Aug 032016

Rock Island Brewing Company Pumpkin Spiced Root Beer Bottle Every year at the start of October, all of the coffee shops, chocolatiers, perfumiers, butchers, bakers, candlestick makers, and pretty much everyone else gets out their pumpkins and their spices and unleash a flood of harvest/Halloween/Thanksgiving food and fragrance upon the world in the form of pumpkin spiced lattes, hot chocolates, regular chocolates, candles, incense, Jell-O?, Pringles, Pop Tarts, and probably every food product imaginable. This continues until December when they swap out the pumpkin for eggnog and continue until the New Year. These products have varied levels of grossness with a few actually tasting good, though those are the exceptions and not the rules. Into this fray stepped the expert brewers from Rock Island Brewing Company (who’s rocking abilities cannot be overstated) and decided that a glaring hole in this onslaught of pumpkin spiced everything was root beer and they were gonna solve it. I wasn’t sure if I was excited to try it or not. On the one hand, Rock Island Brewing Company, on the other hand pumpkin spiced Jell-O…

The Body is spicy, very spicy. It’s thick and rich as well with some vanilla and pumpkin syrup flavors featuring prominently. The Bite is sharp and intense from all of that spice. I think I’m getting cinnamon, allspice, and clove; maybe others too. It really burns in a way that puts hair on your chest. The Head is okay. It’s medium-short with large bubbles but it sticks around for a bit. The Aftertaste is a honey pumpkin flavor that finishes with clove bits.

So they surely got that spiced part right. That this isn’t awful is a testament to the skill of the brewmasters. Not only that, if you are a spice addicted Bite lover, this could be one of your favorite brews. As for me, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. After much deliberation as I drank my two bottles … I would drink this again. During that “special” time of the year. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Jul 272016

Bottle of Rock Island Brewing Company Root BeerSeal of ApprovalSome people rock. They can’t help it. They are just rockin’ wherever they are, whatever they’re doing. It permeates through every fiber of their being and oozes out to influence their surroundings. They don’t get on a bus, they rock on a bus. They don’t walk into Mordor, they rock into Mordor. If they live on a hill, it’s now Rock Hill. If they live on an island, it’s Rock Island! Sometimes they make root beer, but they don’t make it, they rock it and their brews are rockin’. Such are the people behind the Rock Island Brewing Company, who kettle brew their sodas and make two flavors of root beer. They are located on (the island formerly known as) Long Island (it’s Rock Island now…) and are recent comers to the gourmet root beer world. If you remember I helped with their Kickstarter campaign. Their label is quite appropriately a root beer bottle made into a guitar head. I have no doubt that they’ve made such a guitar and use it as they rock to and fro.

The Body is sweet and rich with honey and vanilla featuring prominently over a traditional sassafras flavor. There’s a little spice in there as well. The Bite is mild yet present in the form of a little spice. It has a wonderful mouthfeel and a smooth finish. The Head is excellent and lingers throughout the drinking experience. The Aftertaste is nice vanilla and honey.

This is a fine, fine brew. I always love those vanilla and honey braus and this is one of the better ones. With their name and label, they set a high bar for themselves, and I am very pleased to say that they rocked right over that bar. See how it rates against other root beers.

4.5 Kegs

Sep 142013

video-284310-h264_highAs you know, I wholeheartedly endorse any and all efforts to increase the world’s supply and diversity of gourmet root beer. But this is on a whole new level. The Rock Island Brew Co.’s mission: to put handcrafted sodas made with real and fresh ingredients in the hands of their local community. They focus on making complex flavors with minimal ingredients. Creating old fashioned favorites like Root Beer, reminiscent of childhood, while also developing new and unique sodas such as Apple Cream. They sweeten with honey and use real vanilla and real sugar. The real kicker is, the seasonal pumpkin spice root beer. That’s right, these brewers are taking the gourmet root beer scene to seasonal varieties and theme brews, which has been largely lacking.

Their Kickstarter campaign is to get an automated bottling line up and running, so they can meet the demand for their sodas. They offer a wonderful reward of a four pack of any of their four flavors for only a $20 pledge. As someone who mail orders a lot of root beer in small quantities, this is an extremely good deal, or for $25, you can suggest your own prize, like a variety pack of soda. That’s what I did, two bottles of regular root beer and two of pumpkin spice root beer. $25 for two new types of mail order root beer is about as good as it gets. So please, for the love of root beer, click the link below and go make a pledge and help these fledgling brewers make the world a better place.