May 242017

Pint of LTD Brewing Company Root BeerSeal of Approval Yesterday and Monday I was in Minneapolis for another job interview but this time for a different company, doing different things. Choices choices if I get offers from both. So anyhow I was in Minneapolis and looking for root beer. Remembering the fabulous brew at Town Hall Brewery and others, I had high hopes for another amazing Minnesota find. I discovered the LTD Brewing Company was not far from my hotel and immediately set off. LTD stands for Limited Batches, Unlimited Possibilities. It was started by two friends who met at college in 2003 and set off on a quest to make their own beer. This eventually turned into a brewery rather than some college kids trying to get drunk cheaper. Early on in the process, though, they made a commitment to have quality root beer, the kind Minnesota is known for. They didn’t disappoint.

The Body is oh so sweet and creamy and rich and utterly delicious. There’s tons of wonderful vanilla flowing through it. It also has quite a sharp and substantial Bite from a myriad of spices yet manages to finish smooth. The Head is amazingly tall and it takes the multiple pours before the glass can actually fill with brew instead of foam. The Aftertaste is strong vanilla with some wintergreen undertones.

Wow! This is so good. So sweet and spicy, yet smooth and creamy and just really what I want to see in a root beer. Dang Twin Cities area, you have got the highest concentration of Seal of Approval brews I know of. This might be the place for me to live.

4.5 Kegs

The LTD Brewing Company.

The LTD Brewing Company.

The LTD Brewing vats.

The LTD Brewing vats.

Only $2.50 for a pint of some of the world's best root beer.

Only $2.50 for a pint of some of the world’s best root beer.

Jan 112017

Silver Creek Brewing Company Blonde Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalThis was the first blonde root beer I’d ever heard of, and only one of three that I know of. It’s made by the Silver Creek Brewing Company in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. They’ve been around only since 1999. They’re small but they still do a unique root beer which is pretty cool. I like the blue and orange-ish label. You don’t get a lot of bright blues on root beer bottles. I’m not so sure about their logo. It has the historic Grist Mill in which they brew, and then a big squiggly blue line all over the picture. Like they wanted to emphasize the creek after they made the picture and just drew it in there. It’s also made with pure cane sugar. I had the hardest time tracking this down but luckily another craft root beer lover, Tony, hooked me up with a sweet trade.

This has a sweet creamy Body with a lot of vanilla. There’s some mint in there as well. Its core is mild but not lacking. It is a smooth brew with not a lot in the way of Bite. I like ’em smooth though I wish there were a bit more spice. The Head is nice and tall. It does dissipates a little faster than it others but hangs around for long enough. The Aftertaste is a nice minty vanilla that lingers awhile.

I truly enjoy this rather unique take on root beer. I liked the other blonde root beer too. This one’s got that nice minty hint to it as well. Definitely worth drinking whenever you can get it. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Nov 092016

A glass of Mammoth Root BeerSeal of ApprovalMammoth is a fancy sandwich shop in the Eastlake neighborhood in Seattle. Their sandwiches are all ice age-y named things like Saber Tooth, Predator, Dodo, Neaderthal, and whatnot. In addition to their most epic sandwiches, they brew several flavors of house sodas to compliment the many other beers they carry on tap. A coworker of mine told me that they had their own root beer so of course I wasted little time in dropping by. I went for lunch with said coworker and another to give it a try. We missed the bus so we took a Lyft, and the coworker in the front seat kept confusing the driver by pointing things out to us to look at. Though that wasn’t anywhere near as entertaining as our ride back on the bus, where my complaining about massive memory allocated to “miscellaneous files” causing a memory shortage in my Samsung phone elicited some dubious advice from a fellow passenger, a woman of questionable sanity, who insisted I just needed to go to the trash folder and empty it, just like in her Windows phone … she even tried to show me how to do it. But this was superseded when we exited the bus and saw a man trying to remove the anti-theft cap from a vodka bottle by banging it repeatedly against a newspaper vending machine in the middle of a busy sidewalk. I guess he really needed a shot. Both of my coworkers were quite amused at my ordering, emphatically stating there could be no ice and I wanted it with lots of foam, but servers complied. All told, the trip was an amazing success even without the sandwiches and root beer, but that root beer would have been worth it in the most boring of trips.

This brew has a Body that is rich and complex with wintergreen, caramel, vanilla, and even some licorice wrapped around a sassafras core. It’s a little dark but well proportioned and it comes off as delicious. It has a nice spicy Bite too, with those spices adding heat and complexity to the overall flavor. Despite this, it feels very smooth in your mouth. The Head is of decent height and nice and frothy, if you ask them to make it foamy. The Aftertaste is a lingering caramel, wintergreen, and vanilla, all wrapped up sticky and sweet like that makes you both happy and wanting more.

Delicious, and quite unique. I was on the fence for quite awhile as to whether or not this would get the Seal because it was so different. But on my second glass, I knew without a doubt that the brew deserved it. It’s not the sort that you quaff down, but the sort of brew you want to sip slowly and enjoy. And unless you’re pretty rich, you’ll have to as this is the most expensive brew I’ve ever had. $4 for an 8-ounce glass. They even have a line on the glass so they make sure you don’t get extra. And no refills. But it was so good I had to get that second glass. But it was a different server and as she walked off to fill the glass with ice I had to repeatedly scream over the din not to put ice in it. Then it was too late and I demanded a fresh glass because DO NOT DILUTE MY ROOT BEER! All to the vast enjoyment of my coworkers. In addition to being delicious on its own, it goes amazingly well with their sandwiches. I had the Predator, with fried chicken leg, pork belly, Swiss, arugula, roasted red peppers, and caper aioli all on a rustic artisan roll. So, so good. This place is expensive, but worth every penny. You won’t be disappointed.

4 kegs

Mammoth Soda Taps

The Mammoth Soda Taps.

Mammoth Root Beer Sign

The “House Made” root beer sign.

Mammoth sandwich, the Predator

The Predator, one of the most amazing sandwiches I’ve ever had.