Jun 102015

Wooley Bugger Root Beer Bottle This root beer comes from the Yellowstone Valley Brewing Company in Montana. For those of you who don’t know, a Woolly Bugger is a fly used in fly fishing. It’s a wet fly, which means it goes under the water as opposed to a dry fly which floats on top. I did try my hand at fly fishing for a few years so I’ve used one of these. Now the name is slightly different but based on the picture you can tell that’s what they’re going for. This makes it the second fishing themed root beer I’ve seen. There’s also some cow girl riding the fly with the caption “Wild Fly Rider” I think this is the first root beer to feature a busty cow girl on it that I’ve had. There are several other curiosities about their label. It says Grand Cru, which is a wine classification for superior quality. Then on the side of the label it reads “Guaranteed to Wooley Your Bugger and Then Some. The Black Elixir of the Yellowstone. Hardy Drink For Hardy Souls! THE Rocky Mountain Root Beer.” It’s like they couldn’t decide one what they wanted their tagline to be so they went with all of the suggestions. I have no idea what the first one is even supposed to mean. The last one will probably raise objections from the Rocky Mountain Root Beer people. The third line is, well, okay, whatever, and the second one makes me think it’s going to have a lot of licorice in it.

The Body is minty and I want to say birchy. There’s a little anise as well. There’s a strong wintergreen Bite but that’s it. The Head is short yet foamy. The Aftertaste is wintergreen and birch that’s a tad bitter.

This tastes more like a birch beer to me, though I can’t claim to be an expert on them, I’ve had several and they remind me of this. It also tastes similar to Spring Lake Root Beer with their birch beer extracts. But unlike some of the birch root beers, this one really lacks the vanilla, the sassafras, and the spice flavors. It still passes as a decent root beer though. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs

Jul 072012

One of the world’s most delicious and unique root beers, Glewwe’s Castle Brewery Spring Lake Root Beer has just gotten even cooler. As the photos show, they have just added Eric’s Seal of Approval, which they so justly earned, to their labels in the top right corner above the castle. They are the first root beer to date to do so, though I’m sure they won’t be the last.

True, the Seal is a little small on their label but it is still quite legible in real life. They had to request a special black and white version since they currently don’t print in color. I must say that this is the fulfillment of a dream I have had ever since I came up with the concept of the Seal of Approval, and thus my joy is overflowing. One more lifetime goal accomplished! So now if you’re ever in a store and want a good root beer but can’t remember if Spring Lake is worthy of imbibing, rest assured, my Seal of Approval will be there, reminding you that it is.

Spring Lake Root Beer in all of it’s many forms.

A closeup of the standard bottle.

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.