Dec 212016

Dunsmuir Brewery Works Root Beer Growler Another growler review, finally! I can hear you all saying that. Yes, I know, I’ve neglected getting growlers because it’s much more fun to just buy it on tap, but with an estimated 2,000 different breweries that make root beer across this great land of ours (my estimate, not even counting Canadia), unless I suddenly win a lottery that I haven’t entered, or have some rich relative who I am not aware I have die and bequeath me a fortune, traveling all over the place getting to them is just not gonna happen. Maybe I could start a GoFundMe … you’d all send me money so I can travel around right? Right? Yeah right. So I’ll have to start trading for growlers. Thankfully I have friends in many places, like The Root Beer Trackers who hit up a lot of different places, like the Dunsmuir Brewery Works in Dunsmuir, CA. The irony is that I actually drove past Dunsmuir this past summer on my my amazing Tesla Gigafactory Root Beer Road Trip, but I didn’t check if there was anything there. I’m pretty sure my friends were getting tired of stopping though, so it’s probably for the best. This brewery is a newer one, only opening in 2009 in a town of less than 2,000 people. So massive props for making a root beer as well.

The Body is not very sweet and despite a nice initial contact, is rather empty and bitter. There is a lot of wintergreen and clove in there. The clove adds to the Bite, which is solid and spicy and wonderful. The Aftertaste, however, is bitter and empty.

I don’t really like this at all. I wish I did, but after the initial wonderful Bite, this brew falls flat on its face by being bitter and empty. Good thing I didn’t get my Tesla caravan to stop for it, they wouldn’t have been happy.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Mar 022016

Growler of Sonoran Root BeerSeal of Approval Another growler review! It’s been so long I bet you thought I didn’t do those anymore. Well I do. I just haven’t had anyone get me brews from in a growler. Draft is more fun if you can get it. Sonoran has been on my radar for a long while, but then they stopped bottling for some reason. Some root beer friends of mine had promised to send me some with a trade but held off for a long time, hoping that it would return to its bottled glory. Over a year passed, and it never returned. So they filled this growler for me and sent it my way. I was worried, because they waited a week to send it. I’d never had a growler older than four days before. Would it would be flat and ruined? Would it taste stale? What’s the fresh life on a growler anyhow?

The Body is sweet and spicy and caramely with some vanilla. There’s something a little off about it though. It’s got a good Bite as well, nice and spicy and even some carbonation despite being from a growler. I don’t rate the Head from a growler, but my first glass still had a decent one. I’m impressed. The Aftertaste is more caramel and vanilla, with a hint of wintergreen. There’s a little something funny that pops up, it may just be that it’s old brew, but it disappears quickly.

Wow, yum, yummy and not ruined at all by being so old. Two weeks may not be that long after all. It even had the best Head of any growler brew I’ve ever had, even though I don’t give points for that. Silly me for worrying, they knew what they were doing all along. Finally a growler review that I can give a Seal of Approval. I can only imagine how this would be fresh out of the tap. Definitely get it if you can.

4 kegs

Oct 302013

Skagit River Brewery Root Beer in a Growler I’ve been chasing after this one for awhile now. I had learned about it from a Google Maps search of “brewery Seattle” and then calling all of the ones that showed up. The Pike Brewing Company said they had Skagit River Brewery Root Beer on tap. It wasn’t for another six months before I found myself near Pike Place doing some charge testing on a Chevy Volt. When I finished up I headed to the brewery to give the Skagit a try. Unfortunately, it wasn’t there. They’d stopped serving it a month before I came and replaced it with Crater Lake Root Beer on tap, ugh. Crater Lake is awful. I kept looking and eventually I heard the Root Beer Store had a keg of it. The owner warned me though, “I remember it being flat, tasteless, and like diet the last time I served it at an event. I hoped it would go good in ice cream. It didn’t. I took it out, and you are welcome to the pony keg. Its in my warehouse……drinker beware.” I reminded him that whether or not I like it is irrelevant, I need to try it to find out. I stopped by later that day and filled my growler, took it home and gave it a good chill before trying the next night.

The Body is sweet but mild and watered down, really watered down. Actually that’s too generous, it tastes like burned sugar water, a little caramely and then nothing. The Bite is virtually nonexistent. The slightest bit of acidic sour burn and then that vanishes as well. The Aftertaste is slight watered down sugar and a little sour acid.

Ok, he was right. This stuff is tasteless. It’s like they brewed sugar and citric acid and then called it a day before remembering that root beer does, in fact, have other ingredients. I never thought I’d say it, but switching this out for Crater Lake is a major improvement. These Skagit guys got lucky that I tried it out of a growler and didn’t evaluate the Head, from the sound of things they would have lost more points for that. Either way though, drinker beware.

One out of five root beer kegs