Mar 282015

NORKA Root Beer Bottle This root beer comes from Akron, Ohio. They liked their fair city so much that they wrote the name backwards to use it for their brew. It was founded in 1924 and died out in 1962. Then, last year, a resident of Akron realized that the city’s iconic brand was missing and decided to bring it back. And thus NORKA was reborn. They make three flavors of “sparkling beverages” in addition to their root beer and use all natural flavorings and pure cane sugar. You don’t see many brands calling their sodas sparkling beverages anymore, but maybe that’ll change. They kept the original logo and name. Though why the founders of NORKA thought making their name in all caps was a good idea is beyond me. I can think of approximately one person who’d be bothered by it more than me. The makers of it were kind enough to send me a four-pack to review, as all new root beer makers should.

This has a mild Body with a noticeable vanilla flavor to it. The cane sugar shines as well, though the other flavors are very subtle. The Bite is harsh; a lot of carbonation but not a lot of spice. The Head is very tall yet lacks staying power and fizzes away much too quickly. The Aftertaste is vanilla and cane sugar, which is pretty nice.

This is alright. I wish it were a little stronger and spicier, and the Head stayed a little longer. That said, it’s a decent brew with no unpleasant flavors, though nothing overly special. I wouldn’t make this the flagship of a soda line, but it certainly doesn’t hurt one. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Mar 252015

A bottle of Moose Wizz Root BeerSeal of ApprovalI dislike toilet humor. I’m sure I thought it was funny when I was 5, maybe as long as until I was 8. After that, it just seemed such a crude and base attempt at humor (as opposed to puns which are the highest form of humor EVER). I cringe whenever I’m watching a movie or Anime and see poop jokes. Why bother putting that stuff in there? And then I come across Moose Wizz Root Beer, with a picture of a large moose with a stupid half smile as if saying “ha, ha, I peed…” Really? REALLY? That’s what you’re going for? Your label has such vibrant colors and a nice nature scene, and you have to ruin it with a pee joke? Supposedly the name came from The Moose Tooth Grill, the full service restaurant of the Adirondack Brewery, who makes this stuff. Being in upstate New York, it gets nasty in the winter. The customers often asked them what they’d do up there in the winter and they said they collected Moose Wizz. Seriously? SERIOUSLY? … Seriously. *sigh*

The Body has sweet honey and spices complimenting a nice, complex sassafras core. Rich and creamy vanilla is also present. The Bite is solid from spice yet oh so smooth in your mouth, like velvet. The Head is nice; really tall though it does fizz down quicker than others. The Aftertaste is vanilla and honey with traces of wintergreen.

… and it’s freaking amazing. I really wanted to hate on this brew, but, Wow! It’s delicious and complex and smooth and spicy and pretty much everything I could want in a root beer. I still don’t particularly like the name, but honestly, if the root beer is that good, they can call it anything they want. See how it rates against other root beers.

4.5 Kegs

Mar 182015

Pure Soda Works Root Beer #4 Root BeerMy lovely wife got me a four-pack of this for me for Christmas. Root beer Christmas presents are always the best Christmas presents, and Hanukkah presents, and birthday presents, and Valentine’s Day presents, and wedding anniversary presents, and … Easter presents? You get the idea. This one I could tell was different just by looking at it. It’s all natural and is kind of pale amber. I’ve said before that the only reason a root beer is colored brown is because some of the original, natural ingredients were brown, and if it isn’t brown it doesn’t have those ingredients. My other question is why #4? Was there a number 1-3? Regardless, I’ve now had a Batch 001, 002, and a No. 9 root beer, so #4 is really just a natural progression of things. I’m sure I’ll collect the missing six numbers to complete my base ten digits root beer collection.

The Body is light and creamy and with ginger and herbs the prominent flavors. It tastes like a spiced ginger tea with some vanilla. The Bite is good and robust. It’s nice and spicy with ginger and cinnamon and some other spices with some carbonation burn mixed in. The Head is super tall and very frothy. The Aftertaste is a light vanilla and spice flavor.

This is tastes really good, but not at all like root beer. More like an iced herb tea. You would never call it a root beer if it didn’t say so on the bottle. It’s always a conundrum about how to rate such root beers, with me generally falling into the if-it-doesn’t-taste-like-root-beer-it-doesn’t-rate-high-as-a-root-beer camp. This is no exception. It is a fine, delicious soda, but I’d never, EVER drink it if I needed a root beer fix. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs