Mar 072018

Stubborn Soda Classic Root Beer BottleThe craft soda resurgence is in full swing, and that means more and more people and bucking the big companies and getting their liquid refreshment from the smaller, perhaps local, manufacturers. This decrease in market share has not gone unnoticed by the the major brands, and they’re trying to fight back. To that end, PepsiCo launched Stubborn Soda in 2015. It was originally an fountain only line, with a tap like dispenser to give consumers a “different perspective” on soft drinks. Or they could just go to an A&W and get their root beer from a tap, but I digress. Following the “success”? of the fountains, they began bottling and distributing in select markets. The marketing for this has nothing to do with PepsiCo, and for some reason it is a registered trademark of “The Concentrate Manufacturing Company of Ireland” Very strange. There was none near me, but a fan sent me some on trade. Then my parents found some a month later in Idaho and brought me some more. It tried one bottle from each batch, just to make sure I was getting a proper sampling.

The Body is soapy and sour with an unpleasant stevia flavor as well. Hidden behind all of that is the slightest bit of traditional root beer. The Bite is acidic and prickly, the worst kind. The Head is medium height but fizzes down too fast. The Aftertaste is chemical that fades into stevia.

Oh what is terribleness! What were they thinking? Were they so stubborn that they wouldn’t believe anyone who told them that their recipe was garbage? Why do this? This is without a doubt the worst brew I’ve had for some time. I’ll give you some advice, PepsiCo, free advice. If you want to get in with the craft root beer crowd, just sell Mug in glass bottles in more locations. It’s orders of magnitude better than this. Seriously, this is just yuck, but it does have a pretty bottle. See how it rates against other root beers.

One out of five root beer kegs

Jul 262017

Mug Root Beer BottleI found it. I finally found it. After 18 years of searching the root beer world for Mug in glass bottles, someone kindly pointed me to a little known website that sold this in a blog comment. This whole blog is worth it just for that comment, because I can finally tell people what I think about one of the most common root beers out there. To put how badly I’ve wanted this into perspective. I had thought of calling a Pepsi bottler that does those little stubby glass bottles, and ordering a custom run of Mug in glass bottles. Would I need to buy a whole pallet for that? A whole truck load? I don’t know, but I was actually in the process of trying to do that. Yup. Now only one major brand left, Hires, we’ll see how long that takes me. What else to say about one of the most common brands of root beer out there? This is bottled by West Jefferson and is made with real sugar and not HFCS. So, what do I think of this long expected root beer?

The Body is rich and creamy with a little vanilla. There’s some licorice and wintergreen too and all it mingles together like a generic root beer barrel candy. There isn’t much Bite, it’s smooth. The Head is a good height but could use a little more staying power. The Aftertaste is wintergreen with a bit of licorice and vanilla.

Not bad. It’s a nice middle of the road soda with a slight leaning towards the darker side. It’s better than Dad’s and Barq’s, though not as good as A&W. I’d drink it again if I could find it bottled locally and not mail order at $25 for two. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs