Oct 312018

Calvin's 1836 Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval There are two things about the name of this brew that need to be mentioned. First is Calvin and the second is 1836. Calvin is the son of a man Marvin Scheidegger who opened a beverage distributorship in 1957. Calvin bought said distributorship from his father in 1973, and still runs it with his children to this very day. This distributorship (I’m gonna be honest, I’ve never written that word before so I’m breaking it in) happens to be in Hermann Missouri, a town founded by German immigrants in, you guessed it 1836. So Calvin always dreamed of making his own root beer, and he also loved his town. And with the help of a local winemaker, he has turned his dream into a reality, with the goal of making a classic barrel-style root beer of yesteryear. So how did he do?

The Body is sweet and rich and creamy with vanilla washing over a classic root beer flavor. Then a spicy Bite hits that’s both strong and complex, yet finishes smooth. The Head is wonderfully tall and frothy and doesn’t ever leave. The Aftertaste is a delicious spiced vanilla with whispers of wintergreen.

Wow! Quite a brew! Calvin, I say this as someone who has tried 399 different gourmet root beers, you have done a magnificent job. I would love to know what root beers you drank growing up, because they must have been amazing for you to strive for this brew. Your dream has become a reality, but it feels like a dream for all who have the pleasure of drinking this root beer. See how it rates against other root beers.

4.5 Kegs

Oct 242018

Private Selection Creamy Ginger Root Beer Bottle Another store brand getting the gourmet fever and bottling their root beer in glass. This one’s from the Kroger stores and not to be content with just bottling their root beers properly, they wanted to add some flair. So, they made it a “Creamy Ginger” root beer. Props to that. I love flavored root beers. Ginger root beers are not as common as some of the others like butterscotch and vanilla, but a lot of root beers have ginger, so I had high hopes for this. Their label is a bit eclectic, with numerous fonts and sizes and serifs and sans and what not. There’s also the curious bit that reads “enhanced with a touch of creamy ginger flavor with a smooth finish” While this seems straight forward, the more I read it the more confused I become. Is it the creamy ginger flavor that has the smooth finish, the whole root beer, or is the smooth finish an additional enhancement? I may never know, though perhaps the drinking of the brew enlightens in that respect.

The Body is sour and a little fruity with a strong ginger flavor and an utter lack of any of the quintessential flavors that characterize a root beer. There is a strong Bite from all of the ginger. The Head is nice. It’s tall and foamy with little tiny bubbles. The Aftertaste is more sour ginger.

Um, this is not a root beer, this is a ginger beer, and not a particularly good one either. Maybe like that curious tagline, there’s some missing punctuation in their title, like maybe they meant to say Creamy Ginger Root, Beer and not Creamy Ginger, Root Beer as we’ve all interpreted it? Or maybe they just made a really bad root beer. I may never know their true intentions, but I know I’m not drinking this again. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Oct 172018

Whistler Classic Soda Butterscotch Root Beer Bottle So the fine folks at Whistler Classic Soda have been busy. They’ve built the wonderful Blue Sun Soda Shop, a veritable cathedral of craft soda. It’s just north of Minneapolis, which means I can now drop by. I’ve seen soda shops before, but none like this. Soda is first and everything else comes second. They’ve got over 1300 flavors of glass bottled sodas, over 100 root beers. Granted, I’ve had almost all those root beers, but they still get some new ones. Plus, they’ve got a classic arcade with a window looking into the bottling plant. With a super fast soda chiller (3 minutes) this is a place you can just spend the afternoon, drinking your favorite brews and slamming quarters in the pinball machines (which I did when I picked up this root beer). Whistler itself has even expanded their flavors to include this butterscotch root beer among other new ones. They got bigger bottles too. You’ll have to click the picture in this post to see the cap which denotes the flavor. Returnable bottles and identical labeling help keep the costs lower.

The Body has a nice full butterscotch flavor, but a conspicuous lack of anything else. There’s also something off under the surface, an alkaline flavor of sorts. This flavor continues into the Bite, which is mild other than this alkaline burn. The Head is short, but it lingers. The Aftertaste is a light, sweet, butterscotch that is eventually replaced with this baking soda type flavor.

Yeah, this is not the best. It isn’t terrible though. I just really don’t like it. Why can’t I like these guys’ soda. They’re 0/3 for drinkable ratings, but I love everything else about these guys. I’ll be a frequent visitor of their store, but I don’t see me buying more of their root beers. Maybe their next flavor will be a win? Here’s hoping. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs