Mar 182015

Pure Soda Works Root Beer #4 Root BeerMy lovely wife got me a four-pack of this for me for Christmas. Root beer Christmas presents are always the best Christmas presents, and Hanukkah presents, and birthday presents, and Valentine’s Day presents, and wedding anniversary presents, and … Easter presents? You get the idea. This one I could tell was different just by looking at it. It’s all natural and is kind of pale amber. I’ve said before that the only reason a root beer is colored brown is because some of the original, natural ingredients were brown, and if it isn’t brown it doesn’t have those ingredients. My other question is why #4? Was there a number 1-3? Regardless, I’ve now had a Batch 001, 002, and a No. 9 root beer, so #4 is really just a natural progression of things. I’m sure I’ll collect the missing six numbers to complete my base ten digits root beer collection.

The Body is light and creamy and with ginger and herbs the prominent flavors. It tastes like a spiced ginger tea with some vanilla. The Bite is good and robust. It’s nice and spicy with ginger and cinnamon and some other spices with some carbonation burn mixed in. The Head is super tall and very frothy. The Aftertaste is a light vanilla and spice flavor.

This is tastes really good, but not at all like root beer. More like an iced herb tea. You would never call it a root beer if it didn’t say so on the bottle. It’s always a conundrum about how to rate such root beers, with me generally falling into the if-it-doesn’t-taste-like-root-beer-it-doesn’t-rate-high-as-a-root-beer camp. This is no exception. It is a fine, delicious soda, but I’d never, EVER drink it if I needed a root beer fix. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Mar 262014

A pint of Bluebird Brewing Batch 002 Root BeerMy 200th Root Beer Review!!! After nearly a year of waiting, Bluebird Microcreamery contacted me to let me know that they finally rotated a new root beer into the store and to come and try it. I dutifully complied the next available opportunity and brought my buddy old Zombie Tag buddy with me. Bluebird has imaginatively named this brew Batch 002 Root Beer which saves a ton of money on their menu. For instance the chalkboard that had the menu on it only erased the ‘1’ and replaced it with a ‘2’ leaving their original ‘Batch 00’ … ‘Root Beer’ intact. That’s the sort of efficiency I applaud for a small company. They need to focus all of their energies on brewing instead of naming. Since it’s Batch 002 instead of Batch 2, it begs the question of whether they have over 100 different batches they’re willing to try. That could get interesting for sure and definitely help me keep my weekly reviews coming.

The Body is sweet but not overly sweet. It’s dark but not spicy and there’s no vanilla flavor but rather, a slightly fruity licorice one. The Bite is very mild as well without much fizz or spice. The Head is super tall and frothy and all over the place, just like with Batch 001. The Aftertaste is a sort of fruity licorice caramel that isn’t really my favorite.

So I’m not liking this one near as much as Batch 001. This has got more of the generic ‘stout’ root beer flavor rather than the more complex and spicy flavor of their first. Unfortunately I’m not the biggest fan of those types of brews. It’ll still go great in a float and their ice cream allows for some interesting combinations, but I’m gonna have to say it’s only drinkable on its own. I give it a high 3, almost 3 1/2 but not quite. Rumor has it that they even have a Batch 003 so I’ll have to see if that one ever pops up.

Three kegs

Dec 052012

Bluebird Batch 001 Root BeerSeal of ApprovalSo Bluebird Microcreamery in Seattle just decided to get into the nano-brewing business and had a grand opening just a few weeks ago, officially becoming Bluebird Microcreamery & Brewery. When I heard they were brewing root beer as well I headed over as quickly as I could to get the scoop (pun intended) on the new brew and the new entrant into the gourmet root beer world. My first impression of the place is that it is truly a nano-brewery. They are on a 2 bbl system that seems to only hold about 100 gallons at most per vat. The whole operation, brewery, creamery, bar, and sitting area occupy about as much space as a corner Starbucks. The decor is very rustic with tables built on old fashioned milk cans and pints of root beer served in frosted mason jars. They try to be all natural local and organic as well. They have three different root beers that they brew but only one at any given time. This one is imaginatively called Batch 001 because it is obviously their 10th try … I had hoped that by announcing myself as the internet root beer guru that I am there would be much excitement but I was kind of overshadowed by Chef Gordon Ramsay who was shooting an episode of Kitchen Nightmares just next store. Oh well.

The Body is very sweet and complex. It is almost dark but not quite. It is mildly creamy with wintergreen, cinnamon, and licorice hints. All of these flavors are perfectly proportioned so that at first sip it tastes just like you’d expect from a root beer but then the subtler flavors surface enhancing it considerably. The slightly caramel flavor of brewed cane sugar shines through as well. The Bite is mild but present from the cinnamon and is just about at my favorite level. It has a very clean mouth feel from the lack of preservatives. The Head is amazingly tall and very frothy. I’ve seen better but they definitely earn full points and then some for it. The Aftertaste is sweet hints of cinnamon and licorice with just a tad of wintergreen coming though.

This is a pleasure to drink. It’s different than my standard favorites to be sure but I really enjoy it. It is great to sip, to chug, and I’m sure would go great in a float with some of their ice cream. Though it’s really good, it didn’t move me like some of the greats, but I would never pass this up if I were in a root beer mood and it was the closest available. I am proud to give it my Seal of Approval and I look forward to trying their other root beers in the future.

Bluebird Brewery Bar and Bartender

The Bluebird Brewery bar and the lovely bartender.

Me on the brewery tour

Me on a tour of the Bluebird Brewery, which consisted of everything you see. That is the entire brewery.