Dec 162015

Round Barn Root Beer BottleIn the tiny town of Arcadia, OK, on Route 66, there exists a place called Pops. There, on the iconic route, they’ve got it all; a restaurant, a landmark, a soda ranch, and a website that actually works. Their soda ranch boasts over 600 flavors, a good 1/6 of that coming from various root beers, birch beers, sarsaparillas, and associated diets. Very impressive. Not wanting to stop there, they decided to get their own flavor of root beer and contracted with the Huebert Brewing Company to make it for them. They decided to buck the whole Route 66 trend and instead named their root beer after some round barn. The picture is on the bottle and everything. In a town of less than 300 people, I can accept that a big ol’ round barn may just be defining feature of the place. The Wikipedia article on Arcadia confirms this as it has exactly one photo in it which is nearly identical to the label picture, same angle and everything. Curiously, the article doesn’t mention anything about said round barn, so maybe it’s just for looks or something.

The Body is rather bland. It’s really REALLY sweet and syrupy but only a medium flavor profile. It’s a tad creamy with the slightest shadow of wintergreen, but you really have to look hard. There’s also a fruity hint. There is the slightest spice Bite but not much in the carbonation department. That all fizzes up to build a very nice Head that’s tall and lingers awhile, though it’s not a high froth Head. The Aftertaste is sticky corn syrup that turns bitter.

So about a week before I tried this I got an email from someone claiming my review of Henry Weinhard’s was wrong because it uses HFCS and that tastes inferior to sugar and as the primary ingredient it would have the most pronounced flavor. I responded that the sugar doesn’t make the brew and other ingredients can have much stronger flavors. This brew, however, fits exactly what he was getting at. It has a very high 47g of HFCS and that is by far the dominant flavor. Really this tastes like moderately flavored corn syrup drink, like if you watered down some Aunt Jemima. I’m not a big fan. See how it rates against other root beers.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Jul 012015

Root 66 Root Beer BottleThe first Route 66 themed root beer I ever encountered. It was one of the three from that Seattle Mariners game when I was in high school and one of the first probably 20 root beers I ever had. Interestingly, this was made in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is most decidedly not on Route 66. They say that they created it as a tribute to that road, but still, Virginia just seems out of place to have such a thing. That’d be like me making a Jamestown Root Beer up here in Washington as a tribute to the original American colony. Sure I could do it, but it wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Anyway I think they really just made it because the pun was too irresistible. Some people just love their puns, myself included, and will go to great lengths to create the appropriate context to use one that they find especially clever, despite the fact that the vast majority of the population does not share the sentiment. We pun-ishers are such an under appreciated lot. So someone at Roadside Beverage Company (the company that makes this) loved the Root 66 root beer so much that even though he was in Virginia, he figured it was his only shot to send his pun to the world. I thank him for his determination.

This has a complex Body with too much Bite. Head is ok. The Aftertaste could use vanilla.

A lot of the complexity came from the chicory root, sweet birch, and sarsaparilla root they added in addition to the other natural and artificial flavors. It had too strong an anise flavor though, which was not appreciated. This was the only root beer with a stong anise flavor in it that I could at all stand at the time of reviewing, there have been some others since then though this was the first. It’s not a bad brew, but not anything outstanding. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Aug 142013

Route 66 Root Beer Bottle The second of the Route 66 themed root beers I’ve tried. Not to be confused with Root 66 Root Beer, which I did for awhile and thus ignored this one when I saw it at the store. I guess the pun is a little too irresistible. Luckily the store was close to home so when I realized the error I was able to quickly correct it. I’m not entirely sure what their name should be since they haven’t followed the IAGRB Standards of naming convention. Is it Route 66 Beer (as their website alludes), Route Beer 66 Root Beer (as the bottle says), Route 66 Route Beer (as their website says), Route 66 Root Beer (as other sites say)? Clearly they’re going for the pun and the route and whatnot but I haven’t a clue. I’ve settled on Route 66 Root Beer as that’s a clear differentiator from the other two I’ve tried, plus it seems in harmony with the rest of their soda line and closest to my the IAGRB standards. They sport a nice retro bottle that has even won some awards by some glass bottle award giving organization.

The Body is nice. It’s got most of the standard flavors in the right proportion but they vanish quickly. There is a nice creamy hint to the body. The Bite is very nice. It bites the tongue with both carbonation and some spices but is not harsh by any means. The Head is a decent height, but fizzes away too quickly. The Aftertaste is a sweet creamy vanilla.

All in all this is a solid brew but just not quite enough, though, it is better than its homonymic brother (Root 66 Root Beer). See how it rates against other root beers.

Three and a half kegs