Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Maine Root - Free Range Birds & Brew

Back in Ohio there is a farm that solely raises free-range turkeys. We make it a point each year to buy a turkey from this farm for many reasons but mostly so we can feel less guilty as we are glutting ourselves on Thanksgiving. The guys at Maine Root are in many ways attempting to get after those same emotional heart strings. They in fact advertise their root beer as a "Free-Range" product. They have a slew of hysterical videos demonstrating the kind acts of their services including setting free caged root beer. Ummmmmm, well you just have to watch the videos to fully understand. So these guys are in a town I once use to frequent during my childhood days up East, Scarborough. This town is known for very little, very little, it is mostly over shadowed by its neighboring city, Portland. However, Stephen King's mother was born here, so that is at least something.

Things changed forever in this small Maine coastal town when brothers Matt & Mark decided that brewing root beer was cooler than building ovens and computer software. They set out with a very specific goal, to provide us with a morally better option for root beer. Corporate HFCS brew was their nemesis and in so many ways they have won the battle. Organic...... everything. That was their plan and that is their product.
If free-range means feeling less guilty than this is ensured with all the organic and natural ingredients in this brew. So "Free-Range" it is..... this brew will go well with the Turkey this year.... even less guilt!!

So the review..... I am a huge fan of any brewer that decides they want to make root beer more healthy. I love feeling like I can drink more cause "its good for me"....... I am not sure that hashes out perfectly but it is a nice feeling all the same. I mean when Charles Hires first sold his brew it was intended to be "good for you", the guy was a pharmacist!! So a big plus when organic and natural ingredients fill the label. The color is lighter than I had expected but darker than most HFCS brews. The label had some funky looking "root" thing on it, not sure what was up with that but a big save with the "Fair-Trade Certified" logo. You could have a white label with the words "ROOT BEER" across it and I would love it if it also had the fair-trade logo. Anyone willing to go that length for this certification gets a huge credit. Learn more about the "Fair-Trade" concept at

So with a "pop a top" I was tantalized with a very unique aroma.... it might have been the wintergreen.... but what ever it was I was overwhelmingly enticed. The flavor was so smooth, so tasty, so refreshing!!!! The carbonation was light and there was no real bite. But there was something about the swirling flavors that danced on my tongue that completely anesthetized my brain.......... as I was being fully distracted by this creamy journey a thought fought its way out, the fight was a tough one.... but eventually I recognized something important!!! I am a Rootbeer Brother!!!! I was evaluating a brew not some heavy hallucinogenic narcotic.... I had to be objective and something was amiss.... there was something important to note!!! There was something missing from this elusive organic down east root beer, it was that distinct root beer extract flavor! You know what I am talking about, that kick ya in the teeth and all the way down ROOT BEER flavor!! This rooted root beer was a bit weak in that department... I kept drinking, trying to lie to myself, but the fact was clear, the brew was weak. Creamy.... yes! Flavorful...... yes! Eco-friendly...... yes! But weak of that crucial root beer flavor, that distinct, this is why we call it root beer, root beer flavor. So I added up the pluses and Maine Root still stands with much regard. It may be a root beer for the faint of heart or for your local hippy clan, but it is also a root beer I will be honored to serve this November with my dead "Free-Range" bird.
4 Frosty Mugs

to learn more about Maine Root go to: and to see their videos go to


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