May 162018

WBC Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalWBC’s “root” is in Goose Island. If you’ve been following the root beer world closely these last few years, you’d know that it used to be called WBC Goose Island Root Beer, and long before that, there was merely Goose Island Root Beer, without any WBC. The first version was made by the Goose Island Brewery in starting in 1988 and lasted into the early 2000’s when I got a hold of it and gave it a slightly above average review. Sometime later WBC, the WIT Beverage Company (got to love nested acronyms) took over production of the root beer and changed the labels. This continued until late 2014 when Goose Island was dropped entirely. This was done for two reasons. Number one was that minors were supposedly sneaking Goose Island beer into the root beer carriers and fooling the tellers. And the supposed reason two is that the licensing agreement for the Goose Island name had expired and why bother renewing it. The bottle says that they have remained true to the original recipe which is never pasteurized and continue in a tradition of quality and innovation. Part of that innovation has been changing the recipe from the original, as a comparison of the late 90’s Goose Island that I tried and this bottle reveal slightly different ingredients and nutrition. Let’s see how innovative they really were.

The Body is sweet and full with creamy vanilla and a caramelized sugar flavor. The Bite is rather smooth but there is some spice in there, giving a nice little nip. The Head is nice and frothy, though it could be taller, it is sufficient. The Aftertaste is a light vanilla flavor with some spiced cane sugar that lasts the right amount of time.

No one aspect stands out as amazing, but taken all together this brew is high quality. So they have innovated properly, and earned an extra half a keg over the original. Nicely done. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Oct 072015

Goose Island Root Beer Bottle One of the earlier mail order root beers. I think I got it before my mission but I can’t remember anymore. It came in a variety pack. Back then I’d buy three bottles of four different varieties in a 12 pack. This is another root beer from Chicago. I think Chicago may have the most brands of gourmet root beer coming out of it of any city. I’m not sure why that is. The label doesn’t say much, there’s a goose, and it looks like a wooden keg and then there’s the whole “Hand Crafted”. What does that even mean? They pour the ingredients by hand? They stir by hand? And what isn’t “hand crafted”? Machine crafted? Foot crafted? Paw crafted (in the case of Sea Dog)? I somehow doubt, that even in the largest of soda bottling factories, that no hands are involved in the process. But, If someone ever finds out about what this really means, please let me know. It also says “Fresh Draught” off to the side. The only other brew I’ve ever seen spell draft as draught is my beloved Henry’s, so they get some extra props for that.

It has a nice sweet, smooth Body that was a little tangy. Wonderful Bite and a strange but pleasant Aftertaste. The Head however was horrible.

I find it ironic that the Head is the weakest part of this when it says on the neck of the bottle “Creamy Head Root Beer” which it clearly isn’t. Other than that it’s a decent “Hand Crafted” brew, though a bit strange at times. I’d put it as an average gourmet root beer. Good with food, but nothing to seek out. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs