Apr 032013
 

Ozark Mountain Bottling Works Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalA newcomer to the world of gourmet root beer, Ozark Mountain Bottling works was founded just 4 years ago in 2009 in Branson, MO. If you go to their website you’ll see that they have five different flavors of soda, each with a different color label. The orange soda has an orange label, the grape’s is purple, the lemonade’s is pink (pink lemonade), and as you can see the root beer corresponds with this color scheme and is green, wait, what? Why is the root beer label green? Is does seem to break the pattern unless the root beer itself is green (which it isn’t). I can see no reason to have the root beer label green and not brown. I’ll just imagine that someone there was dying to have a green label but their spinach soda was shot down by the board. Since they didn’t want to hurt his feelings too bad they decided to put a green label on the root beer for him. They say on the site that they use 100% pure cane sugar and their brew is “designed to highlight the classic flavors of Root Beer and Sarsaparilla to create a unique taste unlike anything else on the market.”

The Body is minty and creamy complimenting a full sassafras flavor. The vanilla hints give it a nice rich texture and flavor. The Bite is subtle; just enough to let you know it’s there but not too much. The Head is huge and very frothy! It rivals the other top root beer Heads out there. It lasts a long time as well. The Aftertaste is rich wintergreen and vanilla with the slightest accents of caramel.

Yum, yum, yum! I love this root beer. It reminds me a lot of River City with that creamy minty goodness. Maybe they have a green label because of all the mint. Whatever the reason, I wish I had ordered more. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs


Jun 062012
 

Not to be confused with Wild Bill’s Rocky Mountain Root Beer. The same way Vinepark River City Root Beer is not to be confused with River City Root Beer, or Route 66 with Root 66 with Old Town Root Beer 66. Ok, people, what’s up with this. I mean, can’t you think of unique identifiers for your brews? Have you ever thought of doing a Google search on your root beer name before you start your company? I mean, whenever I write a technical paper, the first thing I do is search the title in quotes to make sure no one else has the same title. I did the same thing with my name, E. Sortomme, there aren’t any other technical authors that use E. Sortomme so if you read something from him, it’s from me. See, nice and simple like. Not saying that Northwoods Soda and Syrup Company is the primary offender (they could have had the name first for all I know), but finding them was just the straw that broke the camel’s back if you will. They do have a much classier label than the bullet riddled other Wild Bill’s, so I suppose this is after Wild Bill went into retirement and became all high society or something. A last note on these guys, they proudly declare in the ingredients that this soda is sweetened with “Michigan Beet Sugar.” And why not? What’s wrong with beet sugar anyways? I think pure cane sugar is really overrated. Plus I once spent a summer weeding a sugar beet field for $5 an acre. So beet sugar will always hold a special place in my heart. Especially after the sugar beet factory co-op failed miserably and went bankrupt, wiping out the financial resources of many farmers in the region … Anyways, the root beer.

A sweet carmely flavor with some creamy vanilla and hints of licorice make up the full Body of this brew. The Bite is good as well from some spices and carbonation. The Head is ok. It foams up to a decent height but then quickly fizzes down. The Aftertaste is caramel with some licorice accents and vanilla.

So, not bad at all. It’s definitely a solid brew, yet it doesn’t really do anything for me. I don’t know why, but when I drink it I just don’t feel moved the way I should by root beer. Oh well. See how it rates against other root beers.


May 302012
 

Quite a long name. And not to be confused with River City Root Beer. You’re probably wondering why it’s River City Root Beer when there’s nothing about River City on the label. I too am wondering such a thing. On their website it calls their root beer River City Root Beer but the label says otherwise so I put both. But these guys seem to want to make my life difficult anyhow. Their brew doesn’t even normally come with a label. I had to ask for one when I dropped by. They have a really small operation in St. Paul where they not only brew beer and root beer, but they let others come in and brew their own concoctions as well. I had been trying to get this one for awhile. I had a friend who lived near there and I asked her to bring me some if she came for a job interview over here. She was invited but ultimately got another job before she came. Then I finally got to go over there to give a seminar at U of M. Acquiring this was my third and final root beer objective for the trip, with the first being find a new draft only brewery root beer (Town Hall) and the second getting 50 bottles of Spring Lake Root Beer to take home with me. Sadly, despite all of my crumpled paper and bubble wrap. Several bottles of root beer were smashed in each of my three pieces of checked bags, including one of my two bottles. I hate to do a review with only one bottle, but I had no choice.

This has a nice full Body that is sweet and creamy and even a little spicy from clove I think. There is some delicious honey and wintergreen in there as well. The spices give a solid Bite that still goes down smooth. The Head builds to a decent height and is moderately frothy. It lingers long enough but there are much better. The Aftertaste is sweet vanilla with hints of wintergreen, honey and spices. It lingers just the right amount of time.

Wow, what a brew! I knew after about the third drink that it was getting the Seal. But where to rank it. I was torn between high 4, and low 4.5. Why did I have to lose the other bottle?!? I ultimately decided to give it the lower of my inclinations, to play it safe. Though, still being in the top 20 is hardly a punishment. Between Town Hall Brewery, Glewwe’s Castle Brewery, and Vine Park Brewery, they’ve got quite the trifecta of micro-brewed root beers. I just hope those people living in the Twin Cities appreciate how fortunate they are. See how it rates against other root beers.