Oct 042023

This one comes from a trade with that great collector and proprietor of The Museum of Root Beer, Vince. Pop Singles is an interesting brand that has a record on the label of their bottles, you know like it’s an old pop single. It makes googling the company rather difficult because there seems to be an actual single that was released about every flavor they carry (maybe that’s the idea?) and I couldn’t actually find a website. Maybe they don’t have one. I’m always very cautious about a clear root beer. A lot of real root beer ingredients are naturally a darker color, so if your root beer is crystal clear there’s some serious chemistry involved for flavor extraction and the sugar definitely wasn’t caramelized. In short, such brews seem highly unlikely to have a robust flavor profile. They do look cool and different though, so full points for novelty.

The Body is sweet with a mild, generic root beer flavor. It’s refreshing and a little acidic and there’s a slight hint of wintergreen and vanilla. The Bite is mild as well. There is a little spice and decent carbonation. The Head is medium and fizzes down quickly. The Aftertaste is mild and soda-ish.

This really isn’t particularly good. It’s almost like my experience with previous clear root beers and my reasons as to why they failed may actually be universally applicable. It may be impossible to make a colorless root beer be quality. We’ll never know until I find one. Till then, see how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs
Aug 022023

I always appreciate it when brands make new root beers for me to drink. Take Aldi, that wonderful store with strange off brands and low prices. They also make their own gourmet root soda line, Summit. Why? Not sure, as that doesn’t seem to be the standard thing a cheap store does, but they do it. Now I’ve given middling reviews to their root beer before, and maybe that’s the reason they just keep changing their recipe, in an eternal struggle to gain my approval. Now being the considerate store they are, they also change the label and the name slightly, so it’s very easy for me to categorize it as a completely new root beer. Whereas previous iterations have been Summit <insert adjective> Root Beer, this one is just plain ol’ Summit. My wife spotted it for me awhile back while she was shopping at Aldi and guessed that I’d not had it yet. Always nice when new root beers just present themselves. So how did Aldi do this time?

The Body is sweet, though not overly so, with a nice vanilla. It has a generic creamy taste to it with a little hint of fruity but also a little lacking in depth. The Bite is sharp, harsh even, from carbonation but lacking in spice. The Head is okay. It’s medium all around. Nothing special yet adequate. The Aftertaste is light vanilla with the slightest fruity hints.

It’s an okay root beer, solid drinkable. Not quite as good as their Craft version, which I’m sure comes as a great disappointment to them. Last time they were three and a half and I imagine they hoped to push in that final half a keg, but sadly I think this version losses half a keg. Oh well, better luck next time. I suppose if they want to hire a root beer consultant, I can teach them the ways. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs
Jul 052023

Back in May I was in Winnipeg doing DERMS. You know, you’ve read my last review. That review was for the place I knew about, planned about, and was prepping for. However, on the way between our meeting site and our hotel, was the Lake of the Woods tap room. After meetings were done, and we were walking back to the hotel before heading to lunch, I thought I’d drop in to just see if maybe, just maybe they also had root beer? They did. And not just on draft, they actually had big ol’ bottles of it. Well isn’t that just perfect. I immediately bought two to take home. I also took a picture and dropped it into the Facebook root beer group, which caused no small stir. Everyone was asking where I got it and some random person, not even in the group but living in Winnipeg got tagged. Why am I telling you this? Because later that day, when my coworker wanted to grab a pint (of regular beer) from there, as I was talking to the bar tender, a person behind in the line said “Are you the root beer guy from Facebook?” That’s right, the guy who got tagged had come down to try it and recognized me. What fun. The Lake of the Woods Brewing Company started Kenora, Ontario but they also have breweries in Winnipeg (where I visited) and Warroad in Minnesota.

The Body is weak. There’s a classic flavor profile but it’s watered down and there’s a bit of fruity to it. The Bite is also weak. Light on spice and on carbonation. The Head is medium but fizzes down very quickly. The Aftertaste is fruity with faint vanilla.

This isn’t good. Not unpleasant, but also not good. It’s kind of depressing, since it’s such a cool bottle and all. Oh well. Maybe it tastes better on tap? If not, I can’t recommend ever getting this, unless you need a cool bottle for your collection. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs