Apr 062016

Pint of Ice Harbor Brewing Company Root BeerI discovered the Ice Harbor Brewing Company several years ago when my younger sister returned from her mission. She flew into Pasco, WA and we all went to meet her. I did a google search and found that they had root beer but we didn’t have time to go there. I swore that the next time I was in the Tri-Cities, I would get that brew. And then my little brothers went off on their missions, and I didn’t have the brau. But then last week they came back, and I went to meet them at the airport, and finally we could all go out to eat and celebrate with my parents and my aunt and uncle. Ice Harbor Brewing Company has two locations in Kennewick, and they are only about five blocks apart. We went to their location at the marina on Clover Island in the Columbia River, which is more family friendly with better food. They don’t do any of the brewing there though, sadly. We all ordered root beer and they asked if we just wanted pitchers, to which I responded that I was a reviewer and I’d like my pint freshly filled from the tap with lots of foam if possible. They first brought it in a plastic soda cup which I said was unacceptable and to bring me a proper pint. Obviously they don’t get too many root beer snobs in there.

The Body is rich and creamy with the perfect level of sweetness and a standard creamy root beer flavor accented with a little honey. The Bite is mild, but present, and the whole thing goes down smooth. The Head is really short, sadly, but foamy. They just need to carbonate it more. The Aftertaste is a bit of honey and vanilla with some wintergreen.

It’s nice and smooth and refreshing. But the lack of good Head kills their chance at a Seal. I mean, it wasn’t so amazing that I was blown away, but it was good enough that with a decent Head it would have just squeaked by. The food there was delicious. I had some amazing halibut and chips but some of their burgers and sandwiches looked even more epic. This place is definitely worth stopping by if you’re in the area, it’s got some of the best brewery root beer I’ve yet found in my fine state.

Three and a half kegs

Halibut and chips and my wife's fish tacos. So so yummy.

Halibut and chips and my wife’s fish tacos. So so yummy.

Jul 252015

A pint of Glacier Brewhouse Root BeerI have the best friends. Especially a fellow by the last name of Clapp aka, The Clappicus Maximus, member extraordinaire of the elite Humans vs Zombies clan The Cowboys from Hell. He likes craft beers the way I like craft root beers (also Fanta but that’s another tale), and is always going to different breweries and taprooms and such. Whenever he sees a unique root beer he’ll text me to see if I’ve tried it, and I’ve gotten quite a few nice brews this way. This last week he discovered this at The Watershed Pub & Kitchen in Northgate, and let me know. I had to head over that same week since Glacier Brewhouse is in Anchorage and Watershed rotates their taps, so who knows when I’d ever find it again. This is only the second root beer I’ve ever had from Alaska, and to be honest, I’m not sure how many other root beers there are from there.

The Body has a medium strength rooty flavor that is lighter on the anise than others of that genre. It’s rich and creamy with wintergreen and vanilla as well is and nice. The Bite isn’t much as this is a very smooth brew. There’s some spice but I’d prefer a bit more. The Head is medium short despite the best efforts of the bartender, but very frothy and lasted the duration of the pint. The Aftertaste is vanilla and wintergreen that turns a bit bitter.

This is pretty good. It’s nice and creamy and doesn’t have anything bad about it. But the flavors are just not all there to get a Seal of Approval. Definitely get this with your meal if your in Anchorage or visiting the Watershed though.

Three and a half kegs

The Glacier Brewhouse Root Beer tap (and some beer taps) at Watershed Pub & Kitchen

The Glacier Brewhouse Root Beer tap (and some beer taps) at Watershed Pub & Kitchen

May 092015

A pint of Dry Dock Brewing Company Root BeerStill in Denver, though fleeing from the land of exorbitant parking fees, I went to a microbrewery I knew was closed yet knew they had their own root beer. They had a parking lot! Since I had an hour before they opened, I wondered if I could find something else that was open right away. My search led me to Dry Dock Brewing Company, out in Aurora, a 20 minute drive from where I was. Parking there was also not a problem (I asked on the phone before I made the trek). Coming from the West Coast, I find a lot of nautical themed breweries. I didn’t expect there to be one in Colorado, because, you know, there’s not really any major lakes or oceans or even navigable rivers. Knowing this inconsistency, they went with Dry Dock, nautically themed sans water.

The Body is mild and creamy with vanilla undertones and notes of wintergreen. The Bite is pretty mild but there is little spice if you really look. The Head is non-existent, unfortunately. The Aftertaste is a mild minty vanilla that is rather pleasant.

This brau is much better than that Wyncoop swill. Nothing spectacular, but something good enough to drink with a meal. I would have liked to even stay for a meal, but they didn’t actually have any food at this brewery. They did have a book of restaurants that would deliver, but I would have rather written about the food made at the brewery itself. It makes me feel kind of like Guy Fieri when I do that, going to these breweries and root beer stands, trying their root beers and their signature dishes. But since I couldn’t do that here, I took to the airport early to chill in the United Lounge, and who should I find next to me at the buffet line, but Guy Fieri himself. Before I could make any small talk someone else asked him for a picture/autograph so I figured I’d leave him alone with the exception of a shout out when he was leaving the lounge to catch his flight. In summary, lots of breweries in Denver, and this one is decent.

Three kegs

Dry Dock Brewing Company

The Dry Dock Brewing Company looking like a dock without water.

The Dry Dock Brewing Company Taps. The root beer is the sad one without a pretty label.

The Dry Dock Brewing Company Taps. The root beer is the sad one without a pretty label.

Dry Dock Brewing Company Brew Vats

I always love a brewery where you can see the brew vats from the bar.