Mar 302016

Etna Brewing Company Root Beer Bottle The second root beer that I found way back in 2014 on my TMC Connect road trip. I’d actually known about this one for some time but they wouldn’t answer my emails when I requested info on how to order. So, it wasn’t until I was in Mount Shasta at the Tesla Supercharger on the way back that I finally crossed paths with it. I got it at the Rays Food Place a few minutes walk away. As an aside can I say that Rays Food Place has got to be up there with the greatest grocery store names of all time? Well I’m saying it. Anyways. I didn’t venture to it on the way down to TMC Connect because I was busy looking at other places for brew. So this place is brewed in Etna, CA, a mere hour’s drive from the Mount Shasta supercharger. The bottles has a lot of flavor text like “The Soda with the Good Ol’ Taste!” and “Bringing you a taste of what Root Beer used to be” as well as the predictable but always fun “Get Back to Your Roots”. Add in the whole bald eagle and they’re clearly going for some nostalgic ‘murica experience. Cracking open the bottle brings a wonderful spicy root beer aroma that promises an excellent brew.

The Body has a dominant wintergreen flavor mixed with anise. It’s also rather strange and medicinal tasting and not terribly strong. The Bite is smooth for the most part but sort of sour. The Head is short but frothy, though it does fizz down faster than it should. The Aftertaste is a bitter wintergreen and anise flavor that lingers too long and turns gross as it does.

Eww. I hope that this isn’t a “taste of what Root Beer used to be”. What happened to all of that goodness in the aroma? Maybe it all escaped. What a terrible letdown. I’m sure glad I didn’t mail order this or I would have felt that I paid way too much money for a rather miserable experience. Steer clear. See how it rates against other root beers.

1.5 out of 5 kegs

Aug 042014

Two weeks ago I went to TMC Connect, the Tesla Motors Club conference and expo. If you’ve followed this blog, you’ll know that a lot of the draft root beers have been found while I was at conferences related to electric cars, being the expert that I am. So anyways, I was a panelist at TMC Connect and I had to find a way to Monterey, CA. I posted on the forum that if anyone wanted to carpool down, I would buy all of the electricity needed to get there. This was a joke, since Teslas can charge for free at the Superchargers. Either way, a fine fellow by the name of Paul driving from Vancouver, BC agreed to take me down.

The road trip experience in a Tesla is far different than what I was experienced with while growing up. In my youth we’d push and push, stopping only for gas and ten minute bathroom breaks. We’d cover a lot of miles but never really know much about what was in between Point A and Point B. Interestingly, for much of those trips Point A was in Washington and Point B was Sacramento. On this particular trip Sacramento was also our first stop over and I was thus fully able to appreciate the differences between the traditional road trip experience and the Tesla road trip of the future. Instead of pushing though, you need to stop every 150 miles or so to get a 30 minute charge. It was then that I realized that a Tesla with supercharging is the perfect for root beer hunting. Many of the superchargers were in places where craft root beers could be found.

Hop Valley Brewing Company near the Tesla Supercharger in Springfield Oregon

Hop Valley Brewing Company near the Tesla Supercharger in Springfield Oregon

Not far from the Centralia charger is Dick’s Brewery. Further south in Springfield the Hop Valley Brewery right next to the supercharger had their own root beer. There are several other breweries in Springfield and though I didn’t look to see if they had their own since I had already found one. In Grant’s Pass I was told that Wild River had their own root beer, and at the next stop in Mount Shasta I found Etna Brewing Company Root Beer at the supermarket near the supercharger. And these are just a few that are in the towns connected by superchargers on I-5. I’m sure that there were more places I could have found along the way, but root beer hunting was not the main objective of the trip, and I’d already had good success. None of these places we’d ever even stop in when I was a kid driving to Sacramento, and many cool experiences were likely lost. While it does take longer to road trip in an EV, I think the experience is far superior, as it forces you to enjoy everything in between.

Additionally, the idea of extremely cheap to free travel suddenly makes root beer questing guilt free and enjoyable. There are numerous breweries and root beer stands only a few hours from me but the cost doesn’t seem to justify a solo trip. With an EV, especially a Tesla, that isn’t a concern. It is my opinion that the future of automobiles is EVs, and as far as root beer questing is concerned, it’s going to be a great future indeed.