Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dogs n' Suds

It is true, Dogs n' Suds has been in my life since I was a child. How can you turn down a huge bottle of brew? Especially one sporting such a colorful label. But the truth is I haven't had this root beer in quite a while and when I opened this mammoth bottle I was not as a giddy as I was when I was a child. For some reason, I feel my bottle was defective.

When I made my first pour into the trusty frosty mug, no head appeared. Instead the spirit (bubbles) just lie stagnant along the side of the mug. To say the least, it was very odd. The second pour was a little bit better, a head did form, but it was no wear near the quality of the standard. When I tasted the Dogs n Suds, it was somewhat flat - but not entirely. It still had a crisp root beer flavor and aroma. It was very sweet, but truly was just an ordinary root beer with no flavor frills. It is the kind of root beer that floats were made for.

I am going to give this brew 3 Frosty Mugs mostly based on label and serving size. This rating is skewed by my poor sample quality. In the future, if I do run into another bottle, I will post an update to give a more accurate review.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Dog n Suds Drive-In Style Root Beer : Dog Gone Good Brew

Dog n Suds has a long history beginning in Champaign, Illinois back in 1953 when a couple of music teachers opened a car hop style drive-in restaurant serving hot dogs and of course root beer. Their idea evolved into a booming business reaching a peek of about 750 locations back in the 1970's. Unfortunately, as times changed so did interest in car hop style restaurants and only a handful of these Dog n Suds drive-ins are left. One striving location is in Montague, Michigan which proves that there certainly remains a place for these very nostalgic eateries. One thing left from this franchise is of course their bottled version of the brew from their chain of drive-ins.

Jeff sent me this very mammoth 32oz glass bottle of this drive-in style brew. He is a native of Illinois so I know this particular brew holds a very special spot in his heart. To begin with I must admit that big bottles of brew always impress me. After all for a brewer to be bold enough to expect that their brew is so good that someone would want a 32 oz serving is either an indicator of confidence in the product or just simple narcissism. I am happy to report that a 32 oz serving is just right when considering Dog n Suds. Along with this large bottle one's eye is certainly going to be drawn to very unique and appealing logo. It certainly carries that nostalgic feeling of easier times in America. After all it is not everyday that a dog will serve up humans brew and a hotdog, certainly a far stretch from what I often observe humans doing for their dogs in the local park (think baggie).

The spritz of this brew is most inviting, a traditional root beer extract aroma with a good balance of carbonation. The foam head is very similar to the standard but was very white versus the brownish tinge of most brew. I am partial to white foam, not sure why but I think it is a plus just for appearance sake. The flavor is deep and distinctly root beer. I noted that there are no frills, no unexpected blends of other non-traditional flavors, just your down home root beer flavor. For a Americana traditional root beer frills would certainly be a drawback and although I certainly love frills in my brew I was happy to not experience them in this classic brew. Dog n Suds exceeds the standard by the fact that it provides a much more distinct root beer flavor, again no frills, and that there is a much better balance of carbonation, the standard is a bit more carbonated than I would prefer. Dog n Suds has a much more appealing balance which makes popping this top a much more smooth adventure.

As they once advertised it is "so dog gone good" and they are right on the money with this brew. For the distinct root beer flavor, long time American tradition, white foam, and awesome logo, I serve up on a car hop window tray 4 Frosty Mugs for this American Tradition.

-Adam