Aug 072019

A pint of Big Reggie's Root BeeSo last Saturday my wife said that she had heard the town of Excelsior was rather neat and touristy and we should go down there. I also wanted to make my way to the Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, which is vaguely in the same direction so we sallied forth on an adventure. Excelsior is a fun little town. Lots of those touristy shops and site seeing cruises on Lake Minnetonka. After a long walk she suggested that maybe there was a brewery with root beer as we rested in the park. I felt like I had already done such search awhile ago but I pulled out my phone and Google Maps suggested to me Excelsior Brewing (Google knows me too well). It is situated right in downtown Excelsior, a short walk from where we were. So yeah we dropped in and saw that there were sodas to be had including Big Reggie’s Root Beer. It was a really hot day so perfect time to get a pint. Another serendipitous review!

The Body is very sweet but mild with sarsaparilla and vanilla flavors noticeable. The Bite is very mild with low carbonation and no noticeable spice. It is quite smooth though. The Head is short and a little foamy. The Aftertaste is sticky, mild sarsaparilla.

It’s sure is sweet, and smooth. Looking at their website says that they wanted to make it smooth, and they did succeed. Overall it’s not particularly unique, but is fine on a hot day after walking about Excelsior. Snag a brew and some snacks and all. Their other soda flavors, Honey Lemonade, Orange, and Grape are nice as well. There’s also a cool classic arcade cabinet with lots of games that is free. It’s worth dropping by if you’re in the area.

Three kegs

Excelsior Brewing Brew Vats

The Excelsior Brewing brew vats.

The Excelsior Brewing craft soda taps

The Excelsior Brewing craft soda taps. Orange, Grape, Honey Lemonade, and Root Beer

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.