Friday, August 31, 2007

BK Root Beer Stand in Sidney, Ohio

We will have to excuse Jeff for the delay on his Hank's post as he is currently predisposed in his career endeavors. Evaluating root beer is certainly enjoyable but one has to also pay the bills. So while we wait for Jeff's return I thought this would be a good time to post about a favorite eatery of mine back in my sweetheart's hometown Sidney, Ohio. Just adjacent to the local city ball fields one will find some batting cages and a genuine Americana drive-in selling freshly brewed root beer.

The BK Root Beer stand sells spanish dogs (coney dog), shredded chicken and pork sandwiches and of course root beer in frosty mugs. The best part is they bring it right to your car. The large mugs are huge but they even have kiddie sized mugs which made lunch for my daughters most delightful. The root beer is very fresh, it was low in carbonation but was distinct in the traditional root beer extract flavor one would expect. From what I have learned through some simple searching on the web, BK Root Beer once was a striving chain of drive-in restaurants within the midwestern states. A&W Root Beer actually started in root beer stands very similar to this. However, over time people lost interest in this style of eatery and they all but disappeared. Recently the Sonic chain has made a significant come back but unfortunately they do not toat their own fresh root beer. A&W has also made a come back but now they are all regular sit-down restaurants. Essentially, finding a genuine root beer drive-in stand is a precious find indeed. Besides this BK in Sidney I also know of two others in Ohio, a BK in Piqua and Wot-A-Dog Drive-In in New Carlisle. Regardless of how the root beer compares to other brews, fresh brew is always great brew and at root beer stands like these its carried right to car in a frosty mug. -Adam

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hank's Gourmet Philadelphia Recipe Root Beer: Serve it on a Silver Platter

As far back as I can remember I have never paired root beer with the word gourmet. In fact when I think that far back I think of root beer being served in a frosty mug in some fast food joint where the waitresses are zipping around on roller skates. Now that is about as far away from gourmet as you can get. So how did Hank's enter the picture? The bottom line, these guys started out in the mid-1990's with the single intention to make an upscale premium product. Premium is only about a half-step away from Gourmet, the only difference is presentation. I checked out the Hank's website and found that normally their bottles actually say "Premium" rather than gourmet but there was also a difference in the bottle. The bottle I have pictured to left is a much more upscale bottle and therefore it reads "Gourmet" and appropriately so.

I am not sure where Jeff found this one but I found it amongst the many bottles of brew he sent in a box I found on my door step when I arrived home from our Ohio visit. He encouraged me to pop the top of this one first, I am glad he did.

I was amazed as I poured this brew from one of the most impressive bottles I have ever seen brew stored in. The bottle has the logo embossed in a golden foil, not once, but twice and then the actual glass of the bottle also bears the name "Hank's". Very gourmet and that's only the bottle. The brew was dark, very dark, the foam was very similar to that of the standard, and the spritz, well that aroma was very distinct, a very strong root beer extract emanated from the elixir inside.

This brew has few flavor frills, something I actually look for in a brew, but for some reason I still loved it. It didn't have a hint of almond or vanilla, just root beer, plain and wonderfully simple. I mean it, I experienced a very sound root beer flavor, smooth, crisp, and pure. The carbonation was perfectly balanced, the brew flowed from the mug easily over my taste buds, it was as if this brew had been made for the sole purpose to be appreciated for what it was ..... a root beer. Gourmet, indeed, this brew is what you would want to serve your boss, if he loves root beer. This is the stuff they probably stock in the 5-star restaurants around this fine country and if they are not stocking it the reason is simply because they do not stock root beer at all. I thoroughly enjoyed this review and encourage all of our readers to seek this one out. I serve up Hank's my highest score yet, 4.5 Frosty Mugs.....on a silver platter.