May 292019
 

A packet of Reed's Individually Wrapped Root Beer CandiesReed's candy

Reed’s Candy was started in 1893 by William and Eugene Reed in Chicago. They made butterscotch candy rolls at first and at one point in the early 1920s they were the largest manufacturer of butterscotch candy in the USA. Since nothing lasts forever, the brand fell in popularity and went bankrupt in the 1980s only to be resurrected two years later. They still produce four of their classic flavors today, including these root beer ones. These are different from your standard candy rolls (life savers) in that they are individually wrapped. They also aren’t flat discs, but bulge in the middle like discuses which I must say is a first for me.

It’s a sweet, standard tasting root beer candy. A little wintergreen is noticeable but it isn’t strong. It’s my favorite root beer candy profile, and tastes very similar to all of the other standard ones.

So yeah, it’s a yummy root beer hard candy. Much like the rest. I’m finding that there is significantly less diversity in flavor profiles of these candies as there is with actual root beers. So do I still recommend this? Yeah, it’s good. And if you really like that discus shape, like maybe you were a discus thrower or something, this might be just the perfect root beer candy for you.




May 222019
 

Richardson Root Beer Crystal Stick

Richardson Brands got their beginnings in the 1890s making pillow mints. Soft pillow mints. Which are not mints you put on your pillow, but are mints that look like pillows. Through the decades they’ve acquired other nostalgic sorts of candies including the original makers of these crystal sticks, Dryden & PalmerĀ® Rock Candy. Which are of course, just rock candy on a stick rather than a string. But crystal stick sounds much cooler than rock candy anyhow so that’s why people want to market it thusly. At least I think. Anyways, I was at a candy shop and asked if they had any root beer candies and they had those so I got one to tell you all about. Also I really like rock candy as a concept, cause it’s cool how they make it. Though I’ve never been able to successfully do so myself, I guess it’s “easy” to make at home. Anyhow, on to my tasting.

The root beer flavor is mild, generic and very much like other root beer hard candies. It doesn’t have much of a wintergreen or licorice taste on it like some do, which I prefer. The texture is, rock candy. Very bumpy licking, strange crunching if you chew. It tastes good either way.

All considered, this is a fun treat. It’s different and the root beer taste is what you’d expect, nothing more nor less. I can recommend this one, if you’re in the mood for a rock candy that is, on a cool little wooded stick. I imagine the novelty of these things wears off after more than one every month or so.




May 152019
 

A&W of Lodi

I have some beef with CCR. For while they have some classics, they also wrote the song Lodi, where they maligned the birthplace of arguably the most iconic root beer in existence. I don’t care how bad the rest of the town may be. You can’t speak ill of the place where A&W was born. Yet, despite me often traveling to near Lodi, I’d never gone to the sacred birthplace of this amazing brew. So two weeks ago, when I was in Sacramento for work, I took an evening to drive the hour south to get a draft from its birthplace.

The original stand, built in 1919, is no longer there, sadly. Only a small plaque on the sidewalk marks the spot of the original stand. But nearby is a very old A&W Drive-in that still offers curbside service. It was to this drive in that I went for dinner and a brew. The inside is like a small A&W museum, with a display case full of artifacts and memorabilia, with more along the walls. They sell a lot of cool merch as well to their delicious food, of I bought a shirt and some mugs. Truly Lodi and their A&W Drive-in is a place to where every true root beer devotee must make pilgrimage. And so a new a new category to this blog must be added. Root Beer Pilgrimages. For there are many other such places that need to be visited and blogged about.

The display case of A&W relics

The display case of A&W relics

A&W of Lodi wall

Wall displays are everywhere.

Picture of Roy Allen and old A&Ws

Picture of Roy Allen and old A&Ws

The merchandise display

The merchandise display. I may have bought too much.

A tasty meal with delicious root beer!