Mar 032021

Root 42 Root Beer Bottle This was my Christmas present for 2020. Props to my diligent wife to be able to track it down, as it had stopped being produced in bottles several months earlier. Yet, she was able to mail order some not just from one of the last distributors, but also get in contact with the makers and get two bottles from them. That’s the sort of thing that makes a gift extra special. This is made by New Creation Soda Works in Georgia. They say it’s “as natural as the government will allow” which I assume is referring to lack of sassafras? I don’t actually know. But yeah! Fight the power, or something. I don’t know why they are Root 42. There is no explanation, so kind of like Olde No. 43 in that respect, which is one number better? I don’t know. Let’s see.

The Body is sweet and rich with a nice caramel, vanilla, and aged sarsaparilla flavors featuring prominently. They are accented by a nice nutty taste which comes from pecan. The Bite is a little harsh from carbonation and a little light on the spice. I feel it could use more depth here as well as a smoother finish. The Head is quite nice. It’s pretty tall and though it fizzes down a little faster than others, it isn’t short lasting by any means. The aftertaste is a nutty vanilla flavor with caramel hints.

This is good and rather unique. There’s some interesting ingredients in this, including lemon juice and pecan, but it works far better than you’d expect. They also use “two-fold vanilla” which I had never heard of before. There is something missing, however, I can’t quite put my finger on it. A little bit of texture and spice is missing or something, keeping this out of Seal territory, but it’s good nonetheless, and I lament the decision to only produce in cans going forward. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Feb 032021

Thunder Beast Texas Edition American Root Beer Bottle I like it when a root beer brewer makes more than one flavor. Thunder Beast has done two before, and now they’ve got a Texas Edition to add to their lineup. They’ve also added the tagline “Fight Monsters” which is related to the fact that Monster Energy is currently engaged in a trademark bullying campaign against them because Monster is in fact a known and despicable trademark bully. Seriously, I hate trademark bullies. A pox upon them! May all manner of misfortune befall all of the managers and lawyers at Monster for their crimes against root beer. Also Thunderbeast is donating a percentage of their profits to fight human trafficking and bullying, so they’re fighting monsters in another sense as well. Good on them. I don’t know why this particular brew is called Texas Edition. It says that Thunder Beast LLC is from Austin Texas when I was sure they were originally a DC company, so maybe that’s it? Their new recipe now that their HQ is in Texas? It doesn’t really say on their website. Anyhow how does it taste?

The Body has a distinct burned sugar taste, like the top of a crème brulée, which mingles with some honey and sassafras. It’s isn’t very sweet by root beer standards and there’s a fruity tinge. The Bite is harsh from the carbonation yet lacking in spice. The Head is good and tall but fizzes down quickly. The Aftertaste is that burnt sugar that ends on the fruity notes.

I really want to like this more, because I like the concept of Thunder Beast. That burned sugar is good and the root beer is unique, but it still needs a lot more to be better than just Drinkable. Oh well. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Jan 062021

Pigeon River Brewing Company Root Beer Bottle I love my fans. They find amazing new root beers from different corners of the globe (the US really, but I like saying globe) and then send me some on trade. This was found by the famed root beer enthusiast Tony, in Marion, WI. Pigeon River Brewing Company has been open since 2012, but I think root beer is a much more recent addition or it wouldn’t have slipped under the radar of the diligent root beer hunters for so long. Unless, they had it the whole time, yet refused to advertise it, or sell it outside of Marion. The the residents themselves were sworn to never speak of it to outsiders. But over time whispers of a secret root beer reached the ears of Tony, whose multiyear quest brought him to the first bottles ever to be seen by the world at large… I like that version. It’s cannon now. So another remarkable thing about this root beer is that it has 65g of sugar per bottle, which is over 50% more than the average root beer. I’ve had a brew with 47g before and that was super sweet. So I braced myself for the sugar rush of a lifetime and got to drinking.

The Body is hollow. It’s a little minty, a little creamy, but weak overall. It’s not near as sweet as would be expected with all that sugar. The Bite is dismal. Not spicy, not smooth, but rather harsh and prickly. The Head is medium height and foam, nothing special though not bad. The Aftertaste is a sort of sour acidic flavor with a hint of burned sugar.

I’m not impressed. Not only is the flavor lacking, but where’s my promised super sugar content? Talk about a disappointment. So yeah, I wouldn’t recommend this. I guess it isn’t really bad, but it isn’t good and there’s nothing to really distinguish it to be worth even trying once. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs