May 182022

Last week I found myself in Albuquerque doing DERMS things. That’s right, Corona has been defeated to the point where DERMS now takes me traveling places. Huzzah! Glory! Triumph! Root beer!!!! Because my very first trip would of course be somewhere new with root beer to boot. The Rio Bravo Brewing Company is built in the restored historic building from 1949. Their about page doesn’t say when they started, but I think it’s 2015. They seem to have won a lot of awards for their beer. In addition to this brew, they also make a cream soda. When I went the waitress said she didn’t actually like their root beer but rather the cream soda, which didn’t give me high expectations but still, maybe she just didn’t know good root beer.

The Body is weak, bitter, and not very sweet. I get some dark-ish wintergreen that is watered down and not very sweet overall. The Bite is spicy, at least, but not smooth nor particularly complex. The Head is sad, but not completely non-existent, just sad. The Aftertaste is bitter, but thankfully weak.

Actually, she was right, this is objectively terrible in about every way a root beer can be terrible. Why so weak? Why no Head? Why no sweet? This is without doubt one of the worst root beers I’ve had in a long time that wasn’t trying to be weird or fruity or organic or some nonsense, it’s just made bad. Oh well. There’s other root beers in that town that hopefully are better. So when I had my delicious green chili burger, I ordered the cream soda, I’d had enough of their brew. And Wow! So much sweet and creamy vanilla in that cream soda, one of the best I’ve ever had. If you are ever there, get the cream not the root.

1.5 out of 5 kegs
The Rio Bravo Burger with fries and a heavenly smooth cream soda.
May 042022
Seal of Approval

I found this last summer at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store. I’d known about it for awhile and had tried to find it. Everyone told me to just get it from Menard’s, but every time I went to one they didn’t have it. I’m convinced Sprecher purposely makes new root beers hard for me and me only to find. Anyways. Caffeinated root beer. Can’t say I’m a fan in general as I don’t really drink much caffeine so it affects me a lot. Especially since I usually drink my root beers in the evening, I had to make sure to review these in the middle of day. Any ways. It seems like it is just original Sprecher with caffeine added to it, so it should be good.

It has a rich full body that’s sweet and smooth with vanilla and honey flavors. There’s some slight soapy notes and feel from the caffeine, but this isn’t too much to pull it down much. The Bite is good and spicy, on the milder side yet present enough. It has a smooth, yet slightly soapy finish. The Head is very tall and foamy, better than regular Sprecher. The Aftertaste is a vanilla and honey with that hint of soapy.

I was right, it is just regular ol’ Sprecher with that slightly alkaline caffeine flavor and feel, which is 100% expected and still quite delicious though not quite as good as the original. If I ever need to stay up late, this is what I’ll be drinking. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs
Apr 062022
Seal of Approval

The second root beer of my birthday present of Parlor. This one is a butterscotch which is nice because while that type of brew used to be quite popular to add to a soda maker’s lineup, I haven’t seen a lot of new ones in the past few years. I guess 2020 was kind of a big stoppage in new flavor creation amongst all of the other problems. Anyways this brew. Now there is a parlor guy on the bottle and I don’t know his name. Couldn’t find anything about him on the website, but I think he looks a lot like a Brian, Brian Butterscotch? Maybe Bill. Yeah, Bill Butterscotch, better pay your Bills if you know what I mean.

The Body has a rich butterscotch flavor accented by vanilla and a root beer core. The flavors mingle beautifully so that neither overpowers the other. The Bite is mild for a root beer, as butterscotch, not spice takes the main stage. The Head is nice height and frothy. The Aftertaste is of vanilla and butterscotch.

Wow, good job. They nailed it and butterscotch root beer is hard to nail. This takes the simple plain root beer flavor of their original and expertly adds butterscotch to make it a thing of excellence. If their original brew had been more complex, maybe with more wintergreen and other spices, it may not have worked, but dang! (on purpose) It sure did this time. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs