May 072014

R & B Produce Root Beer BottleWhen I first relaunched the site and started actively started trading for new root beers with other reviewers, anthony asked if I wanted some nasty Amish home brew. I told him that as long as it was bottled with a label on the bottle I’d love it. He sent some but it was lost in the mail for two weeks due to an erroneous zip code. I had just moved and messed up my address. Since it was yeast carbonated, the bottles had leaked over half of their contents out due to over carbonation, though luckily they were in plastic bags and it didn’t ruin the rest of the root beer bottles in that trade. I had to wait another two years before he tried sending it again. This time we made sure the address was right, and he insulated the package and put ice packs in it. Three days later it came all wet and soggy. The postal workers never stamped fragile on the package so it was tossed around and one of the three bottles was smashed, which tore the plastic bag, leaking root beer everywhere. I thought the others leaked too, but after washing them, drying them, and inspecting, I was relieved to find they were intact. I was even able to mostly save the label on one for my collection. I’m not sure what R & B stand for, so I’m guessing it’s Root and Beer. I’m sure it’s a good little produce market that sells carrots, turnips, beets, sweet potatoes, and this brew.

The Body is yeasty, sour, fruity, and weak in the normal root beer flavor department. There’s a sour acidic type of carbonation Bite that isn’t very pleasant. The Head is medium tall but fizzes away very quickly. The Aftertaste is sour yeastiness.

So, light on root beer, high on sour yeast. You can guess how I feel about that. This isn’t the nastiest Amish home brew I’ve tried (I’m looking at you Olde Heritage) but it’s definitely not what you want when you need a good root beer. See how it rates against other root beers.

1.5 out of 5 kegs

Oct 102012

This is the second Amish home brew type root beer I’ve ever heard of, and the first that allowed me to buy online. My wife asked if Amish are allowed to use the internet, and I think the answer is no, so I’m not sure how it wound up for sale online. Reading the about section on the website though seems to indicate that the owners aren’t Amish, but merely live among the Amish (and have internet somehow) so mystery solved. Though I hadn’t heard anything good about it, I knew I needed to see for myself. I just needed to order it from Dutch Country Pantry and give it a try, or so I thought. Ten days after I ordered, it arrived but the bottles had spilled everywhere. I sent them an email and pictures and they apologized profusely and vowed to send another shipment. They asked what was the cause and I said that I thought it was because the bottles were bundled in the same plastic bag and laid on their side. Well, at least I’d get my root beer with the next shipment I thought. Alas no. This time, the individually bagged and upright root beers were still half spilled everywhere. They did include a small sample of wonderful Amish maple nut fudge in there though which is amazing beyond belief. Since this is a yeast carbonated brew, I figured the problem was that it was taking too long in transit, over carbonating and pressurizing, and then breaking the seal and spilling. I emailed them and told them thus. I told them that I didn’t need another shipment since they’d spent too much money on me already and they did give me the fudge, but that they should make sure to always send the root beer two day FedEx to make sure no one else suffers the same fate as I. They replied that customer satisfaction is their top priority and sent another shipment, overnight delivery no less! And this time, it was intact! Yay! At last the root beer was mine for the drinking.

The Body has a light generic root beer flavor and a good amount of yeast. It is only mildly sweet and kind of sour as well. The yeast is pretty dominant but not overpowering. There really isn’t any Bite at all, no spice and hardly any carbonation fizz (despite the yeast). There is no Head at all. That’s really surprising. The Aftertaste is a light sour yeasty flavor.

Hmm, this root beer has a lot wrong with it and not a lot right. Of the two bottles the first was much yeastier than the second, but the second was still rather weak and yeasty. I’ve heard that this has an amazing Head so it is probably a function of the carbonation (shipping) time. The longer it is out of the refrigerator, the more carbonation and the more yeast, and the less time in the fridge, the less carbonation but less yeasty flavor. It sadly doesn’t seem to present a winning situation either way you look at it. I had kept the second failed shipment in the fridge and tried those. Eww, so much yeast it a few sips was all I could handle. Though the Head was much nicer. Therefore, my theory was confirmed. So how to rate it. It doesn’t make me gag, but I do shudder if I take a big gulp and swallowing is always a conscious decision. So, assuming a two day transit time and carbonation/Head like I had, I give it 1 Keg. I could see it possibly as high as a 1 1/2 for optimal carbonation and yeast and as low as a 0 for four or more days in transit, but I’ll stick to my rating for the two bottles I officially had, assuming that they’ll always send it two day shipping from now on. See how it rates against other root beers.