Jan 072015

A Bottle of Captain Jack's Root Beer Soda Argh! Another pirate themed root beer. I’d venture that the pirate theme is the second most popular root beer theme (with dog being the first unfortunately). This is brewed by the Drunk Monkey Brew Werks whose inability to spell ‘works’ properly could be from either the drunkenness or the monkey-ness. I’m not sure. Either way the fine Captain Jack has such a meticulously crafted elaborate website that all will be forgotten. The identity and back story of Captain Jack is unknown, though maybe they were going for Jack Sparrow but didn’t want to infringe on copyright or something. Or perhaps they’re going for Jack Black when he was still alive. Their stated goal is to create eco-sensitive products and locally source materials, the irony of my then having it shipped across the country from Pennsylvania is not lost on me.

The Body is sort of rich and sort of dark. There’s some wintergreen and the slightest bit of honey but not much. There’s a tad bit of Bite but not a lot. It isn’t really very smooth though. The Head is medium in height and frothiness. It lingers but not as long as I prefer. The Aftertaste is some wintergreen.

This stuff is pretty good. I wish the honey had a stronger presence though. The second bottle I had was noticeably better than the first but still within the whole range of what I was thinking. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Dec 312014

A bottle of Journey Shenandoah Sassafras Root BeerSeveral months after I started reviewing root beers my friends and I drove from our tiny town to Seattle to watch our beloved Mariners lose a baseball game. I’m not sure if they actually lost, but statistically speaking, if I was at the game, they probably did. Outside of the ballpark was a mini-mart with several new root beer varieties including this one. The name is rather perplexing. Saying Sassafras Root Beer is like saying beef hamburgers or pork bacon, while true, it’s not generally something you have to mention. “Oh, our root beer is sassafras flavored …” well they’re ALL supposed to be sassafras flavored. I am also not sure where the Shenandoah comes from. The only other time I’ve seen that word is in Choir singing some song about being bound away across the wide Missouri, and this stuff is from Vermont so, yeah confusion abounds.

The Body is weird, the Head is weak, the Aftertaste made me almost vomit, and the Bite has nothing notable.

Oh this is awful. I’m sorry that I wasn’t more descriptive of the awfulness back then but know this, it literally made me sick to my stomach. And not literally in the figurative sense that gets thrown around the internet these days, but I actually felt quite ill after partaking in this … swill. It does have a very pretty bottle though. Some mountain distillery with lots of greenery and an owl and some slick fanning diagonal text and a nifty upside down question mark logo. Yup, this is the literal definition of a 1 Keg brew. See how it rates against other root beers.

One out of five root beer kegs

Dec 242014

Moosejaw_BigI can’t look at the name of this and not think about The Arrogant Worms, a Canadian comedy folk band whose song, The Last Saskatchewan Pirate contains the phrase “A bridge outside of Moose Jaw spans the mighty river. Farmers cross in so much fear their stomachs are a quiver. Because they know that Tractor Jack is hiding in the bay …” (Coincidentally I also had two bottles of Captain Jack’s Root Beer to review right after this one…) It is a glorious song. Interestingly the pizza place and brewery this comes from is named after the town of Arrogant Worms fame. And there’s some homage/connection to Al Capone as well. Why not? It wouldn’t be the first time he was affiliated with root beer. Other than that if there was one thing I could say to describe this brew it would be Sodium Benzoate. Why? Because they want to let you know just how many times they put it in there. It’s listed in parentheses as the last ingredient in the ingredient “Rootbeer Extract”. Then they add a “Sodium Benzoate Solution” which of course contains it in parentheses again, and finally it’s also included in their “Sparkling Foam” ingredient. After each mention of Sodium Benzoate they say “(Preservative)” so you’re getting into nested parentheses. Seriously, we figured out that it was a preservative the first time. So yeah, this brew is chalk full of sodium benzoate evidently.

The Body is sweet and spicy with honey and wintergreen and some slight bit of fruity. There’s a solid spicy Bite. The Head is short, but frothy and lingers. The Aftertaste is some fruity honey and spice. I suspect that the honey used in this was a fruity type honey which is where that flavor comes from.

I like the spicy honey, but not the fruity and the poor Head. And after all of the ballyhooed sodium benozate, I really didn’t notice it in there. All in all it’s pretty decent and would go well with their pizzas I’m sure. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs