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 022019
 

Real Brew Root Beer Bottle Root beer number three from my Montreal adventure, it was the serendipitous brew of the trip, for I didn’t even know of its existence before I went on my trek to find the Marco Root Beer. At my second stop, the Fruiterie du Plateau, when I found their soda section, I was overjoyed to discover that they had this brew that I’d never heard of before. They had some other Canadian ones I’d already had as well. I grabbed these along with the rest, and then had that wonderful hour long walk in the slushy snow/rain while carrying the box back to the hotel. This is actually made in the US, but Smucker Natural Foods, and is the Canadian version of Natural Brew, albeit with different listed ingredients and nutritional information. I don’t think it’s the exact some thing at all, though I’m not sure why they would do that. Anyways, different ingredients, name, label, nutrition equals new root beer as far as I’m concerned. I don’t like Natural Brew, and this?

The Body is mild with some sweet birch flavor accented by a bit of vanilla and some other herbals. It’s not a very standard root beer flavor to be sure, though it has a lot of the standard ingredients. The Bite is pretty mild with not much other than some carbonation. The Head is medium height and foamy; where this brew excels the most. The Aftertaste is some mild herbal birch that is gone very quickly.

Yeah, I also don’t like this as a root beer. It definitely tastes different than the Natural Brew I remember. Instead of overpowering licorice, this is just too far out of the standard root beer spectrum for me to consider drinkable. I do like it better than the original Natural Brew, so there’s that. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs




Sep 252019
 

A frosty mug of The Drive-In Root BeerSeal of Approval This past weekend was my Birthday! To celebrate I wanted to go get root beer and since it was my Birthday, I could pick that for my party. So I piled the family in the car and we drove up to Taylor Falls to visit The Drive-In. It’s an old root beer stand that got its humble beginnings as a Frostop stand. While no longer affiliated with Frostop and with their own house recipe, they didn’t repaint the big Frostop mug eternally spinning in their sign. I think it’s kind of funny. But anyhow, they got car service and carhops in poodle skirts and serve that classic root beer drive-in fare with their brew served in nice frosty mugs. They also have a mini-golf course and they are a short walk from a beautiful state park with glacial potholes. But I was there first and foremost for root beer.

The Body is very sweet, and rich and creamy with some nice vanilla. It’s got that classic drive-in flavor which I love. The Bite has good spice and carbonation. The Head is very short and doesn’t last very long, sadly, which is its biggest flaw. The Aftertaste is a strong vanilla with a little sassafras.

Yum, yum. The classic creamy root beer stand brew. I love it. Though this doesn’t really stray from that classic formula in any way, the execution is near flawless so it’s a real treat. The biggest flaw is that tiny Head, which almost kept it from a Seal until I asked them to specifically make it foamy on my second mug, which they were able to. The food is great too. Locally sourced and fresh made. Their signature Drive-In Burger is much like their root beer. Classic, traditional, and very delicious. This place is well worth the visit and was a great birthday present.

4 kegs




The Drive-In

The Drive-In. A wonderful 1960’s style root beer stand.

The Drive-In Burger

The Drive-In Burger. Two 1/3 lb patties with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. Best crinkle cut fries I can remember.