Jan 202021

Milk Magic Root Beer Float Straws

A while back I was going through the grocery store and saw these. I think it was a HyVee, but it’s been awhile, I must confess. Anyhow, Magic Straws have been around for over a decade and are supposedly a great way to get kids to drink their milk. They’re extra thick and crimped at the ends with flavor crystals/balls filling them up. So the idea is you stick the straw in the glass of milk, take a sip, and the milk gets flavored as it travels through the flavored … filter? Interesting concept. It says on the package that it’s made in Hungary, which isn’t where I think of when I think of quality root beer float flavored things, but hey, maybe I’ve been missing the robust Hungarian root beer scene. There were four straws in the pack so I let the whole family share in the experience.

The flavor is weak on the first drink. It’s sorta like root beer, but very diluted. If you do small sips, and like I mean, really small sips. It gets sweet and tastes like watered (milked?) down root beer float. The whole process is difficult and unsatisfying.

Okay, why? Why is this a thing? If you want anything out of this at all, you really need to slowly sip. Even still, it’s hard to get a very good root beer float flavor out of it. This whole process seems so unnecessary. Why not just have single serve tubes that you add to 8 ounces of milk and use the straw to stir it up? That would simplify the process and could potentially give a nice root beer float milk. This whole product is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t really exist, and doing so in the least practical way possible. To their credit, my kids did think it was rather neat, but I bet they would have thought it neater if you just dumped it all in, got a better tasting product, and then drank it through the straw, but what do I know?

Jan 062021

Pigeon River Brewing Company Root Beer Bottle I love my fans. They find amazing new root beers from different corners of the globe (the US really, but I like saying globe) and then send me some on trade. This was found by the famed root beer enthusiast Tony, in Marion, WI. Pigeon River Brewing Company has been open since 2012, but I think root beer is a much more recent addition or it wouldn’t have slipped under the radar of the diligent root beer hunters for so long. Unless, they had it the whole time, yet refused to advertise it, or sell it outside of Marion. The the residents themselves were sworn to never speak of it to outsiders. But over time whispers of a secret root beer reached the ears of Tony, whose multiyear quest brought him to the first bottles ever to be seen by the world at large… I like that version. It’s cannon now. So another remarkable thing about this root beer is that it has 65g of sugar per bottle, which is over 50% more than the average root beer. I’ve had a brew with 47g before and that was super sweet. So I braced myself for the sugar rush of a lifetime and got to drinking.

The Body is hollow. It’s a little minty, a little creamy, but weak overall. It’s not near as sweet as would be expected with all that sugar. The Bite is dismal. Not spicy, not smooth, but rather harsh and prickly. The Head is medium height and foam, nothing special though not bad. The Aftertaste is a sort of sour acidic flavor with a hint of burned sugar.

I’m not impressed. Not only is the flavor lacking, but where’s my promised super sugar content? Talk about a disappointment. So yeah, I wouldn’t recommend this. I guess it isn’t really bad, but it isn’t good and there’s nothing to really distinguish it to be worth even trying once. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Dec 162020

Fresh Thyme Root Beer Drops
Last Christmas my son gave me some different root beer candies that I hadn’t ever had. He found them at Fresh Thyme, a sort of organic “farmer’s market” that sells the sorts of things you’d expect from that type of place. In their candy section they have several types of old fashion candies including these root beer drops. As far as I can tell, they are actually made for Fresh Thyme, so that’s what I’m saying the brand is. They are only my second root beer drops ever, so I wonder just how different they are from the first.

The nice sugar dusting flavor gives way to a rather generic, minty root beer flavor. The more you suck on it, the stronger the wintergreen flavor grows, to almost overpower the root beer. It’s not bad though, just not as good as it could be.

They’re slightly different, I would say, not as good. But it’s really hard to have a standout or an utter failure amongst root beer hard candies. That said, I probably would never buy them again, but at the same time if someone gave me some, I wouldn’t be upset.