May 032017

Wisco Pop! Root Beer Bottle Another root beer with crowd funding roots. Like the others I donated, shared on social media and even wrote a blog post about it. And, once again, after all of that work, once the bottled product was hitting the shelves, there was no response to my requests to purchase some to review. I had to get some from a place called Fizzy Waters. This has no preservatives whatsoever, so they had to ship it overnight with an ice pack in it. It was pricey. Supposedly this can never be not cold. It’s made is Wisconsin (hence the Wisco) with only real, whole, natural ingredients like turbinado sugar, Wisconsin maple syrup (that’s a thing?), and sarsaparilla. The label keeps it pretty plain, though they’ve got too many fonts. They also are one of those few companies who likes to put an exclamation point in their name, which means you really should shout it whenever you say it.

The Body has a strong and pleasant herbal flavor with notes of sarsaparilla and molasses and a little maple. There’s quite a lot of other flavors going on in there and the net effect is that it comes across as an herb tea. The Bite is spicy and fizzy with lots of clove and cinnamon. The Head is very short but foamy. The Aftertaste is herbal molasses that lingers awhile.

Another herb tea type brew. These are not my favorite. I don’t know who’s idea of root beer is a carbonated herb tea, but I’ve encountered enough of them to have them as their own genre. It’s the most different take on root beer and I really wonder who started it, because I really wish they hadn’t. Oh well. If you like herb tea brews, this is for you, I’ll pass. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Apr 262017

Levi's Root Beer Soda Bottle Levis is an old root beer. From back way in 1895. It was originally served at a marble soda fountain at a place called Levis, that served hot dogs and fish cakes and what not. After seeing the success of Hires’ brew, Levis made his root beer even better with a bold flavor, if the back of the bottle is to be believed. The hot dog stand is actually still there and has been continuously operating since its inception. It doesn’t say when the root beer started to be bottled, but currently the bottled version is owned and distributed by Amazing Beverages. The back of the bottle claims that it’s bottled with the same flavor used for almost 100 years, but they can’t be using exactly the same recipe because they only use part sugar and part sucralose. It still has enough sugar for me to consider it not a diet (25g) but it kind of is some strange hybrid type almost. I can’t imagine that does anything to improve the flavor. It does only have 100 calories per bottle which was probably the reason for the sugar dial down. To appeal to some strange health conscious subset of the population.

The Body is weak with a prominent sour and icky fake sugar taste. Why did they put sucralose in it instead of another 15g of sugar? The Bite is a bit harsh from carbonation and sour. The Head is medium-tall and lingers an average amount of time. It’s not super foamy but it’s okay. The Aftertaste is an icky sucralose flavor that coats my teeth and doesn’t go away.

This stuff is bad, and is what happens when somebody wants to reduce the calories in their root beer a little bit. I mean really, do you think anyone going for a bottle of soda is going to not get it because it has another 40 calories? Has there ever been anyone, in the history of the world, who thinks that the fake sweetener flavor is somehow better than real sugar? I will give them the fact that despite the fake sugar detraction, it does taste old-school-soda-fountiany. See how it rates against other root beers.

2 out of 5 root beer kegs

Apr 192017

A glass of Dru Bru Root BeerSo last weekend I was driving home to visit my parents for turkey hunting and Easter festivities and my low oil light came on and my children were simultaneously complaining about being hungry. We had to stop somewhere soon and then I remembered that a new brewery had opened on the top of Snoqualmie Pass. What a perfect opportunity/excuse to stop by. I’m not sure when Dru Bru Brewery opened, but it wasn’t much earlier than 2016 or I would have found it on earlier root beer searches. They have a very comfy and friendly tap room but no restaurant. They let you bring in outside food or order some from the local restaurants. There’s also a few snack items that can be ordered. One nice thing is that they let you order 5 ounce root beers, which is great for the kids. We got a round of brews and some sort of cured meat thingy and I set to work reviewing.

The Body is mild with a rather generic, albeit yummy, creamy root beer flavor. The highlight is the vanilla. The Bite is very mild and smooth, a little too mild for me. The Head is nice; medium height and frothy. The Aftertaste is a pleasant vanilla flavor.

Decent brew. Nothing special or out of the ordinary, but a nice middle of the road root beer that no one will really dislike. You know, the sort that goes well with a pizza party, which I was planning on having with my parents that night so I got a growler for the road. It’s not worth its own trip, but if you’re already up there, it should do the trick if you want a root beer.

Three kegs

Dru Bru Brewery

Dru Bru Brewery

The Dru Bru brew vats.

The Dru Bru brew vats.