Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hank's

song of note while reviewing: Feel This by Enation

my aside:
back in my college days, which has been way too long. let’s see 5. . .10. . .15 . . . hmm i think i'll stop counting now. one of my stark memories revolved around an unlikely pairing. brace yourself. daytime soaps and root beer. you guessed it! yeah you probably didn’t. . . because it is quite the odd couple.

while living in the apartments one year, besides my good roommates, i also had some other good friends living directly adjacent to us. and so it was only a hop, a skip, and a ditty for all of us to chill together. no seriously. one hop or one skip. at the most two. and these type of circumstances lead to many fond memories.

one particular afternoon when i decided not to attend class, i went over to my friends’ apartment. being that i rarely ever knocked, i walked straight in and saw one of the strangest sights in all my college days. there was my friend, tom , watching General Hospital while drinking a root beer. despite a double take and several seconds of rubbing my eyes the image remained.

sadly though since i had skipped class and had very little else to do, i partook in the moment and relented into watching General Hospital. . . but oddly enough i opted for a different beverage. . . of course. though sitting and watching soaps with another guy cannot be made ok no matter what you drink. tom would latter blame his fiance for getting him hooked, this confession of course was only after the episode was over.

after all these years my punishment for that moment is to now review the stuff, root beers anyways. hmmmm. . . i wonder if luke spencer serves root beer at the haunted star.

review:
genuine hank’s gourmet philadelphia recipe root beer. . . let me catch my breath after saying that.

let’s begin with the obvious when you spot his root beer. this is one gorgeous bottle. well as far as brown glass bottles go anyways. it’s got more texture and curves on it than the sand dunes in the sahara. it’s embossed! and there is fancy metallic foil labels, which again is not typical of the industry. it’s not a single label either like most. it’s a lot for the visual system to take in from a root beer. but the bottle is very elegant and clean looking (ignore what i may have said about the bottle in the last review) previous review

enough about the superficial stuff right? what about the taste? well having a bottle of hank’s is like dating a super model. in the beginning all you can do is admire their beauty, but eventually there has to be some substance. otherwise it may not last too long.

and thankfully hank’s has the goods. best word to describe it would be “solid.” it does not overpower in anyway. not too sweet, not too much bite, not too creamy. and at the same time it is not bland. hank’s is a very solid and smooth root beer. easy for the non root beer elitist to accept.

so admire and appreciate the bottle, even keep it around to show off to your friends. enjoy the drink with whatever meal you may have. this is one date you may take home to the parents and brag about. it’s a keeper

ingredients of note: cane sugar, quilla & yucca extracts, citric acid & acacia. interesting fact uncovered upon a little research: acacia honey is one of the few honeys which does not crystallize. that’s good, especially if you’re trying to make a root beer

4 frosty mugs and mini-me asks if he can he have another. that is a ringing endorsement i do believe

ps- this one root beer review a month turns out to be more difficult than i thought :]


-ray

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Best Place in DC for Root Beer & Chili Dogs - Ben's Chili Bowl

Located in the bustling Shaw neighborhood of Northwest D.C. is this landmark diner that has been serving the best chili in town since 1958. Beyond the amazing chili this small eatery has been at the very heart of the best and worst days this city has seen.


In 1968 during the infamous riots, Ben's remained opened to serve both law enforcement officers and activists alike. A decade before that, Jazz greats like Miles Davis and Nat King Cole would stop in after their late-night shows on U Street. In more recent times Bill Cosby has been known to not only grab a chili dog but even serve some to unsuspecting customers. But the most wondrous event at Ben's occurred when newly elected, President Barack Obama stopped in during his initial tour of his new resident city.





Ray and I found ourselves in Ben's during the lunch rush and enjoyed watching the courteous and quick staff running around to ensure everyone was served and well fed. I was very happy to see that Barq's was on the menu which greatly complimented the slightly spicy chili dogs that I quickly enjoyed. I always find it surreal to sit in such historic places and watch the hustle of all the people while I enjoy a nice cold root beer. It goes without saying that Ray enjoyed his chili dogs as well, with an ice tea of course!!

