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

Jan 032024
Seal of Approval

Last month I was in Atlanta for my final work trip of the year. It’s been a rather busy one with over 100,000 miles of air travel and probably two full months in hotels. But anyhow, I was finally done but had one last DERMS hurrah to be made in a new city so once again ended up dragging my coworkers out for a brew. The Red Hare Brewing and Distilling have a brewery and a still in Atlanta, and one was rather close to my hotel. They don’t really have an “about” section that I could find on their website so I couldn’t tell you much about them other than that. But they also make a root beer and a grapefruit soda and serve them on tap. Their food was all Cuban themed, which is not what I expected from a brewery/still in Georgia, but that’s what it was.

The Body is sweet and rich with a classic, yet complex flavor. There’s a bit of licorice but not much, a bit of vanilla too, but not quite as much as I’d prefer. It is well balanced and quite delicious. The Bite is spicy and fizzy and really delivers. The Head is short and fizzes down too fast but doesn’t completely fizz away, so that you still get foam throughout the whole drinking experience, which is just barely enough Head. The Aftertaste is sweet and mild and pleasant. Not really much of one thing nor another but farewell to the draught you’ve just had, making you want another.

Nice! It’s been awhile since I had a draft brew that made me want seconds, so this was quite welcome. I wish it had a big more Head, but all considered, this is a solid brew I’d recommend to anyone. Their Cuban food was really good too, and the portion size is enormous. So check this place out if you’re in Atlanta.

4 kegs
My Cuban Salmon Bowl with our appetizers and the Root Beer. It was a good meal
The Red Hare Taps, Root Beer on the far right
Dec 062023

I got this off of a trade with that great root beer reviewer anthony. Weis is a store chain founded in 1912 in Pennsylvania. They currently have expanded into Maryland, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, and West Virginia, nowhere near where I live. I am, however, once again very pleased to see store brands carrying glass bottled gourmet root beer. The bottle looks the sort of generic that you’d expect from a store brand, brown root beer color with a barrel on it. I like it, obviously, because I like root beer. A curious thing about this is in the ingredients. They list “citric acid powder”, which is the first time I’ve ever seen that. I see citric acid a lot as an ingredient, but never in powdered form. Is it required to specify which form is used? I muse on this as there’s not much else to talk about with this one, other than the brew itself.

The Body is sweet and creamy with a lot of vanilla. It’s quite pleasant but there’s a hint of something a little out of place. The Bite is mild on spice, decently prickly, but not overly smooth in the finish. The Head is medium and fizzes down relatively quickly. The Aftertaste is sweet vanilla and ends with the faintest hint of that out of place flavor.

This is unexpectedly good for a store brand, I’ll say that. There’s nothing really unique but it does generic really well. It’s not quite good enough for a Seal, sadly, but better than most store brands out there, which is an accomplishment they can feel proud of. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs