Jul 252015

A pint of Glacier Brewhouse Root BeerI have the best friends. Especially a fellow by the last name of Clapp aka, The Clappicus Maximus, member extraordinaire of the elite Humans vs Zombies clan The Cowboys from Hell. He likes craft beers the way I like craft root beers (also Fanta but that’s another tale), and is always going to different breweries and taprooms and such. Whenever he sees a unique root beer he’ll text me to see if I’ve tried it, and I’ve gotten quite a few nice brews this way. This last week he discovered this at The Watershed Pub & Kitchen in Northgate, and let me know. I had to head over that same week since Glacier Brewhouse is in Anchorage and Watershed rotates their taps, so who knows when I’d ever find it again. This is only the second root beer I’ve ever had from Alaska, and to be honest, I’m not sure how many other root beers there are from there.

The Body has a medium strength rooty flavor that is lighter on the anise than others of that genre. It’s rich and creamy with wintergreen and vanilla as well is and nice. The Bite isn’t much as this is a very smooth brew. There’s some spice but I’d prefer a bit more. The Head is medium short despite the best efforts of the bartender, but very frothy and lasted the duration of the pint. The Aftertaste is vanilla and wintergreen that turns a bit bitter.

This is pretty good. It’s nice and creamy and doesn’t have anything bad about it. But the flavors are just not all there to get a Seal of Approval. Definitely get this with your meal if your in Anchorage or visiting the Watershed though.

Three and a half kegs

The Glacier Brewhouse Root Beer tap (and some beer taps) at Watershed Pub & Kitchen

The Glacier Brewhouse Root Beer tap (and some beer taps) at Watershed Pub & Kitchen

Mar 232012

So my wonderful CFH friend (named Eric as well by the way) who found me the Joe’s discovered this brew for me on tap from a keg at a brewery/taphouse he often visits in Seattle called Naked City. It’s made by the Ellersick Brewing Company and isn’t bottled. I don’t usually go to Seattle any more but I told him the next time I was over there we’d have to try. I did finally make over on Thursday for a symposium at the University of Washington where I presented some wonderful electric vehicle research I’d done as well as performed some experiments on the company LEAF. After such a triumph, the only thing that could make it better would be to try a new root beer. I was running late when I got to the bar. I quickly ordered a glass, no ice, and poured to build the Head. The bar tender thought it was oddly specific until I explained who I was and what I was doing. To which she replied, “Ok, I still need your ID if you plan to sit at my bar.”

Despite my instructions, she didn’t build a very nice Head for me to evaluate, in part because she used a wet glass. However, my friend, who’d been there for about 10 minutes eating fries and sipping his own, vouched for the size of the Head on his. Mine was still very frothy though so I imagine it would be tall if done properly. The Body is very creamy, though not from vanilla, but it just feels creamy. It’s very sweet and tastes like a root beer barrel candy. Then comes the Bite, so much clove! Wintergreen too! Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever had a root beer with this much clove in it. There’s some other spice too, some cinnamon maybe. The net result is quite a Bite. The Aftertaste is sort of waxy wintergreen with hints of clove. The waxiness coats your mouth for quite a long time after drinking the brew.

Well, it’s decent, and very unique. Can’t say that I’d order it just to drink by itself, especially with that waxy Aftertaste, but the strong clove and wintergreen flavor would mix well with certain foods, and since they serve them there, it’s worth getting with your meal.

Feb 222012

So awhile back I noticed that I had as many friends on Facebook as I had root beer reviews (not my site but my personal Facebook account). I therefore decided that I shall only have as many friends as root beers tried and if someone wanted to be my friend and I was maxed out, they would just have to find me a new root beer. I then posted that as my status. It got a few likes and one of my more awesome friends (also a stalwart zombie tag comrade and CFH) took it as a personal challenge to earn his already deserved many times over friend status by finding me a new root beer. Since he likes gourmet beer, he kept an eye out at all of specialty beer shops he went to until he declared he had a late Christmas present for me. I was overjoyed when I unwrapped Joe’s Root Beer, another small and obscure microbrewery root beer like Spring Lake Root Beer. This one, however, is all natural instead of having a cocktail of preservatives like the Spring Lake. The ingredients are few but with things like real honey and vanilla, it looked like it could be amazing.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the bottle was that there was kind of a skanky smell to it. Now I don’t judge on smell but it usually portends the flavor. Nevertheless, it has an extremely sweet and full Body with accents of said vanilla and honey. It is crisp and creamy in your mouth without a hint of skanky. Strange. The Bite is sufficient, though, nothing special. The Head is wonderfully tall but only medium frothy so it fizzes down quicker than I would like. The Aftertaste is delicious vanilla and honey.

So this is how root beer is supposed to be. Delicious, a good head, and with that honey and vanilla giving it an extra bit of goodness to push it over the edge of average into premium territory. I would say it’s almost the opposite of the Spring Lake Root Beer, which was a near perfect combination of just about everything, this is beauty in simplicity, like a masterpiece using only two colors. Now the only question I have for my friend, where did you get this again? See how it rates against other root beers.