Aug 242016

A mug of Don's Root Beer.Brew number three of the my Tesla Gigafactory Root Beer Road Trip. It was Saturday, as Friday’s TMC Connect and Gigafactory party left no time for root beer hunting. I scoured the net and found this root beer being made at The Brew Brothers, a brewery in the Eldorado Casino a 10 minute or so drive from us. It’s called Don’s because Don was the brother that makes it, I guess. I tried to recruit any and all who would come (partly because I didn’t have a car). The only one I could find was Mike Lookinland, who always called me “Doctor” and wanted to know, every time I went to catch a Pokemon, if it was a diglet. We took his Model X, and after a stop for a car wash we arrived at the casino. The brewery itself was nice enough, despite being in a casino in Reno, and they even had frosty mugs for the root beer.

The Body is the sweet and creamy type, albeit a little generic. It’s got a rich texture but no particular flavors jump out at you. The Bite is pretty mild as well. The Head is okay, though a little on the short side and fizzes away too quickly. The Aftertaste is a light sassafras and the slightest hint of anise.

This is a nice solid brew, nothing exceptional at all but plenty good to eat with dinner. I give this a solid 3 kegs, better than the Great Basin brew, but not so much as to merit another half a keg. We weren’t actually very hungry so we just shared a plate of nachos. I forgot to take a picture of them unfortunately.

Three kegs

The Brew Brothers

The Brew Brothers. It looks like it’s outside, even though it’s inside.

The Brew Brothers' brewing vats.

The Brew Brothers’ brewing vats.

Aug 172016

A pint of Great Basin Brewing Company Root Beer Tesla Gigafactory Road Trip Brew number two. This one was in Reno. On the first night after the TMC Connect welcome reception. I had checked to see if there were any local breweries and found that the Great Basin Brewing Company was only a 15 minute walk from the conference center. So I asked some of my friends if they wanted to walk down with me and got a merry crew of three other Tesla enthusiasts. Along the way we caught Pokémon because they play as well as me and I can’t miss an opportunity to catch more. Plus Nevada is all desert and so lots of rock and fire type spawn there whereas in the rainy, river filled Seattle area I mostly catch water type. The brewery itself was a gym so my friends and I, who are on different teams, battled unceasingly over it until the root beer arrived. And since you care more about root beer than my Pokémon adventures, I’ll get on that part of the post.

The Body features a strong wintergreen flavor with cloves and a decent amount sassafras, yet it feels that there’s something missing. There’s a sharp Bite with the spices present. The Head is excellent, though it fizzes away just a little faster than I’d like. The Aftertaste is wintergreen that ends a little bitter.

This is okay. I’ve had better but had much worse. It reminds me of that Designation Root Beer but with a much, much better Head. So I’d drink it again. I have no idea how the food is at this place, since I’d just come from a fully catered reception, I wasn’t hungry at all, but I’m sure it is good.

Three kegs

Aug 102016

A glass of Portland Soda Works Root BeerSeal of Approval Two weeks ago I embarked on an awesome road trip to TMC Connect and the Tesla Gigafactory Grand Opening party. My friend from Vancouver and I carpooled as usual but now he has a Model S P90D instead of that Model S 60 he used to. Since it was a road trip I quickly looked over the route to find any root beers that would need to be tested. The first was one I’d known about for awhile, the Portland Soda Works. They have a very awesome story about their creation. The condensed version is they started their company to provide high quality alternatives for those who enjoy eating at restaurants but don’t drink alcohol, something I can totally get behind. I can’t stand how we straight-edge folks get left out. They also wanted to make their sodas from whole ingredients, if they can’t get the the roots or leaves themselves, it isn’t going into their drinks. Such dedication is a rare find. Unfortunately that also means that they can’t use sassafras because of the FDA and their questionable research, so it’s a sarsaparilla base. They had actually known about me for awhile, so when I asked if I could drop by for a taste they were very accommodating. They showed me and my friend their entire operation in the old bakery in the sketchy neighborhood by the railroad tracks. They let us taste a lot of different syrups and flavors, but then it was on to business, their root beer.

The Body is very rich with sarsaparilla the dominant flavor and a complex blend of other spices and flavors including cloves, star anise, and vanilla. It’s very sweet as well. The Bite is solid and spicy but it finishes oh so smooth. The Head is tall and foamy. It lingers and tastes wonderful and silky smooth. The Aftertaste is a rich vanilla with a bit of sarsaparilla flavor.

Wow! It’s not your archetypal root beer flavor to be sure, but they still captured enough of that root beeriness to to have it fall on the side of the root beer line. I’ve had some mixed experience with those all natural sarsaparilla based brews before, but none of them have pulled it off like these guys. I am proud to give this my Seal of Approval!

4 kegs

Their syrups and some flavor experimentation

Their syrups and some flavor experimentation.

The building that houses the Portland Soda Works and other businesses

The building that houses the Portland Soda Works and other businesses.