Aug 072019

A pint of Big Reggie's Root BeeSo last Saturday my wife said that she had heard the town of Excelsior was rather neat and touristy and we should go down there. I also wanted to make my way to the Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, which is vaguely in the same direction so we sallied forth on an adventure. Excelsior is a fun little town. Lots of those touristy shops and site seeing cruises on Lake Minnetonka. After a long walk she suggested that maybe there was a brewery with root beer as we rested in the park. I felt like I had already done such search awhile ago but I pulled out my phone and Google Maps suggested to me Excelsior Brewing (Google knows me too well). It is situated right in downtown Excelsior, a short walk from where we were. So yeah we dropped in and saw that there were sodas to be had including Big Reggie’s Root Beer. It was a really hot day so perfect time to get a pint. Another serendipitous review!

The Body is very sweet but mild with sarsaparilla and vanilla flavors noticeable. The Bite is very mild with low carbonation and no noticeable spice. It is quite smooth though. The Head is short and a little foamy. The Aftertaste is sticky, mild sarsaparilla.

It’s sure is sweet, and smooth. Looking at their website says that they wanted to make it smooth, and they did succeed. Overall it’s not particularly unique, but is fine on a hot day after walking about Excelsior. Snag a brew and some snacks and all. Their other soda flavors, Honey Lemonade, Orange, and Grape are nice as well. There’s also a cool classic arcade cabinet with lots of games that is free. It’s worth dropping by if you’re in the area.

Three kegs

Excelsior Brewing Brew Vats

The Excelsior Brewing brew vats.

The Excelsior Brewing craft soda taps

The Excelsior Brewing craft soda taps. Orange, Grape, Honey Lemonade, and Root Beer

Jul 312019

A pint of Under Pressure Version 2 Root Beer Two weeks ago I was out and about with my lil’ sister who’s moved to my area. We were shopping some second hand stores and I noticed that there was a brewery in the same little strip mall that I’d never heard of. So we dropped by. I sauntered up to the bar and asked if they had root beer. To my surprise they said they did make their own root beer. In fact I was so surprised I couldn’t decide on whether to try and review it right then and there or just come back later since it was a mere 10 minute drive from my house. I opted for the former, but such indecision definitely undermined my whole sauntering act. Oh well. The brewery just opened earlier this year, a reason I’d missed it in my root beer searching when I moved here. It is all nerdy and medieval, with armor and medieval style candle chandeliers and armor and what not. They have signups for MTG and DnD games and chess boards built into some of the heavy solid wood tables. The brewers sport some amazing beards as well. It’s definitely my kind of place. The root beer though…

The Body is mild and fruity and herbal. There’s a sarsaparilla flavor with hints of sour with a complex mix of other flavors. It’s not very sweet, for a root beer, either. The Bite is also mild. There’s a little cinnamon bite but not much. There’s low carbonation too. The Head is short and not particularly foamy. The Aftertaste is a little sour with sarsaparilla.

So, it’s an herb tea root beer, and while being quite refreshing, doesn’t taste much like a root beer should in my opinion. They did say that this is their Version 2 Root Beer which they make sometimes and they were out of their signature Barely Root Beer. They it’s similar but different, so I’m hoping I like it more, as the place deserves to have a root beer that I’ll enjoy as much as the ambiance there. Until then, I must sadly give this a good drink/bad root beer rating, but I’ll be back when their Barley brew is ready.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

The Under Pressure Brewing brew vats and some of the decor.

The Under Pressure Brewing brew vats and some of the decor. I couldn’t get that whole trumpet in the picture. I will blow it next time I go there.

Jul 242019

Blue Sun Soda Shop Root Beer PhosphateYou know what I haven’t done in awhile? An Old Fashioned Soda Fountain review. Why? Turns out those are significantly more rare than I initially thought when I accepted the category into gourmet root beer-dom. Even rarer is the fountain that uses their own home recipe for their root beer. So I was extra excited when my favorite store around these parts, Blue Sun Soda, announced they were adding an old fashioned soda fountain, while keeping all of the other goodness like $0.25 arcade games (hint hint Northern…) Anyways, so they have this awesome new soda fountain, with tons of flavors using the Whistler syrups which they make. You can mix and match them too, giving you near infinite flavor combinations. However, that doesn’t seem right from a review standpoint, so I’m going to stick with a classic soda fountain concoction, the phosphate. If you don’t know what a phosphate is, you have lived an incomplete life thus far, but it’s something that the jerks would put in the drink to add acidity and saltiness that would enhance the flavor. All of the old soda fountains would have it. I’m not sure how common root beer phosphates actually were, but I wanted to try theirs as it’s both a unique take on the Whistler while being a base flavor. One final note, I didn’t ask them for no ice, and while I regret doing so, if the jerk was competent, and added the correct syrup ratio for the amount of liquid to be added while accounting for initial ice melt, the ice shouldn’t mess up the flavor like it would if the root beer were coming from a bottle or a keg. Nevertheless, it is a mistake I shan’t make again, I assure you.

The Body is sweet and mild with a nice middle of the road root beer flavor that’s accented by the salty sour of the phosphate. It actually is just a hint of sour so it ends up actually adding to the flavor. The Bite is mild without any discernible spice and low carbonation. There isn’t any Head, none at all. The Aftertaste is mild and slightly salty, but it a good way.

I wasn’t expecting it to be this good, dare I say, it’s an improvement over the Whistler Soda which syrup it uses. I quite like it, and would recommend it with the hot dogs and popcorn and other stuff there. It’s nothing amazing as far as root beers go, but a solid drinkable, which is enough for what they’re doing there. I can’t wait to return and try some other root beer flavor creations.

Three kegs

The Blue Sun Soda Fountain

The Blue Sun Soda Fountain. Sorry for blurry pic.