Sep 142016

A snifter of Cloud Nine Brewery Root BeerBack in August, after my previous road trip was over, a family reunion took place in Boise, ID. That meant another road trip which of course meant more root beers to find. My searching found two along my route. The first was Cloud Nine Brewery in Boise itself. I went Friday night with my sister, brother-in-law, and two of my younger brothers (I have a big family). It’s a nano-brewpub built in a little strip mall and has only been around since 2012. Nevertheless, it is rather highbrow as to their food and brews, using organic, locally sourced ingredients. The root beer itself comes in snifters, which is something I can get behind, as long as it’s amazing brew.

The Body is a light herbal tea type, with sarsaparilla, burdock, honey, and licorice featuring prominently. But they don’t mingle well and the whole flavor is medicinal and rather off. The Bite is pretty mild but the texture isn’t smooth, it’s kind of gritty. The Head is nice and frothy so props on that. The Aftertaste is both bitter and buttery. I like the buttery but not the bitter.

Well, it’s complex and interesting but they didn’t pull off a proper root beer. It’s rather a mess of herbs and roots that you wish were called something else. Oh well. The staff was very friendly and let me tour their brewing facilities to get some pictures. I just wish I could have left them with a good review.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

The Cloud Nine Taps

The fancy taps.

Some of the brewing vats at Cloud Nine Brewery.

Some of the brewing vats at Cloud Nine Brewery.

Aug 312016

A pint of Brasserie Saint James Root Beer Brew number four from my amazing Tesla Gigafactory Root Beer Road trip, which makes this the most successful trip yet (at least in terms of quantity). When we last left off, I was gallivanting about downtown Reno with the voice actor for Oblio in his Model X, finding root beers in casinos. I knew of one final place, Brasserie Saint James, and figured that it was now or never. The brewery is built in an old ice factory and when the current owners bought it, they also got the water rights to the spring on which it is built. This means that they don’t have to use the city water for their brewing. Their decor is very rustic and I really like it, but of greater importance is that they make their own root beer.

The Body is fruity, so fruity, with a little sour that masks the other flavors. The Bite is nothing other than a little carbonation. There is hardly any Head at all and what little there is vanishes is seconds. The Aftertaste is more light fruity.

Yuk. Why is it so fruity? Maybe it’s very old. Maybe it’s a bad batch. Maybe they like it like that. Or maybe, they just don’t care about their root beer. Whatever the reason, I am not impressed at all. The coolest looking place has the worst root beer of my entire trip. Their food looked absolutely amazing, but I wasn’t hungry, so I just took one picture of someone else’s order and wished I was in the appetite for it.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Just look at this deliciousness. I wish I had eaten it.

Just look at this deliciousness. I wish I had eaten it.

Brasserie Saint James Bar

This is my kind of place, if they only had made a good root beer…

Aug 242016

A mug of Don's Root Beer.Brew number three of the my Tesla Gigafactory Root Beer Road Trip. It was Saturday, as Friday’s TMC Connect and Gigafactory party left no time for root beer hunting. I scoured the net and found this root beer being made at The Brew Brothers, a brewery in the Eldorado Casino a 10 minute or so drive from us. It’s called Don’s because Don was the brother that makes it, I guess. I tried to recruit any and all who would come (partly because I didn’t have a car). The only one I could find was Mike Lookinland, who always called me “Doctor” and wanted to know, every time I went to catch a Pokemon, if it was a diglet. We took his Model X, and after a stop for a car wash we arrived at the casino. The brewery itself was nice enough, despite being in a casino in Reno, and they even had frosty mugs for the root beer.

The Body is the sweet and creamy type, albeit a little generic. It’s got a rich texture but no particular flavors jump out at you. The Bite is pretty mild as well. The Head is okay, though a little on the short side and fizzes away too quickly. The Aftertaste is a light sassafras and the slightest hint of anise.

This is a nice solid brew, nothing exceptional at all but plenty good to eat with dinner. I give this a solid 3 kegs, better than the Great Basin brew, but not so much as to merit another half a keg. We weren’t actually very hungry so we just shared a plate of nachos. I forgot to take a picture of them unfortunately.

Three kegs

The Brew Brothers

The Brew Brothers. It looks like it’s outside, even though it’s inside.

The Brew Brothers' brewing vats.

The Brew Brothers’ brewing vats.