Oct 032018

A pint of Two Brother's Brewery Cinnamon Root Beer Two weeks ago I was back in Chicago and there was only one root beer that was on my mind. The root beer was one I’d tried to get before, I’d gone to the restaurant and ordered it. They said they didn’t have it but another tap room might. So, just to be sure I called the tap root and they confirmed they had it. But, when I showed up, the bar tender said they didn’t and sorry, next time I should ask to speak to the bar tender. This, of course, did not leave me feeling happy about the Two Brothers Brewery. They said they were out because their brewing equipment for the root beer was under repairs. Also that the root beer is actually brewed over a period of 21 days, yet there’s no alcohol so I think that means they take all of the ingredients minus the sugars and start brewing and don’t add yeast or something. However it works that’s what they say they do and they make a cinnamon root beer which made me hope it was like the old Myers Avenue Red. Anyways, when I landed I gave them a call to confirm that they did have their root beer, and then I drove down and ordered some.

The Body is smooth and sweet and largely dominated by a strong and spicy cinnamon flavor. There’s a solid sassafras core beneath it all as well but the cinnamon steals the show. It’s very unique. The Bite is nice and spicy and hot, giving a true cinnamon burn if you drink it too fast. The Head is medium height and is sufficiently foamy to last awhile. The Aftertaste is a sweet, slightly burning cinnamon.

Yum! It’s really good, though I wish it had some creamy vanilla to compliment that cinnamon. Nevertheless, it’s still a solid, yummy brew that performs well in every category. I sat on the fence quite a bit with this one, it’s right on the line between a 3.5 and a 4. Maybe I should go down to 3.5 because of the troubles of getting it, but maybe it should get bonus points because of that unique cinnamon flavor. I’ve been in this position before and I’ll need to take the same decision. If there’s any doubt, no Seal, because a Seal of Approval brew should be overwhelmingly good. Still, it’s uniqueness merit’s a visit if you’re ever in the Chicago area. Their food is yummy too.

Three and a half kegs

My food at Two Brother's Round House

My meal of a reuben and fresh cut potato chips. It was so good.

Sep 262018

A pint of Maple Island Brewing Maple Root BeerSurprise! There’s another Maple Island Brewing root beer! I didn’t even know myself until I showed up. I mean, I’d discovered the brewery the first time I went to Stillwater and was walking around, and then brought my family back to try it (and walk around) and then I discover they make not one, but two different root beers! If this review came out of nowhere for you guys, that’s how I felt, no foreshadowing, no preparation, just more root beer. As their website says, “[their] name is Maple Island, isn’t it? Gotta have a maple-flavored rootbeer.” I wholeheartedly agree, and also realize that if I’d spent a bit more time actually researching them I probably wouldn’t have been surprised. But whatever. I figured the best way to solve this problem was to review their root beer, walk through the downtown and do the shoppings and stair climbings, and then end right back where we started and have the maple, which is what we proceeded to do.

The Body is rich with a nice maple flavor that doesn’t overpower. There’s a little tinge of sarsaparilla and some vanilla in there. The Bite is very smooth, not really any spice to speak of. The Head is super short and gone quickly. It’s barely a Head at all. The Aftertaste is maple and vanilla. It’s very yummy.

The flavor is very nice, but that Head and lack of spices really draw it down. You can tell they didn’t just take their root beer recipe and throw in some extra maple, they went for something extra smooth and rich. I like it a lot, better then their original, but not enough for a Seal, not without a foamy Head, sorry. But still good, so yeah, definitely make Stillwater a destination. Three draft root beers a mere 10 minutes from each other and a nice historic downtown. And stairs, gotta climb those stairs.

Three and a half kegs

The Maple Island Brewing Root Beer Taps

The Maple Island Brewing Root Beer Taps

Historic Downtown Stillwater

Historic Downtown Stillwater, looking toward’s those stairs at the very far end.

Historic Downtown Stillwater

Historic Downtown Stillwater, looking away from the stairs, in front of the brewery.

Sep 192018

A pint of Maple Island Brewery Root Beer So remember how I said Stillwater was worth a walk around? I thought my family should see that quaint little town, and walk up those stairs and it had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that there just happened to be another brewery in the historic downtown that also happened to make their own root beer. Nope, definitely not, it was all because I felt they needed to experience that lovely little town… cause it was Saturday and the weather was lovely, probably the last lovely summer weather weekend of the year. So we parked right by the brewery, Maple Island Brewing, and went to get a root beer first thing because of course I did. It’s a fun brewery with live music sometimes and a great game where you pound nails into a bloc of wood using the small side of a hammer (which I totally destroyed the rest of my family on) and free popcorn and food trucks and things. But they make a root beer and that’s all I really cared about.

The Body is very sweet with a sarsaparilla flavor accented by wintergreen and a little vanilla. I think there’s a tad bit of anise in there too. The Bite is mild, with only a little spice and not a lot of carbonation. There really isn’t any Head at all, sadly. The Aftertaste is a faint vanilla that I wish were stronger.

So, not bad at all. It’s yummy enough but that lack of Head costs them serious points. Also it could be a little stronger all around. But it’s a fine enough brew that if you’re already touristing about in that quaint little town and climbing up tall stairs and whatnot you should drop on in for a pint.

Three kegs

Maple Island Brewing in historic downtown Stillwater

Maple Island Brewing in historic downtown Stillwater

Maple Island Brewing Vats

The brewing vats.