-Adam

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The One Thing I Will Miss About Winter

There is one indicator I have often used to know how much I like a particular root beer. I should qualify this post by stating that I LOVE ALL ROOT BEER!!! Yes even the worst of the worst (you know who are..... "Encore") is preferable above all other beverages. If it came down to living without root beer or living without all other beverages, I would simply say root beer please and never miss water, milk, coke, oj, .....etc. In fact it would be great because I would no longer be asked what I wanted to drink but simply if I wanted a drink.... I'm digressing..... so at times I drink root beer hot. No not luke warm, tongue scorching hot! Now I don't intend to drink root beer when its about to burst through the bottle from heat but it is a natural consequence, so to speak. This tends to happen in the Summer when the days are long and hot and the inside of your car is so hot that you take extra time to put up a windshield shade. As you can imagine I keep root beer on hand, everywhere. In my home, in the garage, at work, in the tank of the toilet (just in case), and yes even in my car. This is where my problem comes in... you see in the Summer the brew in my car gets hot, very hot! So over the years I have come to recognize that certain root beer tastes good regardless of the temperature it is served. Now that is one great root beer if you can fully enjoy it at 97 degrees. However, all root beer is designed to be served "chilled" so it lends to the idea that cold brew is better brew. That is where Winter comes in with regard to the brew in my car. In the Winter my brew is nice and cold, ready to be fully enjoyed regardless of the brand. In the Summer I make great efforts to stock the car with specific brew equipped to handle the heat. But in the Winter I make no such effort and fill the vehicle with a smörgåsbord of brew. Now, everything else about the Winter, snow, ice, cold wind, plows, and frozen car locks..... I HATE IT ALL!!!!!!! good bye Winter, Helllllooooo Spring!!!!! -Adam

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Root Beer's Oldest Sports Celebrity - Ted Williams

Most of our fans are aware of our belief that the New England soft drink, Moxie, is in fact a "Root Beer". What some of our fans may also know is that Boston Red Sox Legend, Ted Williams, was the official endorser of our favorite stout root beer. However, what you may not know is that Moxie.. and Ted.. endorsed another brew.


"Ted's Creamy Root Beer" was bottled and sold for a short time by the Moxie Company during Ted's prime years with the Sox. The root beer has never been seen since however in an odd way the memorabilia continues to find it's way in the spotlight. There have been many reports of fraudulent or counterfeit Ted's Root Beer signs, bottles, and even bottle caps. The reality is that there is a very limited amount of the original signs, caps, and bottles as it was not sold very widely or for very long. And although it is not necessarily the root beer that collectors are after it certainly is an interesting point. the fact of the matter is that
Boston Red Sox fans are very loyal and they love their Sox so much that they seek out vintage collectibles. Unfortunately with the lofty price tag attached to genuine vintage memorabilia there are many who seek to take advantage. Our encouragement to Ted fans and root beer fans alike, at least when it comes to this memorabilia, buy the replicas!! For $15 you could have this tin sign hanging on your garage wall and never have to worry if that seedy guy on ebay was on the up and up. -Adam

Monday, April 4, 2011

Appalachian Brewing Company - Not just a Root Beer for the Bears

I have driven through Harrisburg, PA many times this year on my way back to the Buckeye State. On those many occasions I often crossed a beautiful old bridge which, to my surprise, I found pictured on this bottle of local brew. I was immediately intrigued by this brew that claimed to have been sweetened by "a delightful blend of honey" and sported a honeycomb pattern across the background of its label. I am a big fan of honey, I like it on my biscuits and my pancakes..... but my brew..... honey is not exactly something I desire in my root beer. But there is something about these guys at ABC that had me questioning the role honey should play in my life.


The bear should be a clue as to how much honey this "delightful blend" might include. I know of no bear that would seek out a bottle of root beer as they rummage through your camp. However, I think ABC is implying a WARNING by placing this black bear on their label because if a bear gets a whiff of this brew it will be THE reason why they rummage through your camp!! Yes, there is much honey in this Pennsylvania root beer, but don't fret, in this case it is a very good thing!! Yes this brew is a sweet one, very sweet, but that sweetness comes with a distinct flavor of honey behind it. When all this honey is mixed so carefully along with the very distinct root beer flavor some how ABC Root Beer seems to pull off this oxymoron in a very delectable way. Yes, the root beer is distinct, sweet with honeycomb goodness, its a dark brew, with moderate carbonation, and has a very cool label. The guys at ABC pride themselves in brewing many distinct flavors of the "other beer" but I am grateful they applied all that experience in providing us another amazing distinctive root beer. I grant this honeycomb brew with 4 Frosty Mugs
check out ABC for yourself:

-Adam