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.

Apr 202012

So this last week I visited the Twin Cities to give a seminar on electric vehicles at the University of Minnesota. I arrived in the late afternoon and after I got settled the question was, where to eat dinner? I asked the hotel clerk about good local restaurants and she gave me a list. A quick perusal revealed the Town Hall Brewery. What if, I thought, they brewed their own root beer. I gave the place a call and sure enough they did. I quickly procured the hotel shuttled and took off. I sat at the bar and the lovely bar tender, Rachel, asked me what I would like to drink. I told her who I was and why I was there, root beer. She kindly brought me some saltines and a glass of water and then went to the tap and filled my mug. The root beer is tapped directly from the brewing vats, no bottles, not even kegs, just the freshest root beer with minimal handling.

The first thing I saw was as she poured it, it foamed up like crazy. What a Head! That always gets me going. The foam actually holds together so well that it the Head can build above the glass without spilling over! It has a sweet rich Body that is very creamy. There is nice honey accenting the core flavors. There is a subtle Bite from the spices that surface after the initial contact but it is very smooth like I prefer. The Aftertaste is delicious vanilla and honey with hints of spices.

Yum, yum, yum. How delicious and fresh tasting. What a joy as well that an order of root beer comes with refills. After I wrote my initial review I had another mug while I waited for my food. This brew goes great by itself or with the amazing food they serve, like a walleye hoagie with a side of butter fried fries (my dinner ultimately). The biggest sadness was that I left my camera at home. Rachel and her smart phone to the rescue! So after my walleye hoagie and three and a half mugs of root beer. I left quite full and contented. My trip was already an overwhelming success, and I hadn’t even given my seminar. All my voyages should be such. So if your in Minneapolis, definitely drop by the Town Hall Brewery.