Oct 232019

A glass of Delta Beer Lab Root BeerLast week I was in Madison, Wisconsin doing what I do best, working and finding root beer in the evenings. Madison is kind of a disappointment in that regard, for while they have cheese aplenty, and many small craft breweries, the amount of root beer in said breweries is rather lacking. Which strikes me as odd since cities in Minnesota with half as many people will have multiple craft root beers on taps just waiting for me to try. But it took quite a bit of searching for me to find one. To be fair, a lot of places do have Sprecher and Baumeister on tap there, and fine brews they are, but still, they can do better. But anyways, Delta Beer Lab was started only in February of this year by a couple of brewery veterans who’d worked their way up. One of them even was head brewer at a place in Minneapolis. Perhaps that’s why he, unlike so many others in Madison, decided to do a root beer. The brewery itself is like a chemistry class/lab, which is fun, as you can get little beakers and flasks full of brew. They are also very socially progressive there, take that as you feel inclined, which includes refusing tips and just paying their employees a living wage with benefits. I loath paying tips (just tell me how much it really costs) so I can get behind that. But more importantly, can I get behind the root beer?

The Body is mild and pleasant but not as sweet as most root beers. There’s sarsaparilla and vanilla flavors that make it taste rather Barqsy. The Bite is light on spice, solid on carbonation. The Head is nice and tall and foamy. The Aftertaste is a mild sarsaparilla with vanilla that ends with a fruity tinge.

It’s a decent brew, not worth a pilgrimage on its own, but if you happen to find yourself there with your friends, you won’t be regretting your purchase, which is more than I can say for a lot of root beers.

Three kegs

The Delta Beer Lab Bar

The Delta Beer Lab Bar. It makes the science nerd in me happy.

Sep 112019

A pint of Kinney Creek Brewery Rah Rah Root Beer After my trip to the flow stone filled Mystery Cave, we had to drive back through Rochester, so I figured we should get another root beer. I wasn’t actually looking for two root beers but when I was searching for the name LTS Brewing Company before we left, Kinney Creek Brewery showed up in the top hits and then I knew there were two (at least) breweries in Rochester with their own root beer so I couldn’t resist trying both. Kinney Creek was started in 2012 and was the first brewery in Rochester since prohibition. Evidently the city still clung to very restrictive alcohol laws which kept breweries out. But the owners wanted to make beer, and they also acknowledged that not everyone wants beer so they made a root beer. And then the brewer visited Hawaii and found that breweries there don’t make root beer for the most part, but do kombucha, so he added that too. Their taproom is full of games and rustic wooden furniture and is quite the fun spot to hang out while you sip your brew. I don’t know why it’s called Rah Rah Root Beer. I didn’t ask. I should have asked.

The Body is very sweet with prominent sarsaparilla and vanilla flavors. It almost trends into fruitiness but not quite. The Bite is mild and smooth. The Head is medium height and solidly foamy. The Aftertaste is a sarsaparilla flavor that builds and builds as you drink it.

It’s a really good sarsaparilla type root beer that just needs a little more oomph to push it over the edge. But it’s still enjoyable enough and I tip my hat to the intrepid brewer who opened Rochester to craft beer and by so doing brought out more craft root beers. So stop by and raise a pint to the man who made it possible.

Three and a half kegs

Part of the Kinney Creek Taproom.

Part of the Kinney Creek Taproom. Lots of wood and games and wooden games

The Kinney Creek Taps

The Kinney Creek taps. I like how they spell out Kinney Creek. Root beer on the far right.

Sep 042019

A pint of LTS Brewing Company Root BeerSeal of Approval This past Labor Day weekend I went with the family to Mystery Caves in the southern part of Minnesota. It’s a very cool cave system with lots of flow stone and guided tours. On the way down we passed through Rochester and of course I’d already identified a place (or two) to get some draft root beer. So we stopped at LTS Brewing Company. The LTS stands for Life’s Too Short with the follow up of Drink Good (root) Beer. I agree, that I should only drink the best root beer, and you should too, so I review it for you. Anyhow, it’s a fun tap room with games and popcorn and seasonings for the popcorn like Old Bay and Tabasco. They always have root beer and butter beer on tap and rotate through other flavors of craft soda. Evidently they’re going to have food in the future. They only opened up in 2015 so it takes time to really fully bloom or something. So, is it worth the visit? Yes.

The Body is sweet and rich and creamy. There’s a prominent minty wintergreen flavor wrapped in yummy vanilla around a solid root beer core. The Bite is nice and spiced with good carbonation yet finishes oh so smooth. The Head is short, yet sufficiently frothy to make an enjoyable experience. The Aftertaste is vanilla and wintergreen with the slightest bitter notes.

Delicious, quality, brew! Reminds me of Ozark and River City. An old fashioned creamy, spicy, minty sort that thankfully isn’t strong on licorice. I truly enjoy this stuff, and highly recommend dropping by these guys if you’re in the area.

4 kegs

LTS Brewing Company

The LTS Brewing Company Taps

The LTS Brewing Company Taps

The LTS brew vats

The brew vats