Oct 072020

Lakefront Brewery Golden Maple Root Beer Bottle Another blonde root beer! I mean, they don’t call it a blonde root beer, they call it golden, but it’s clearly a blonde root beer, even though you’re just looking at an empty bottle it was a nice blonde color. I should probably take pictures of a full bottle but I didn’t from the beginning so I couldn’t for all of them which means inconsistencies which I hate and… I think this is only number three for me so far, so I’m excited. Also, a maple root beer, which I love. As a maple syrup maker, I love all things maple. Lakefront Brewery is in Milwaukee and was started in 1987. They have made their root beer for some time, but it used to always be in plastic bottles, which of course made me frustrated. But now they have seen the light, and put it in glass, where all gourmet root beers deserve to live (and kegs, but anyways). So now that I can finally, after all these years, try this, was it worth the wait?

The Body is sweet with a subtle maple flavor complimenting a solid core. There’s a hint of vanilla in there as well. The Bite isn’t very spicy but is a little harsh feeling. It doesn’t finish smooth and I like a smooth finish. The Head is nice and tall with medium staying power. The Aftertaste is a mild maple vanilla flavor that while pleasant, isn’t amazing.

This is good, just not great. It needs a little more, the maple is nice, but some more complexity of flavors would push it to the next level, the Seal of Approval level. But it’s still a fine root beer that if you’re a maple lover or a blonde root beer lover, or just a regular root beer lover, you’ll want to give it a try. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Sep 022020

BJ's Handcrafted Root Beer Bottle I remember back in 2014 I serendipitously discovered BJ’s and their root beer. Jump forward to 2017 and they started bottling it, but I had just moved away from any state that had a BJ’s and I was left to wonder if I should ever get a chance to try it again. Especially since I’d learned that they’d reformulated their recipe to have all natural flavors, including alginate, my very favorite ingredient! They have a very cool bottle too, with important dates in their root beer history on the back, which makes it easy for me to throw out facts without even needing to type key words into Google. So convenient. Anyhow, I was all locked down by Covid and the helpful Root Beer Tracker was able to make it to the post office and get some out to me. So finally, I could give it a review.

The Body is sweet with a little vanilla and a generic creamy root beer flavor. The Bite is rather lacking without any real spices to speak of. The Head is quite tall and foamy but does fizz down a little too quickly. The Aftertaste is a mild vanilla, cane sugar, and sassafras mix.

This is a nice middle of the road brew that everyone will enjoy but no one will rave about. It seems a little weaker than I remember from on tap, but has a better Head. I think all in all, it rates about the same. Good job at least BJ’s there are plenty worse brews out there. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs

Aug 052020

Sprecher Maple Root Beer Bottle Sprecher is at it again. I don’t think there’s been another brand that’s given me as many posts, except for maybe Tommyknocker, but while they do it in all the wrong ways (changing a recipe over and over and over making it progressively worse), Sprecher is just making new and innovative products and flavors, building off of the success of their flagship brew. I seriously want to drive to their brewery one of these days and personally thank them for their positive contributions to the root beer world. Maybe after Covid is done. It’s only one state away. So this time they’re making a maple root beer, which is probably may favorite type of “flavor” root beer. This is made with pure Wisconsin maple syrup, much like their flagship brew is made with raw Wisconsin honey. If it’s anything like their flagship, it will be amazing.

The Body is dark and minty and really sweet. Maple syrup is noticeable after the initial sassafras and wintergreen start to fade. It’s smooth but not creamy, and there’s a distinct lack of vanilla which I feel would accent the maple far better than wintergreen. The Bite is very smooth, but lacking in spices. The Head is very tall with nice staying power. The Aftertaste is wintergreen and maple, an unexpected combo which works better than I would expect.

So that was rather unexpected. They made it a dark and minty type with the added flavor of maple syrup. I’ve never had anything like that before, and after nearly 450 root beers, that’s pretty impressive. Yet, I just don’t think it works quite right. Those flavors of maple and wintergreen kind of clash and it makes for a brew that’s interesting, but not quite top notch. Sorry Sprecher, you didn’t quite pull it off this time. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs