Apr 032024

Another trade with anthony. Bowl & Basket is a ShopRite brand, which was something I didn’t know about before I went looking. They don’t have Shoprite anywhere I regularly visit so I’m rather out of the loop when it comes to what they offer. They’ve got all sorts of taglines on their label, “Quality Assured” “Small Batch Crafted” “Cane Sugar Soda” and more, which is ironically typical of generic store brands. Each bit of text has a different font and size for some reason, I get not trying to be monotonous but it is a little all over the place. But they at least put it in glass so I can’t really complain because I get to review it.

The Body is sweet with a classic, yet generic flavor. There’s some vanilla and wintergreen though it isn’t very creamy. The Bite is prickly yet mild on spice. The Head is medium tall and fizzes away at about a medium speed. The Aftertaste is a sweet vanilla.

It’s a generic but pleasant and refreshing brew. As expected from a store brand with a bunch of generic taglines. But it isn’t unpleasant and assuming it’s cheaper than the other gourmet root beers, it could be what you get in a pinch if you’re stocking up for an event where you don’t like the people that much? I don’t really know. It was fun enough to drink. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs
Mar 062024
Seal of Approval

I do love a seasonal root beer. I love root beer in general and then that variation that is flavored root beers, but seasonal flavored root beers are much more rare so they make me happy in a way that few things can. Parlor I’ve reviewed before. They do a fine job with their original and butterscotch root beer. Every fall they also release their pumpkin root beer, which is done in partnership with Blackcraft Clothing. They specialize in goth, cult, witch type clothing stuff, which fits the theme of Halloween. I got this in a trade with anthony, which is good because I didn’t want to mail order a whole case and they don’t sell it local at all. While I’ve had good experiences with Parlor, the only other pumpkin spice root beer I had didn’t turn out too well, so I was cautious coming in.

The Body is sweet and rich with a strong pumpkin spice complimenting a solid classic root beer core. It’s really delicious. The Bite is amazing with that aforementioned spice, clove being the prominent but others backing it up. The carbonation is good and it finishes smooth. The Head is great, tall and frothy. The Aftertaste is vanilla and clove and really quite pleasant.

Wow! This is a fine brew. I really love that pumpkin spice they’ve got. Parlor has done it again, took their classic, solid root beer flavor and amped it up to a work of art. The subtle pumpkin and the strong spice really make for my now most recommended Halloween brew and my favorite Parlor offering yet. Shame I can’t get it year round. See how it rates against other root beers.

4.5 Kegs
Feb 072024

Ah Samuel Clemens, that father of American literature and great humorist. His life bookended by Haley’s comet. Writer of one of the oldest isekai novels. Born in Hannibal Missouri, his childhood home is now a museum. The town markets itself as America’s Hometown. Therefore it is only natural that there would be a drive-in with a big root beer mug sign that’s been operating for over 80 years, making their own root beer. I, sadly, did not visit this place, though I feel now such a trip is both warranted and very doable. Rather it was the magnanimity of anthony who sent me this along with some other fine trades. I honestly have never of a dinette. I had to look it up and I guess it really isn’t a restaurant per se, but whatever, that’s what they want to call their drive-in to be artsy or old-timey or folky or something.

The Body is sweet with loads of vanilla. So much vanilla you’d almost think it were a vanilla root beer. Other than vanilla it’s a classic flavor profile. The Bite is very mild, no spices really. The Head is short but fizzy. It doesn’t last long but also doesn’t disappear immediately. The Aftertaste is that luscious vanilla.

I really love that vanilla flavor. This one has such a lovely flavor, I can see why they’ve been in business for so long. Sadly, I feel it needs just a little more Bite and/or a little more Head to really push itself into Seal territory. But it was one of the hardest calls I’ve had to make. Perhaps fresh from their stand (since the recipe is usually slightly different) this brew would rate higher, but as it is I can only give it one of the highest three and a halfs. See how it rates against other root beers

Three and a half kegs