Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ride the Rails with Reading Draft Root Beer

I am often surprised by the great varieties of root beer that I am able to discover when I go in search for new brew. It is far more surprising when I venture out in my daily activities and unintentionally discover a new brew. That is what happened when I took my family to the Strasburg Rail Road Station near Lancaster, Pennsylvania. My son is a huge fan of all things trains, from Thomas to Chuggington and everything in between, we loves them all. So for his birthday we wanted to take him on a vintage train ride and the nearest location was here in Strasburg. The rail line is an old sub-section of the Pennsylvania Railroad and now is home to the very amazing Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

I had no intentions of discovering another root beer but as we were buying our tickets and snacks for the short rail ride I spotted a cooler full of Reading Draft Root Beer (pronounced like the color RED). The bottle label displayed an old time steam engine which happened to be a mirror image of the steam engine that was pulling our passenger car.

Reading Draft Root Beer is not made by the fine train minded folks at the Strasburg Rail Road Station, but it is made not far from those rails. Just north of Lancaster is the striving city of Reading, Pennsylvania which is known for their own rail road, the Philadelphia & Reading Rail Road (P&R) which continues to operate commercially under the name Conrail. It is no surprise that they placed a steamy (as they call it on Thomas) on the label of this Reading brew. So as we embarked on our short rail trip, from Strasburg, PA to Paradise, PA and back, I and the family enjoyed this unintentional root beer discovery.

I was very impressed with their description of the water as being "Triple Filtered Carbonated Water". I couldn't help but wonder what was wrong with PA water that you have to filter it three times. I was then reminded of the other brew (Olde Heritage) that I discovered in this area and wondered if they may have not filtered theirs..... maybe that was the problem :)

They lightly use cane sugar to sweeten the brew and top it off with very low carbonation which does deliver a very familiar home brew flavor and feel. The brew was very smooth and easy to drink and certainly complimented the vintage train ride that provided my setting for the review. Reading Draft certainly varies from the Standard in many ways, I noted very obvious differences in carbonation and sweetness. This draft brew is the kind of home brew that I like, and so very different than the other local "home brew" my Amish friends are peddling on the roadside. The root beer extract is well bodied and distinct and carried no hint of cow manure...... which is a huge plus!!!!!!

If your path ever crosses the tracks in Starsburg, PA be sure to grab a bottle of Reading Draft and take a ride on the rails!!!! I grant Reading Draft 4 Frosty Mugs


check out the Strasburg Rail Road at
check out the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania at
check out Reading Draft Root Beer at

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