Sunday, December 18, 2011

Root Beer's Gift to all People - Henry Weinhard's

Long ago when Jeff and I were simply mailing root beer back and forth to each other I came across Henry Weinhard's during a visit to Idaho.  It was winter, bitterly cold, and I was in the very rural town of Rexburg. This tiny dot on the Idaho  map offers very little for those who stumble into the city limits.  Back in 1998 when I was there the relatively little known Rick's College was all there was to offer.  Since those days Rick's has become a thriving university and gained a much more prestigious name.... BYU-Idaho!!!!

When I first spotted this fine crafted brew in the long-neck amber bottles I was surprised to see that is was a Texas root beer.  The "Blitz-Weinhard Gourmet Soda Company" is based in Fort Worth.  Which should not be confused with the makers of the "other beer" by the same name which is based in Oregon.  At some point during prohibition Weinhard made root beer, like many other brewers of that day.  As time continued to unfold the "other beer" makers within the company lost interest in the soda side and the two were split.

So fast forward to 1998 in that tiny Idaho town when I found this brew while checking out the local grocery store.  Yes, even as far back as then I would scour every city I visited looking for new brands of brew.  My first impression of Weinhard's was formed when I hastily popped the top and to my utter amazement the foam nearly flooded my small Mazda pick-up truck cab.  Although this may be a slight stretch, I assure you, the foam was a-plenty, more than I had ever seen , even to this day!!!!  Since that day I have always been very mindful to respect this bottle of brew and open with care :)  After I was able to clean my self and my truck up I was so pleased by the flavor that I almost forgot about the preceding incident.   The flavor was so full bodied, so pleasing, perfectly sweet, and carried a richness of traditional root beer ambiance, I knew then as I know now, this was and remains my favorite root beer!!!  There will always be certain aspects of other brew that I will specifically like more than what is delivered in this tall amber bottle but overall, this is the brew for me.  During my current review I took the time to notice that the carbonation is heavy, so too the sweetness, but there is something in that flavor that cannot be matched by any other.  The label reveals that vanilla, honey, and acacia sassafras extracts/essence are used.  I believe that the acacia sassafras plays a huge role but the additional flavorings are almost as essential to claiming my top spot.  Although I would not classify this as a stout root beer, I would absolutely classify it as a very traditional flavored full bodied root beer.  This brew should be enjoyed straight from the bottle and not combined with dinner or lunch.  This would be a great brew to enjoy while fishing, or sitting by a camp fire, and especially while around the Christmas Tree.  Shoot its root beer, buy enough for everyone, even the kids, make a holiday tradition that all will enjoy!!!

I enthusiastically extend Henry Weinhard's Root Beer 5 Frosty Mugs - my very first review ever to receive this rating and only the second in RBB history!!!!

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, and Have a very Prosperous New Year!!!!!
Time to Pop-A-Top of some Henry's!!!!!!



Steward of Vapor said...

I love watching first timers take a big swig Weinhard's. They seem to not know what to do when the foam explodes out the bottle into their mouths.
This Rootbeer is the rootbeer I compare all others to.

Eric said...

I sometimes forget how spoiled I am. With Henry Weinhard's found in nearly every super market on the West Coast I've never had a shortage of it. I also agree with Steward of Vapor, it is the root beer I compare all others against. I like to call it, "the higher standard" or the "gourmet root beer standard."

cheezhead said...

I just posted a review of this awesome brew as well over at the Root Beer Rundown ( I love this stuff. I was out in San Francisco on a business trip for 3 days so I was able to enjoy one each day! Whenever I'm out in CA I always try to track down a few bottles.