Jul 262017

Mug Root Beer BottleI found it. I finally found it. After 18 years of searching the root beer world for Mug in glass bottles, someone kindly pointed me to a little known website that sold this in a blog comment. This whole blog is worth it just for that comment, because I can finally tell people what I think about one of the most common root beers out there. To put how badly I’ve wanted this into perspective. I had thought of calling a Pepsi bottler that does those little stubby glass bottles, and ordering a custom run of Mug in glass bottles. Would I need to buy a whole pallet for that? A whole truck load? I don’t know, but I was actually in the process of trying to do that. Yup. Now only one major brand left, Hires, we’ll see how long that takes me. What else to say about one of the most common brands of root beer out there? This is bottled by West Jefferson and is made with real sugar and not HFCS. So, what do I think of this long expected root beer?

The Body is rich and creamy with a little vanilla. There’s some licorice and wintergreen too and all it mingles together like a generic root beer barrel candy. There isn’t much Bite, it’s smooth. The Head is a good height but could use a little more staying power. The Aftertaste is wintergreen with a bit of licorice and vanilla.

Not bad. It’s a nice middle of the road soda with a slight leaning towards the darker side. It’s better than Dad’s and Barq’s, though not as good as A&W. I’d drink it again if I could find it bottled locally and not mail order at $25 for two. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Jul 192017

Rider Root Beer Bottle This root beer more unique origins than most. I mean most do have some back story, but this root beer was developed by the students of Theodore Roosevelt High School in Des Moines, IA. The science department developed the brew itself, since getting the right flavor is a delicate science. The label was created by the art department and I really like it. A high school and a moose and a a big ‘R’. It’s classy and fun. Their entrepreneurship students came up with the business plan and marketing. Then they just needed someone to make it for them. So they went to the local brewery, Confluence Brewing Company, which brewed and bottled in these quart growler things that my parents say look like the old hydrogen peroxide bottles. I think this whole story is awesome and I wish my high school had done something like that. They only made around 800 bottles which were sold for $10 each with $5 going back to the school. I tried getting some directly from the brewery but it didn’t happen. Luckily Vince saved the day by getting me one (since he lives in Des Moines).

The Body isn’t very sweet. There’s sarsaparilla and molasses as the prominent flavors with some cinnamon as well, but it they don’t find the proper confluence to create a beautiful harmony. Rather a shrill off-key mess. The Bite is sour with decent cinnamon burn. Half there. The Head is good. It’s medium height with decent staying power. The Aftertaste is some molasses and sour.

Ugh, what did they do? This tries to tread a fine line between being a herb tea brew and a normal root beer, and ends up doing the splits and landing on its groin. I don’t want to be mean to the poor students but, seriously, this is bad. Didn’t they do any research on what good root beer tastes like before they made it? Maybe it’s like how too many chefs spoil the soup, too many students spoil the root beer. I’d like to give them an A for effort, but really, this is more like a D-. Except the art department, they get an A. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Jul 122017

Dad-Gum-It! Butterscotch Root Beer Bottle Another brew from Rocket Fizz. Those makers of strangely themed craft sodas are at it again, this time, rather than go all celebrity themed, they decided to go hunting themed. Finally, a root beer that embraces the most glorious sport and pastime that is hunting. But you can tell that they are true hunters, for they’ve named it Dad-Gum-It! in a clear reference to a frustrated bird hunter. Who’s name is Ryan if the hat is to be believed. I’ve been there Ryan, more times than I care to admit, after burning through all three shots at a single pheasant flying straight away from me. How could I have missed? When just yesterday I was able to shoot quail. QUAIL! They’re like a quarter of the size and move faster. How could I have missed something so much bigger and slower?!? Dad-Gum-It! … well anyways, root beer. And butterscotch root beer. I do like me some butterscotch. Will this be the Seal of Approval brew to console my crushed ego after future bird hunting failures?

The Body is dark and spicy with licorice featuring prominently and some wintergreen as well. I also taste a distinct lack of butterscotch. The Bite is solid and strong from spices and ample carbonation, a little too strong. The Head is excellent! It’s there as long as you drink it (within reason). The Aftertaste is a little wintergreen and licorice. Also, no butterscotch.

Dad-gum-it! They tricked me. I was promised butterscotch. Maybe that’s the whole message of this brew. That what you really want will escape you. Ryan, for all his prowess, was unable to get his birds just like Rocket Fizz, despite their vast collection of soda ingredients, was unable to actually put butterscotch into the root beer. In the end all you’re left with is bitter dissappointment, much like a failed hunting trip. I don’t recommend either. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs