Mar 212018

Old Bottle Brewery Root Beer Bottle The Old Bottle Brewery is a small home brewery founded in 2014 in Ruston, Louisiana. It’s just a small part time operation though they have big, professional aspirations for the future. Even though they are small, they make their own root beer and were even kind enough to send me some. Their brew is made with all natural ingredients like molasses, wintergreen, vanilla, and nutmeg. All the ingredients are listed on the “label” which is tied around the bottle neck. Unfortunately if you brew all natural, you don’t get to use sassafras, and that can be bad for the total flavor. Apart from that tied on tag, the bottle is entirely plain, but all that really matters is how it tastes.

The Body is complex with a lot of different flavors; vanilla, molasses, some wintergreen, and spices, but it lacks a solid core to pull it all together. Nevertheless, it is still pleasant. The Bite is nice from all of the spices and still finishes a bit smooth. The Head is excellent, so full points there. The Aftertaste is also very pleasant, with vanilla and light molasses and spices.

This isn’t bad, but doesn’t excel. It’s got all of the wonderful peripheral flavors but really lacks the sassafras core. There are other brews that suffer from this same problem, but this is among the better ones. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Mar 142018

Rabbit Ridge Root Beer Bottle Seal of ApprovalI’ve seen root beer bottles with many different types of animals on them, but this is the first rabbit. My daughter saw it and said it is an Easter Bunny root beer. Actually, it’s made by Rabbit Ridge Winery’s spin off soda line, Paso Pure, so the rabbit is from that. The sodas were developed in 2015 for all the children and designated drivers that come out wine tasting, which means that people must drink way too much out there if they need designated drivers. The line is called Paso Pure because they use pure ingredients and they’re located in Paso Robles. It’s run by the daughter of the winery owners. The label is a bit perplexing since “Rabbit Ridge” is far more prominent than “Paso Pure.” I suspect that’s the parents reminding their daughter who’s really in charge. They also make sure to say “Soda Pop” to both frustrate and placate both sides of the soda vs. pop nomenclature war.

This has a rich, creamy Body that’s full of classic sassafras flavor. Bits of vanilla and wintergreen are present as well. The abundance of spices give a pronounced Bite that isn’t overbearing and finishes silky smooth. The Head is just perfect, tall and frothy and I couldn’t ask for more. The Aftertaste is creamy vanilla with ending notes of wintergreen and clove.

What a masterful brew! Seriously, this stuff is amazing! It’s one of the best brews that I’ve reviewed in awhile. I’m proud to award this my Seal of Approval. With stuff like this on their tasting tour, I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone was volunteering to be designated driver. See how it rates against other root beers.

4.5 Kegs

Mar 072018

Stubborn Soda Classic Root Beer BottleThe craft soda resurgence is in full swing, and that means more and more people and bucking the big companies and getting their liquid refreshment from the smaller, perhaps local, manufacturers. This decrease in market share has not gone unnoticed by the the major brands, and they’re trying to fight back. To that end, PepsiCo launched Stubborn Soda in 2015. It was originally an fountain only line, with a tap like dispenser to give consumers a “different perspective” on soft drinks. Or they could just go to an A&W and get their root beer from a tap, but I digress. Following the “success”? of the fountains, they began bottling and distributing in select markets. The marketing for this has nothing to do with PepsiCo, and for some reason it is a registered trademark of “The Concentrate Manufacturing Company of Ireland” Very strange. There was none near me, but a fan sent me some on trade. Then my parents found some a month later in Idaho and brought me some more. It tried one bottle from each batch, just to make sure I was getting a proper sampling.

The Body is soapy and sour with an unpleasant stevia flavor as well. Hidden behind all of that is the slightest bit of traditional root beer. The Bite is acidic and prickly, the worst kind. The Head is medium height but fizzes down too fast. The Aftertaste is chemical that fades into stevia.

Oh what is terribleness! What were they thinking? Were they so stubborn that they wouldn’t believe anyone who told them that their recipe was garbage? Why do this? This is without a doubt the worst brew I’ve had for some time. I’ll give you some advice, PepsiCo, free advice. If you want to get in with the craft root beer crowd, just sell Mug in glass bottles in more locations. It’s orders of magnitude better than this. Seriously, this is just yuck, but it does have a pretty bottle. See how it rates against other root beers.

One out of five root beer kegs