Two weeks ago I embarked on an awesome road trip to TMC Connect and the Tesla Gigafactory Grand Opening party. My friend from Vancouver and I carpooled as usual but now he has a Model S P90D instead of that Model S 60 he used to. Since it was a road trip I quickly looked over the route to find any root beers that would need to be tested. The first was one I’d known about for awhile, the Portland Soda Works. They have a very awesome story about their creation. The condensed version is they started their company to provide high quality alternatives for those who enjoy eating at restaurants but don’t drink alcohol, something I can totally get behind. I can’t stand how we straight-edge folks get left out. They also wanted to make their sodas from whole ingredients, if they can’t get the the roots or leaves themselves, it isn’t going into their drinks. Such dedication is a rare find. Unfortunately that also means that they can’t use sassafras because of the FDA and their questionable research, so it’s a sarsaparilla base. They had actually known about me for awhile, so when I asked if I could drop by for a taste they were very accommodating. They showed me and my friend their entire operation in the old bakery in the sketchy neighborhood by the railroad tracks. They let us taste a lot of different syrups and flavors, but then it was on to business, their root beer.
The Body is very rich with sarsaparilla the dominant flavor and a complex blend of other spices and flavors including cloves, star anise, and vanilla. It’s very sweet as well. The Bite is solid and spicy but it finishes oh so smooth. The Head is tall and foamy. It lingers and tastes wonderful and silky smooth. The Aftertaste is a rich vanilla with a bit of sarsaparilla flavor.
Wow! It’s not your archetypal root beer flavor to be sure, but they still captured enough of that root beeriness to to have it fall on the side of the root beer line. I’ve had some mixed experience with those all natural sarsaparilla based brews before, but none of them have pulled it off like these guys. I am proud to give this my Seal of Approval!