Nov 202013

Sparky's Fresh Draft Root Beer BottleSeal of Approval Made by Knox Brewing in Pacific Grove California, Sparky’s is leading the root beer revival, according to them at least. This started out as a home brew by the award winning brewer Kevin Knox who after years of perfecting the recipe released it to the world. Why they call it Sparky’s is beyond me. All I hope is that it isn’t named after a dog. I can’t remember how I heard about it, it was some time in early 2005 I think. I sent them an email asking how to order it and they sent me four bottles to try plus a T-shirt. Yay! I love root beer clothing. Two of their bottles were 22 ounces which is pretty unique in the root beer world. The label is nice. Simple to the point. A hand grabbing a glass of root beer.

The Body is really sweet and spicy with all of the right stuff. You can really taste the honey. The Bite is spicy and solid as well, almost too much for me, but not quite. It was rather sharp. The Head is decent, frothy, but a little too much on the slim side. The Aftertaste a luscious combination of honey and spices that left me tipping back the empty glass trying to get some more.

Yum, yum! This is a good one. I love that spicy Bite. Now I know why they also put it in 22 ounce bottles, the brewers foresaw that you’d want more. Drinking this is a pleasure from the first draught to the last drop. Okay, Sparky’s, you are right, you are leading The Great Root Beer Revival. See how it rates against other root beers.

4 kegs

Sep 052012

Was at the Root Beer Store the other day and noticed that they finally started carrying this. I’d known about it for some time from the Orca Beverages website but they utterly refused to make arrangements with me to get some, claiming that I could get anything they sold from the Root Beer Store, when the Root Beer Store clearly didn’t have it. But at last, they did and now I have it. With a name like Hippo Size and Jumbo, you’d think that this would come in some half gallon spring top growler or something. At least a 22 oz like Sparky’s does or at the very least some fat 16 oz bottles like Sprecher. However, it comes in just a regular 12 oz bottle like almost every other root beer. The did put it in the short fat bottles though, so they put in some effort. Then they realized that everyone would be let down by the lack-of-oversized bottle so they flavor texted it with “Small Bottle, Big Taste” I guess it was easier than getting bigger bottles. Despite this, they still say in the fine print that this is “The original Texas size drink” which contradicts their flavor text about it being small. It also claims a recipe that dates to 1927 though I hear they’d been out of business for some time and just recently resurrected.

This has a dark Body with a prominent licorice flavor along with sassafras and some wintergreen. It reminds me of a generic root beer barrel candy flavor (not the A&W ones). There is a strong carbonation Bite like sharp needles on the tongue. You can feel and even hear a bubble release unless it is poured from higher than normal into the glass, strange. Yet, despite all of said carbonation it still sports a “two second Head” which is quite a letdown. The Aftertaste is wintergreen and licorice that is a bit sticky.

Honestly after every drink I just think, generic stout. There really isn’t anything to distinguish this from all of the other dark and licoricey root beers other than the strange bubble release and the lack of distinguishing features. Perhaps that’s the reason it originally went out of business (and not a vast corporate conspiracy to deprive us of root beer variety). I don’t know but I do know that I’d never touch this again. See how it rates against other root beers.