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

Jun 052013

A growler of Rogue Root Beer I know everyone’s been dying for me to do another growler root beer review. It’s been over a year and I always am just picking them up off the tap instead of taking them home for later, but finally your wait is over. I’ve known about Rogue for awhile and was even all set to go to a brewhouse that served it but I ended up winning those tickets to the Silver Tips so I went to Scuttlebutt instead. Then The Root Beer Store told me that they had just had a keg of Rogue returned that was 3/4 full and they’d fill me a growler if I wanted, so it’s a little hard to pass that up. Sadly most of the carbonation foamed out during the filling and the foam lasted an exceedingly long time, but I don’t rate the Head for growler brews. According the the Rogue website, this root beer is a paradox. It says “12 Ingredients: Brewed using 6 Ingredients” Perhaps they’ve just fallen into the physics trap of losing a factor of two somewhere but the contradictions don’t stop there. It also says “No Chemicals, Additives, or Preservatives” but then two of those six (12?) ingredients are “Sodium Benzoate & Citric Acid” So either the brown sugar they use is rich is sodium benzoate or something (two things actually) don’t add up (pun intended).

The Body is full but not creamy. There’s a fruity molasses flavor in there as well mixed with spices. The Bite is solid from said spices and I’m sure if it had a full carbonation it would give a good kick there as well. The Aftertaste is a complex molasses and spice with a subtle fruity flavor. The molasses flavor isn’t overbearing but still not my favorite.

So it’s really disappointing. I want to like this but I don’t really. It’s ok, but doesn’t really live up to its possibilities given the ingredient list. I may try it again on tap if I encounter it just to see if maybe it was sitting around for too long or the loss of carbonation somehow sabotaged the flavor, but for now, it’s just a drinkable.

Three kegs