Friday, February 29, 2008

A Root Beer Brew Boo Boo

I was surfing the net and stumbled upon these very lucky homemade root beer brewers. It seems to me they added a bit too much yeast to their brew; or perhaps, they left their brew exposed to some warm air. Probably a bit of both.

This is a public service message from the Rootbeer Brothers: Learn about brewing before you actually do it.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rootbeer Brothers Critical Date: A&W and The Great Root Bear

On this day 1974, A&W USA begins using this logo for marketing. The Great Root Bear is a brilliant marketing symbol that catches the eye of adults and kids. Be sure to view The Rootbeer Brothers Critical Dates to see more interesting root beer dates. If you would like to know about the history of A&W check out their site or this one by Ken Polsson.

Let us know if you know of an interesting critical date!


Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Goose Island Root Beer: A "Real Sugar" Brew

Goose Island is by far one of the sweetest brews we have evaluated. I am not sure what these brewers were thinking when they decided to load this brew up with "Real Sugar" but some how it works. I certainly acknowledge that this brew has some downfalls but I still like it!

The pop of the top brought a very interesting aroma of pristine root beer extract and straight up sugary sweetness. The pour was similar to that of the standard including the head. But everything was different from there on.

As I compared the two brews I quickly realized the comparison was pointless. Goose Island is so sweet that it made A&W taste like carbonated water. This is no joke, it was that sweet! Seriously as I was enjoying this brew I could not help but picture someone attempting to make a root beer flavored Kool Aide, you know starting off with like a pound of sugar in a pitcher of water. I know this picture paints a very scary thought regarding this brew but I am telling you some how they pull it off. This brew is sweet, no question there, but it is still smooth and still good. The logo was consistent with the name, nothing too original but cool all the same. The bottle is clear which I am not too fond of. The brew was similar in color as the standard but certainly nothing you would want to drink alongside the standard, trust me on this. In the end the brew stands up well with other brews and if you are ever in the mood for some root beer with your sugar, try Goose Island. I grant this sugary treasure a full 3.5 Frosty Mugs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Goose Island: A Vacation to Sweetness

The next contender for the Rootbeer Brothers' quest for root beer martyrdom comes straight from Chicago. A brew from my home state! AND from my kind of town. Yeah, thats right, Chicago is my kind of town (Thanks, Frank). Goose Island brewpub was originally established in 1988 and now has a steady operation brewing 50 beers and few sodas (root beer, grape, orange). They ship to 15 different states and the U.K. I found it at the local World Market.

This brew doesn't scream root beer when you pop the top nor was the head worth bragging about. It did produce one, but was not thick or persistant. The color is has a red hue and light readily passes through it. I liked the label design except for the label color. The label is simple, classic root beer style, but the color is a boring and lacks pizazz. On a shelf with other brews, it would melt away to the back of the pack.

One thing I can say about this brew that I can not say about others is the fact that they use "real sugar". This is a change from the mainstream "high fructose corn syrup" brews and the often better tasting "cane sugar" brews. I am assuming "real sugar" is the packaged white crystal stuff we often pour on our cereal in the morning as a kid. I don't know if I have grown to far away from this habit, but for my taste buds now, this brew is really sweet. Too sweet. Did I say that? Unfortunately, yes. Goose Island tastes of sugary caramel sauce with root beer flavor. For me, it is 2.5 Frosty Mugs.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Rootbeer Brothers ReVAMPed

For those of you who keep an active eye at what the Rootbeer Brothers have to say you may have noticed that we have changed up the look of the site/blog. Almost all of the changes must be attributed to the brilliant web blog "Tips For New Bloggers". On that site, they teach any user how to manipulate Blogger and use it to its full potential. Our blog could probably see a lot more improvements, but here is what we have done so far:

3 Column Lay-Out
We switched from a two column template to a three column template because the site was getting really overloaded. The new column allows us to spread the information in a more manageable fashion. The left column contains the Rootbeer Ranks and The Cellar; The center column has all of the posts and has the Google Calendar "Rootbeer Brothers Critical Dates"; The right column has everything else: translate and subscribe features, link cloud, etc.

Rootbeer Brothers Critical Dates
Located at the bottom of our page in the middle column is the calendar. We are constantly looking for good dates to put on the calendar, but many are hard to come by. We are looking for any root beer festivals, competitions, or historical dates regarding root beer. If you know of any please contact Jeff to have it added to the calendar. If you are having a root beer party, we better hear about it!

This is one of my favorite features on the reVAMPed design. One way we monitor our traffic is using Google Analytics which gives a plethera of information regarding the viewership of your website/blog. To date, we have logged visiters from 4 continents (Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa), 11 subcontinent regions (N. America, N. Europe, E. Asia, S. Africa, S. Asia, S.E. Asia, W. Europe, C. America, E. Europe, and the Caribbean), and 17 countries. I won't list the countries, but you get the picture. People from all parts of the world, from various cultures, all stop in to the Rootbeer Brothers to learn a little bit more about their favorite drink. Clicking a flag under the translate feature allows them to view our site in the language of their choice.

Subscribe Now
I am not going to pretend that I exactly understand the subscribe now feature completely. Many people use a personalized homepage that displays snippets of all of their favorite sites in one easy to view format. Clicking these buttons puts a snippet of our page and updates instantly with our posts (I think).

Root Beer Links
We consolidated our two "Link Lists" into one powerful list. If we are missing a link let us know! We will add it.

Label Cloud
We turned our very extensive label list into a much more appealing "label cloud" with the help from Phydeaux3. Label clouds lay out all the label tags used, but highlight labels used much more frequently. Click on a label and all posts containing that label will be displayed.

That is about it. We know more could be done, but lack experience and, sometimes, time. If you would like to see something change or added let us know. We would love to hear your feedback.


Monday, February 4, 2008

IBC: Another Root Beer with a Bite

Now Barq's Root Beer is the brew that is often associated with having a "bite" - that, of course, is attributed to the caffiene added to their mix. I will argue that IBC also has a mean bite and lacks the caffiene.

IBC is a refreshing twist on the traditional "name brand brews". This is evident from the way it is packaged in a rugged, simple brown bottle. This bottle is so unique in fact, it easily recognized by kids from 1 to 92. Okay, okay....maybe 3 to 92. Why is this?

It has bite! When you open the bottle - it bites you in the nose. When you take your first drink - it bites your tongue. When you order one out at dinner - it bites your wallet. Well, sort of. When you do order one out on the town, you can guarantee that it will not be free refills as with the other "name brand brews". Perhaps because it only comes in this magnificent bottle? So, YES it bites. Each time it does you gladly say can I have another. The brew is dark, the smell is sweet, and the taste is smooth. A great recipe for any root beer fan. Four Frosty Mugs.