I love my brew in a glass bottle, not sure why but it always seems that my day goes better when my daily dose of root beer was poured from glass. It is a very rare occasion for Barq'sFamous Olde Tyme Root Beer to be found in glass so when I discovered these bottles I grabbed them fast!!!! As most of our fans will know, Barq's is typically the "Silver Bullet" of root beer, being sold in a silver can usually by the 12-pack. You may also see it sold from the fountain in nearly every McDonald's restaurant in America..... which sums to about 15,000 locations!! This was a brew that played a big role in my early childhood, if it wasn't at the local McDonald's I was grabbing some at the convenience store. There wasn't much to do in my small town in the Arizona desert so drinking root beer was a common highlight. Later in life when I began discovering the wide world of root beer, Barq's took a back seat in my life, making room for the vast brands of root beer that never found their way to my hometown. It wasn't until I lived in Missouri that I revisited Barq's with a whole new perspective.
Friday, July 29, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
On August 19th we will celebrate the 160th birthday of root beer's beloved Charles E. Hires, the Philadelphia Pharmacist turned soft drink icon. At age 25 he began selling his root beer powdered concentrate from his Philly drug store, in small pouches, for a quarter. The concentrate would brew up 5 gallons of Hires Root Beer but despite this value, the initial response was dismal. He was encouraged to present his new product in the 1st Worlds Fair located right in his own city of Philadelphia. The rest became history as Charles and his root beer established their place in Americana forever!!
Labels: Charles Hires
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Another gift from brother Adam, Moxie claims that the brew isn’t a rootbeer. I believe the word is “STOUT” and after my taste test I agree. My first pour into a frosty mug showed a heavy head of foam. Subsequent pours were not so heavy. The aroma was that of a medicine of sorts with just a hint of rootbeer extract or as the bottle says, gentian root . My gargle test was what made me believe that Moxie wasn’t a rootbeer. It has a bitter bite-like flavor that I don’t particularly favor. I understand that Moxie doesn’t like to be called a rootbeer but the ingredient of genetian root extracts in the brew qualify it as a “rootbeer”. Compared the base A&W, Moxie rates 3 Frosty Mugs. This is my first “Stout” brew so the taste is rough compared to regular rootbeer and the fact that they have a cool long neck glass bottle with a cool name that means courage and daring. They have to have courage to brew this as I believe you’d have to be daring to want to purposely drink it. Just kidding. You have to have some testosterone to appreciate the flavor.
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
When "Team Natural Brew" contacted me a couple months ago and asked if I would provide a "fresh review" for their all natural root beer I was honored! I remember when Jeff and I first visited this brew when I found it in the health food section of thelocal grocery store. My first thoughts were not positive. As you may have discovered from my reviews I unlike many of my Brothers, am not very concerned with issues of health. I like a root beer to taste GOOD... period!!! I certainly can appreciate efforts to use natural ingredients but this should never compromise taste!! So as you can imagine my initial thoughts about an "all natural" root beer quickly fell to this concern.... the taste.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Hello, my name is Joe. Adam introduced me here a few weeks ago as the newest Root Beer Bro and let me tell you, I am stoked. Stoked to be part of a virtual panel of fine beverage aficionados. Not too stoked, though, cuz that's dangerous (see The Onion's report on the dangers of getting stoked here, but be warned there is some R-rated language).
My wife will testify that I have long been a fan of specialty soft drinks and home brews. Birch beer, apple beer, ginger beer. Fruity this and cola that. But I will allow that root beer is the king. Beloved by children and adults, widely produced and widely available, root beer is an American icon. In fact, maybe in a future post I'll talk about how much some people from other countries seem to dislike root beer. To which I say: bahh.
Before he wandered off to another continent, Brother Mike stopped by my humble abode with a cooler full of curiously tasty brews. This liquid lunch was my initiation into root beer brotherhood, almost a hazing, really. We took notes, ooohed and ahhhed, ranted and raved. We played chicken with our pancreases, but ultimately stopped before passing out. And from that experience comes my first official review for The Rootbeer Brothers: a kickstart double review highlighting one of my favorite brews and one of my least favorite brews to date. As always, the 3-mug A&W standard is in effect. And so, from the halls of academia, here we go. I'll try to be fancy (as per Adam's instructions) without being a pretentious bore.
Appalachian Brewing Company
As a resident of Southeastern Ohio, maybe I favor this quasi-local root beer, with a wise, contented bear on the label and a "delightful blend of honey" inside. As Adam discovered just a few months ago, they brew the stuff just up the road (a few hundred miles) in Harrisburg, PA. I will most definitely be stopping at their historic brewpub near downtown Harrisburg later this month. In the meantime, I can savor the memory of the bottle I split with Mike, a truly pleasant mix of various flavors and textures. Sweetened with cane sugar and honey, the brew was sweet but not sickening or syrupy sweet. The honey really does give an extra something that sets this brew apart. With low carbonation, it went down smooth but was also full-bodied enough to grab my attention: faint vanilla, some anise maybe, and a sharp note I can only describe as cinnamon, or more specifically, red hot (as in the little red hot candies that start showing up on people's desks around Valentine's day). I think "blend" is the key word here, a word on the label. ABC's root beer is satisfying but not filling, creamy but able to bite. It is a high end soda and a work-a-day beverage rolled into one. And with a charming bear for a mascot. (Do bears like root beer? I know llamas do, but that's a story for another time.)
I give it 4.5 Frosty Mugs.
Waialua Soda Works
Although there were brews I liked less than Waialua's during our marathon taste-fest, I don't think there was one that disappointed me more than WSW's. First of all, it's from Hawaii, land of pineapples, volcanoes, and Magnum P.I. Hawaii = cool. The label is a nice retro design with a hula dancer and the promise of "finest Hawaiian quality." There also seems to be a translation, at the bottom, into characters from some vaguely Asian language (I know somewhere out there knows what it is). So far, so good. Sweetener: cane sugar. And it comes in a clear glass bottle, which I didn't mind since the beverage had a very unique and appealing reddish tint. A rusty orange/brown. BUT. The root beer itself was, to my palate, almost flavorless. It was decidedly watery, and what flavor there was came through as a rather overpowering wintergreen aftertaste. A touch of vanilla just didn't meld very well with the minty, couldn't soften its clear bite. Maybe it goes well with a spam sandwich. Or maybe it's a great brew for the beach because while sitting in the island sun, with your toes in the sand, you are so happy you don't care what you're drinking as long as it's cold.
Until I get to Hawaii to try this last theory out, however, I give it 2 Frosty Mugs.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Yes these are the places where A&W Root Beer flows freely from a draft dispenser typically landing into a glass frosty mug. Along with the root beer they serve traditional American fare including burgers and hot dogs. These venues have been spotted all across the country and at times even paired with other restaurants such as Long John Silver's, KFC, Pizza Hut, and even Taco Bell. Over the years they have even been known to be in mall food courts often going by the name of A&W Hot Dogs & More. Yes this is what you may already know about this amazing chain of brew making, American food grilling, frosty mug serving fast food joints. What you may not know is that these were in fact the FIRST Successful Franchises in America!!!!