May 062015

Americana Cream Stlye Root Beer BottleI found this in Seattle shortly after I began my eternal quest to review every gourmet root beer in the world. It was the first spring actually. I’d gone with some friends to a Mariners game and across the street from Safeco Field I found three different varieties in a mini-mart. Since the security was much less stringent, I actually took them into the game with me since I didn’t want to go back to the car. This brew is microcrafted, which I’ve never seen before. I’ve seen plenty of hand crafted and microbrewed, but never microcrafted. The label on this has got a lot going on, but it’s all very patriotic. It is Americana after all, so there’s got to be a bald eagle and The Liberty Bell. Then add some old fashioned squiggly lines that I’m sure have some sort of formal name but I don’t care to check and voilá, a truly American label, nay, an Americana label.

At first this was ok but the licorice in the Aftertaste became overpowering so I could barely choke it down. If you are someone who likes licorice in your root beer I am sure you will love this. I, however, despise it. The Body isn’t that good and the Head is lacking. Bite is too much with the licorice.

As you can tell, I don’t really like a strong licorice flavor in my root beer, and this is the antithesis of that. With a very strong licorice Aftertaste building, it soon masked everything else until it was just a black licorice stick, liquified and attacking me. Quite a shame, if it were better I’d drink it on President’s Day or Constitution Day or something like that but since it’s nasty, I’ll just drink something else. See how it rates against other root beers.

1.5 out of 5 kegs

May 022015

A pint of Wyncoop Brewing Company Root Beer A week or so ago found me in Denver because, electric vehicles (EVs). I’m sure it’s no coincidence that those also happen to be my initials, but rather a higher power at work. Anyway, I was there and was talking EVs with other EV experts doing EV things because we’re going to change the way you drive and save the world and what not. When all was said and done I found myself with a rental car (non-EV sadly) and four hours before I needed to be at the airport. Since all of my expenses were being reimbursed (and even if they weren’t) I decided to go a questing for brau! I quickly searched Google maps and found Wyncoop Brewing Company. I called and when they said they had their own house root beer I jumped in the car, set the GPS, and was off! It was only when I arrived in downtown and saw the multitudes of Rockies fans heading to the nearby stadium that I realized I may be in for some problems. Parking problems. The brewery doesn’t have its own lot and everything was labeled as event parking at a flat $25. I finally found a garage a few blocks away with the much more reasonable $2 every 15 minutes. I decided to skip the meal at that price, and ran to try the root beer.

The Body is very weak, slightly sour, and fruity. There’s a nice aroma like it would be a full creamy root beer, but when you drink it’s airy if that makes sense. The Bite is rather non-existent, though it is very smooth. The Head is a decent height with good staying power. The Aftertaste has the slightest hints of caramel and vanilla, like the ghost of a delicious creamy root beer.

So I’m not sure what was going on, but they brewed one terrible brew. Maybe it was the high altitude affecting my taste buds, but despite smelling good, it had no depth and was watery. Definitely glad I didn’t stick around. Though it will always bother me a bit that I didn’t get to try any of their food, the parking was too much, the root beer too bad, and there were other root beers to try.

1.5 out of 5 kegs

The Wyncoop Brewing Company Taps. Notice the Root Beer at the back.

The Wyncoop Brewing Company Taps. Notice the Root Beer at the back.

Inside the Wyncoop Brewing Company. I'm sure there is some significance to the bronze gorilla.

Inside the Wyncoop Brewing Company. I’m sure there is some significance to the bronze gorilla.

Apr 292015

Stone Cellar Root Beer Bottle This stuff comes from the Stone Cellar Brewpub in Appleton, Wisconsin. Stone Cellar is the state’s oldest brewpub and is housed in a building built over 150 years ago as a brewery. There’s been some change in names over the years and fires and closures, but they are currently stronger than ever before and expanding as well. Their philosophy is on local sustainable and organic offerings to improve the community and the world or something like that. Their root beer bottle is pretty sweet, what with the stone arch and painted letters and whatnot. I always prefer a painted bottle over a label since the former will last longer in my root beer bottle collection.

The Body is extremely light. The only flavors other than sugar are the subtlest hints of ginger and maybe some sarsaparilla. There is also the faintest trace of fruity in the nearly flavorless drink. The Bite has some sharp carbonation burn but nothing else. The Head is tall and frothy and is most excellent. It’s a shining beacon in the otherwise dismal brew. The Aftertaste is merely a shadow of sugar and fruity that’s gone before you even realize it was there.

Huh. It’s not even like those herb tea root beers that are good but not root beer. This stuff is the color of sparkling apple cider and not only does it not taste like root beer; it doesn’t really taste like anything. I wonder who, as a child, grew up drinking something like this and thinking it was root beer. They say on the back of the bottle “Lighter Than The Rest But Still The Best!” They got the first part right for sure. See how it rates against other root beers.

1.5 out of 5 kegs