Jan 032018

Tree Fort Root Beer Bottle I have a friend who’s a wonderful person, but is absolutely horrible at sending me root beer. She moved to Ithaca, and didn’t send me the Ithaca Soda Company Root Beer despite my always asking. Then she moved to Minneapolis, where this is made, and didn’t send me any of it. But that’s okay, because she’s still awesome and I was able to find another fine fellow by the name of Caleb traded with me and got me some. I like the name, as I always wanted a tree fort. But I grew up in a desolate wasteland where trees were hard to come by. My parents planted a maple tree when I was eight or so, but I think only now has it reached climbing size. So no tree fort for me. This brew is one of those all natural types with lots of botanicals ingredients like chicory, spearmint, peppermint, and marigold. I’ve never had marigold in a root beer before. They have traditional spices flavorings as well, but really, marigold? It pours out an orange color. Makes me wonder if it’s one of those rare and strange herb tea root beers.

The Body is very herbal with ginger and honey and dominant flavors. There’s sarsaparilla as well as some slightly bitter flavors. It has a spicy Bite from clove and ginger and cinnamon, but it isn’t too strong. The Head is decent. The Aftertaste is honey and ginger.

Yup, another sweet carbonated herb tea. It makes sense considering if you Google “chicory herb tea” or “marigold herb tea” you’ll get a lot of hits but far fewer if you search “marigold root beer”. It’s one of the better ones of this genre, with the honey and ginger and cinnamon really shining, but when I want a root beer, I don’t want an herb tea. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Dec 272017

Polar Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalA few years back Polar changed their recipe slightly. No doubt it was in response to my not-quite-good-enough review. They also had the decency to change their name a bit so I could review it as a new root beer. Thank you Polar, now if only everyone else would follow suit. Gone are the ‘classics’ and the ‘premium’ in their name. Now it’s just Polar, just plain old ordinary Polar (which incidentally is the worst acronym for anything edible). Maybe plain old Polar, then it takes sides in that whole “soda” vs. “pop” war. They also made it significantly less dangerous, so there isn’t a warning on the label. But, how does it taste?

The Body is full and sweet. There’s rich and creamy vanilla and nice caramel hints. The Bite is spicy yet smooth, just how I like it. There is a most excellent Head on this. It’s so tall I can’t pour it all in my mug without letting it fizz down first. And it lasts forever. A sweet vanilla Aftertaste seals the deal for this one.

I am pleased. They fixed everything that was wrong with them before and have a superb brew for all. Maybe what was really wrong was the extra explosives they originally put in there to weaponize it and now that it’s gone, the flavor is improved. I’m not sure, but whatever they did, they did it right. So recommendation, drink it whenever you can find it. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Dec 202017

Bottle of Twig's Root BeerThe color scheme of this root beer’s label makes for a difficult photo. Mostly black, then brown and glossy gold to reflect the flash. I’m sure some expert or even amateur photographers reading this right now know exactly what to do, but I don’t study photography, I study root beer. And I just use my wife’s digital camera with it’s “Intelligent Auto Adjust” setting. It usually works well enough. Twig’s is a brand with a long, and continuous history. It was started by a fellow named Hartwig, who decided his last name was just a bit too long for a soda label. His company had humble beginnings up in Shawano, Wisconsin in the 1950s. According to their website he’d sell a case of soda and use the money made to buy a loaf of bread for his family. Bread must have been a lot more expensive back then or a case of soda cost a lot less. Either way, he somehow was able to both grow the business and not starve, though he was forced to mix ingredients with an ax handle. He probably used that same ax to slice his bread. And so today you can still buy Twig’s. I don’t know if they use the ax handle in the plant, but they should, then they could write “Ax Crafted” on the label. That’d be so metal…

The Body is rather generic with a middle of the road flavor that’s a little creamy and has a hint of sarsaparilla like taste. The Bite is sharp but not from spice. The Head is ye olde “two-second-Head” unfortunately. The Aftertaste is pleasant enough, a little vanilla and some more of that sarsaparilla but it light overall.

This is an okay root beer, the biggest flaw is the Head. The flavor will probably not get many haters nor fanboys, but it’ll do in a pinch. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs