Mar 162016
 

The Grizzly Paw Soda Company Root Beer Bottle About the time I was emailed about the Brewski another Canadian, dare I say my very favorite Canadian, informed me that he had found this and wanted to know if I needed to try it. I say my favorite Canadian because he was my longest and last mission companion in Madagascar so many years ago. Our root beer relationship went back to then, with me sending him some A&W as soon as I got back home (I got home first) to help end the root beer dearth that country suffers from. I even visited him in Alberta and found the FLM and Red Jammer along the way. Anyhow, I traded him some Steelhead and Hank’s for this. It comes in the standard Canadian 341 ml bottle which still makes no sense at all. The label makes me think of some nature park warning sign which is appropriate for the region. The coolest part about it is the whole “Racinette” because, Canada.

The Body is rich and sort of creamy with a rather generic root beer flavor. There’s nothing that really jumps out at you. The Bite has got a lot of carbonation fizz but not really much in the spice department. The Head is short and doesn’t last very long. The Aftertaste is a light caramel licorice with a bit of vanilla that doesn’t last long enough.

This is pretty meh but not unpleasant in any way. It’s just one of those generic, decent root beers that might as well have a white label with the words “Root Beer” in black text. I’d drink it again if I needed a brew to go with dinner, but only if it just happened to be laying around. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs




Jan 282015
 

Hank's Premium Root BeerSeal of Approval More than any other root beer, Hank’s is the reason that Eric’s Gourmet Root Beer Site exists. You see, the web was young and free hosting was just recently made available at places like Geocities. It was the cool thing to do to make a website. After seriously considering making a website about a combination of three of my favorite things, cheese, Jethro Tull, and Star Craft, (The Eric’s Cheese, Jethro Tull, and Star Craft Site was going to be AWESOME I swear) the idea came to make one about gourmet root beer instead. Since I’d only tried eight different kinds of gourmet root beer (there wasn’t a lot of variety in a town of 5,000 people) at that point I figured I needed to expand a bit. I found Hank’s online and asked my Mom to order it for me. I had a whole $15. She called and they said that they’d never sent anything to Washington State before and they figured it’d be very expensive. She said she’d have to call back because she was buying it for her son who was making a website but he didn’t have much money. Then they decided that since it was for a website, and thus free publicity, they’d send a whole case as a free sample. How very generous. Also, it put a lot of expectation on me to actually follow through and make the website since I was paid in advance as it were. And thus Eric’s Gourmet Root Beer Site was born.

This is sooo goooood! It has a wonderfully full Body that is rich and creamy and a nice spicy Bite. The Head is almost perfect. Aftertaste is very pleasant.

As you can tell, I really liked it then (I’ve kept what I originally wrote back in 1998). It put me in quite an enigma because at the time it was the best brew I’d ever had, but I hadn’t had very many. I put it at 4.5 kegs and after many years I revisited it in my Ultimate Root Beer Showdown and realized that after nearly 150 root beers, it was still the best. I really love this stuff. It is perhaps as close to perfection as we can come in this imperfect world. See how it rates against other root beers.

5 out of 5 Kegs, Elixer of the Gods




Mar 142012
 

So more into my questing of small microbrewery root beers. I had heard about this one from another blog and wrote an email to them since they didn’t seem to have a way to buy it online. A fine chap by the name of Dennis wrote me back and said that they didn’t sell it online but if I called they’d be glad to send me some and “it is the very best.” I called and made the purchase. About a week later I get a rather large padded envelope on my door step containing the two bottles of Surf City Root Beer, a gift certificate for $5 of merchandise at Brewbakers Restaurant and Brewery (if I’m ever in Huntington Beach, CA I guess), a restaurant menu, a brewery menu (all the different beers you can custom make), and a box hop jump tea bags. Huh? What are hop jumps? It seems from the description that they are dried hops that you put into a draft beer to make it taste fuller. I don’t know, I’ve never drank beer. I gave them to the British guy I work with and he thought they were hilarious, though he hasn’t tried them yet. I honestly think they put them in there for padding between the two bottles. And who sends root beer in only a padded envelope? These guys are different for sure, but I suppose that’s how surfer dudes are. So how is it?

Wonderful Body! Raw honey and spices complimenting solid sassafras flavor. It is also creamy from the delicious vanilla. While it isn’t overly complex, it is perfectly proportioned. The spices give a solid Bite. The Head is very nice. It’s tall and frothy as a root beer Head should be. The Aftertaste is a delightful blend of spiced vanilla and honey with the vanilla the last flavor to fade. This is beauty in the form of root beer!

Good gravy! What a shock to my root beer world. After the first bottle I realized they weren’t kidding about it being the best. I needed to make sure. I brought out the bottle of So Duh!, Hank’s, and Iron Horse for the Ultimate Root Beer Showdown just to make sure I knew where the top brews stood. Then I had my second bottle of this stuff. Then another bottle of So Duh!. Well, it isn’t quite the very best, but there was no doubt in my mind that it is an Elixir of the Gods. See how it rates against other root beers.