Nov 062019

Summit Craft Root Beer BottleSummit is an Aldi brand. Aldi is a discount market where they don’t give you bags and you need to put quarters in to get shopping carts. Their standard store brand root beer is Summit Suds, which comes only in cans. They’ve done glass versions before, though they weren’t very good. I was very happy last year when I heard this root beer was being made. But, despite living near an Aldi now it never showed up, and I was left to mourn when it disappeared from all of the shelves. Then, later this year, I got a random text from my wife who was shopping at Aldi with a picture of a four-pack of this asking if I’d tried it. What luck! My son felt very proud too, as he was the one who found it. It’s not often I get a second chance at these, so reviewing it became my top priority. I don’t understand the whole aviator dog on the label. I get that there are a lot of dogs on root beer labels, but why is it an aviator? The bottle gives no clues, and maybe we’re not to know. They probably did it just to annoy me, cause they know I rant about these dog labels. Anyhow, my review.

The Body is sweet with a classic root beer flavor and a sarsaparilla tinge. It’s a little on the mild side though. There’s a decent spice Bite, from some cloves. The Head is medium tall and very foamy. The Aftertaste is a mild vanilla with sarsaparilla.

It’s pretty good, just not quite all there. I don’t know It’s a lot better than their previous try with the Vintage root beer, so there’s that. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

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

May 012019

Johnny Reb Root Beer Bottle If you are easily triggered, you’re gonna probably want to skip this review. After all, this is gonna the most controversial review of all time (I hope). Snowflakes gonna run to their safe spaces at the mere mention of this review. Feast your eyes on that very un-2019 label. Yup the one and only Confederate Battle Flag. That can of worms just got opened, cause they went and put it on a root beer bottle. And once a new root beer comes into the world, I have to drink it and write about it. So here it is. Now, I gotta be honest. I have no love for this flag. I grew up in Washington State, and all I remember being taught about this was that they were rebels who tried to secede and we beat them. The first time I ever saw this flag in the wild it was as an early teen when I went to some Saturday night race track we had in our home town, and then I saw people wearing it. I honestly thought it was hilarious because, who wears the flag of the traitors, in the North? Lots of people evidently. I guess Southern Pride is a thing, though not one I’ve any first hand experience with, and this is their HERITAGE! Not hatred. Get over it. At least to them. But, there was that whole slavery thing and that flag means a very different thing to a lot of other people, as it was the battle standard of those fighting for the right to treat an entire race as mere chattel, which is about as repulsive as it gets, so yeah, as far as they are concerned, that flag is HATRED! (Don’t you love being white-man-splained about all of this as though it is something new?) Why some brewery in Florida wanted to put that on their label is anyone’s guess. Maybe they just liked to court the controversy, much like I’m doing by being blissfully neutral on such a charged subject. Anyways, I’m genuinely surprised this root beer is still for sale and won’t be surprised at all of outcry shuts them down. But what I care about much more than the label is the contents of the bottle, which is, after all, what a root beer should be judged by (says the guy who literally has categories for if the bottle is pretty and if it isn’t)

The Body is mild and generic. There’s a little hint of vanilla but nothing else really noteworthy. Just a middle of the road sort of flavor. The Bite is harsh from carbonation yet the Head is short and doesn’t last. There’s also not a lot of spiciness. The Aftertaste is faint vanilla that is gone quickly.

Well, that’s pretty meh. You’d think that with such a bold label there’d be a correspondingly bold choice of flavors. But there’s nothing really bad about this (other than a very controversial label), but nothing really great about it either. I give it a Drinkable rating, though honestly, I’d be hard pressed to find a place where it’s acceptable to drink it. Ummm, Confederate Monument removal protests? Probably not. Err.. Civil War battle reenactments? Yeah, that’s it. Some brewery in the North should make a Billy Yank root beer, and they could sell them both at Gettysburg and places like that. Yeah, I think that’s the only way to not risk getting attacked over drinking this utterly mediocre brew. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs