. There’s a little hint of cinnamon in there but it’s not a spicy cinnamon, more just the flavor so it doesn’t really mix with the fruity sour at all. The Bite is very sour and acidic. The Head is super tall, as it used to be, rivaling the other top root beer Heads. The Aftertaste is more fruity with a little cinnamon and the slightest hint of vanilla.

What have you done Myers? What have you done? I’ve never seen a brew fall so far or so hard. How can you even pretend that this is the same? It’s an insult to anyone who ever drank it. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I know that a root beer float with this would also taste nasty. You’ve betrayed us all. Now you are fallen. See how it rates against other root beers.

1.5 out of 5 kegs

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