Oct 232019

A glass of Delta Beer Lab Root BeerLast week I was in Madison, Wisconsin doing what I do best, working and finding root beer in the evenings. Madison is kind of a disappointment in that regard, for while they have cheese aplenty, and many small craft breweries, the amount of root beer in said breweries is rather lacking. Which strikes me as odd since cities in Minnesota with half as many people will have multiple craft root beers on taps just waiting for me to try. But it took quite a bit of searching for me to find one. To be fair, a lot of places do have Sprecher and Baumeister on tap there, and fine brews they are, but still, they can do better. But anyways, Delta Beer Lab was started only in February of this year by a couple of brewery veterans who’d worked their way up. One of them even was head brewer at a place in Minneapolis. Perhaps that’s why he, unlike so many others in Madison, decided to do a root beer. The brewery itself is like a chemistry class/lab, which is fun, as you can get little beakers and flasks full of brew. They are also very socially progressive there, take that as you feel inclined, which includes refusing tips and just paying their employees a living wage with benefits. I loath paying tips (just tell me how much it really costs) so I can get behind that. But more importantly, can I get behind the root beer?

The Body is mild and pleasant but not as sweet as most root beers. There’s sarsaparilla and vanilla flavors that make it taste rather Barqsy. The Bite is light on spice, solid on carbonation. The Head is nice and tall and foamy. The Aftertaste is a mild sarsaparilla with vanilla that ends with a fruity tinge.

It’s a decent brew, not worth a pilgrimage on its own, but if you happen to find yourself there with your friends, you won’t be regretting your purchase, which is more than I can say for a lot of root beers.

Three kegs

The Delta Beer Lab Bar

The Delta Beer Lab Bar. It makes the science nerd in me happy.

Oct 162019

Root beer float taffy

Another find from the Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, which, as an aside, how do they verify that? I mean, I’m sure they’re just saying it, and it is pretty big, but what if someone opens a bigger candy store, maybe they already have but I don’t know about. It’s something I’ve often wondered about and now you are too, or you’re calling me an idiot but I digress. So Sweet Candy Company has been making candies since the late 1800s and is still a family owned and operated business. They specialize is shipping bulk candies, so probably most candy stores you’ll visit will have something of theirs. They specialize in salt water taffy, which is probably why they originally relocated from Portland, OR to Salt Lake City… More salt water… yeah I’m just gonna move onto the review.

The root beer flavor is strong, generic and a little spicy. There’s noticeable wintergreen. It reminds me of a lot of the root beer hard candies I’ve had. The vanilla portion is rather mild. It’s not near as rich and creamy as it could have been. The combination of the two sides is more like a creamy root beer than an actual root beer float, which isn’t bad, but not really the intention.

These aren’t bad. I kind of like them though they’re nothing special. I’m kind of surprised they call them root beer float and not creamy root beer, but what ever. They’re fine if you want a root beer taffy but not worth seeking out otherwise.

Oct 092019

Root Beer Cotton Candy

In early August I went to Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store to sweep it from top to bottom looking for any and all things root beer. They also have a nice soda selection and found three new bottled varieties. I also got a nice haul of new candies, though not as many as I expected. This cotton candy was probably the last one I found. Chocolate Storybook has been around since 1985 and makes chocolates and sweets for masterful gift items. Their cotton candy is hand spun and has many traditional as well as quite unique flavors including Spicy Jalapeno, BBQ Sauce, and Trump Hair. All of those seem interesting to try, but I’m more interested in the root beer flavor.

It has a strong generic, creamy root beer flavor. There’s almost a fizzy texture that you get as it all melts in your mouth and it also seems like there’s a bit of spices in there. The whole experience is nice and balanced between strength of the flavor and fizzy fluffiness of the texture to really give a nice root beer feel.

I like this. Yet, I’m not usually big on buying cotton candy in a tub, as I feel it’s more of a fair/circus sort of food that you eat off of the paper cone. I’d love to get this directly from the source in that manner. Still. It’s yummy, so you won’t be disappointed with it.