Jul 312019

A pint of Under Pressure Version 2 Root Beer Two weeks ago I was out and about with my lil’ sister who’s moved to my area. We were shopping some second hand stores and I noticed that there was a brewery in the same little strip mall that I’d never heard of. So we dropped by. I sauntered up to the bar and asked if they had root beer. To my surprise they said they did make their own root beer. In fact I was so surprised I couldn’t decide on whether to try and review it right then and there or just come back later since it was a mere 10 minute drive from my house. I opted for the former, but such indecision definitely undermined my whole sauntering act. Oh well. The brewery just opened earlier this year, a reason I’d missed it in my root beer searching when I moved here. It is all nerdy and medieval, with armor and medieval style candle chandeliers and armor and what not. They have signups for MTG and DnD games and chess boards built into some of the heavy solid wood tables. The brewers sport some amazing beards as well. It’s definitely my kind of place. The root beer though…

The Body is mild and fruity and herbal. There’s a sarsaparilla flavor with hints of sour with a complex mix of other flavors. It’s not very sweet, for a root beer, either. The Bite is also mild. There’s a little cinnamon bite but not much. There’s low carbonation too. The Head is short and not particularly foamy. The Aftertaste is a little sour with sarsaparilla.

So, it’s an herb tea root beer, and while being quite refreshing, doesn’t taste much like a root beer should in my opinion. They did say that this is their Version 2 Root Beer which they make sometimes and they were out of their signature Barely Root Beer. They it’s similar but different, so I’m hoping I like it more, as the place deserves to have a root beer that I’ll enjoy as much as the ambiance there. Until then, I must sadly give this a good drink/bad root beer rating, but I’ll be back when their Barley brew is ready.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

The Under Pressure Brewing brew vats and some of the decor.

The Under Pressure Brewing brew vats and some of the decor. I couldn’t get that whole trumpet in the picture. I will blow it next time I go there.

Jul 172019

Two weeks ago I took a nice long vacation and went and visited my parents back in Central Washington. We took the train which I highly recommend. One of the days we went to visit Ohme Gardens in Wenatchee, which is a lovely alpine garden with lots of trails and fountains and ponds and streams and the like. Very picturesque. But since it’d been awhile since I’d been there, I did the search and you know what’s coming, Root Beer! I started calling breweries, and stopped as soon as I started, because the very first place I called, Badger Mountain Brewing, said they did, in fact, make their own root beer. Where to eat for lunch was settled! Badger Mountain Brewing was started in 2012 and has produces nearly 2000 barrels of brewed stuff a year. They also have a restaurant in their tap room with some of the most epic food imaginable, which I’ll get to in a bit, but first, the root beer.

The Body is earthy and isn’t overly sweet for a root beer. There’s a sarsaparilla and anise flavor in there as well, but not in a bad way. The Bite compliments the Body well, with cinnamon and nutmeg giving a nice kick. The Head is medium tall and foamy and lasts. The Aftertaste is mild anise and sarsaparilla.

So, it’s kind of the whole herb tea type root beer, but not far enough outside the “normal” spectrum to still be a good root beer, not a Seal, but good. It pairs exceptionally well with food too, which is nice, because as I said, this place has amazing food. I had their signature Badger Burger, which was a patty of brisket and bacon, with onion strings and beer cheese sauce on it. It was unbelievably delicious, and I’ve had a lot of the brewery burgers. The fries are fresh cut and super good as well. This place is definitely worth visiting, for the food alone, with that nice root beer the cherry on top to seal the deal.

Three and a half kegs

The Badger Mountain Brewing Taps.

The Badger Mountain Brewing Taps. The root beer tap is the far right.

The Badger Burger with fries.

The Badger Burger with fries. Words cannot adequately describe how good this is.

The Badger Mountain Brew Vats.

The Badger Mountain Brew Vats.

Jul 102019

A pint of Northern Soda Company Butterscotch Root BeerStill at the Northern Soda Company tap room, after I’d finished a pint of their most excellent root beer. I decided to play some games. In addition to their board games, they have some pinball machines and old arcade games. It was with great disappointment, however, that I discovered that their classic pinball machine didn’t cost a quarter like at Blue Sun, but a whole dollar a game. I went to try a cheaper game, but that was still fifty cents, and it ate my quarters without ever letting me play. I was less than pleased, but whatever, I got a chess board and played a nice game of chess with my son while I snacked on some popcorn and learned more about their company and the tap room. It was also their Make-Your-Own-Soda-Day, where for a price you could mix your own syrup flavors into a spring top bottle which they would then fill with carbonated water and cap so you could have it later. Interesting concept. Maybe I’ll try it sometime, but first I needed a pint of that butterscotch root beer.

The Body is rich and minty with a strong butterscotch flavor. These two flavors don’t really mix well, so despite the sweetness and the creamy vanilla, it just doesn’t taste right. The Bite is very mild, a little lacking I’d say. The Head is rather short and not very foamy. The Aftertaste is more of the mismatched butterscotch and wintergreen.

Nope. Sorry. It doesn’t work. They’ve got a good root beer, and butterscotch can go well with a good root beer, but not this type of root beer. Not with that creamy minty flavor profile. Minty butterscotch is not a good thing. Go try it, take a Lifesavers wintergreen and one of those butterscotch discs and suck them both at the same time. That’s what this is like. So I’ll pass in the future. Like the overpriced and coin eating arcade games, not everything there is top notch. But their original root beer is, so still give it a visit.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Northern Soda Company Tap Room Arcade Games

The arcade games at the tap room. Shame they’re not all a quarter.

The Northern Soda Company product equipment.

The Northern Soda Company product equipment.

More of the production equipment and pallets of soda.

More of the production equipment and pallets of soda.