Saturday, April 21, 2012

Moxie Makes Men Mighty - Root Beer Stout since 1884

When Moxie hit the soft drink scene it took hold of the market faster than facebook connected the world.  The genius behind Moxie wasn't that unique bitter flavor most find absolutely revolting.... no that certainly wasn't it.   It was the approach that Dr. Augustin Thompson took to advertise his new drink.  Being a doctor gave him the upper hand on Charles Hires, creator of root beer, who was only a pharmacist but who had been at this game for nearly 10 years.  Dr. Thompson claimed that his drink was also a health drink like Hires, but people tended to believe the doctor over the pill pusher..... at least initially.

In fact during the hay day of Moxie the only real completion it faced was Coca-Cola.  Both had been able to expand far beyond the confines of their region and literally become nationally distributed drinks.  They used similar methods that originated out of Hires' innovation which is still used today, they simply sold the concentrate and had local bottlers produce and distribute.  The advertising approaches between Coke and Moxie did vary however, significantly in fact.  Coca-Cola used pretty ladies dressed to the Nines (at least by their standards of the day) and Moxie..... well they created a fleet of cars that were shaped like a horse...... I am sure in the early 1900's a horse-car seemed cool..... but I am not sure it competes well with pin-up girls....  but some how it did compete... Moxie reined King Of Beers (root beer) for many years... horse-car and all... until one fatal oversight in the 1930's.

The legend has been told in many ways.... but each way includes sugar.... some say that the company made great investments in sugar to avoid rising costs, reducing the advertising dollars.... other say that in fact they did not invest in sugar early enough before significant price hikes... but either way what we do know is that Coca-Cola found the right balance of buying sugar and maintaining advertisement.... and Coke remains the top selling soft drink world wide.   Moxie has maintained its selling market too.... but only in the region it was born, Thompson was a Mainer, born and raised in the Vacation State.   To this day Moxie is a top selling soft drink in New England but more so in Maine than any other state.  One primary problem is availability, Moxie is primarily only sold in Maine.  There have been some recent efforts to expand the Moxie market but unfortunately this root beer stout is a bit late.

Frank "Moxie Man" Anicetti
But one thing is certain, Maine is proud of its hometown brew, although all Mainers may not drink it, they at least acknowledge its importance.   Each July the state gathers in the small town of Lisbon Falls which has become the official site of the Moxie Festival.  Year round the Kennebec's Fruit Company (which sells no fruit) provides Moxie and Moxie Merchandise and is the exclusive seller of Moxie Ice Cream.  Frank "Moxie Man" Anicetti is the owner of the store and welcomed me with open arms last year during a short visit to the area.  check out my post about the Moxie Man

As you may be able to tell I Love Moxie.... shoot Ted Williams, the baseball legend Loved Moxie..... here is the reason why.... because I love Root Beer and I love full flavored root beer even more.... This is as full flavor as it gets when it comes to root beer.  I should disclose that most Moxie lovers hate for me to call it a root beer.... they want to believe that it is so unique that it warrants its own genre of soft drinks..... the primary ingredient is a root..... root beer people..... DUH!!!!

But yes even among root beer Moxie is unique.... so much so that I decide long ago it did warrant a new category of root beer...... Root Beer Stout...... sorry Moxie Man.... but that is the best I will do!

The flavor is like a liquefied version of black liquorice combined with Barq's .... Moxie has about 5 times the bite of Barq's and 10 times the flavor..... bitter is a huge understatement!   Very mildly sweet, a hint of cola with a splash of dirt.... yup dirt...... which makes it earthy..... and then it has a metallic after taste that cannot be recreated.... or fully explained......or appreciated... sounds deeeelicious!!!!

Well here is the fact... upon your first taste you will hate it, be very tempted to spit (or barf) and cringe anytime you see the color orange or the word moxie is mentioned..... but as the Moxie Man has explained on so many occasions... DON'T.... he recommends to stick with it.. get through the first drink and even the second, because it is not until that third drink that the flavor will begin to tickle your taste buds and you will forever Make Moxie Yours.....  I Love Moxie..... if for no other reason... because when I drink it... I feel more like a MAN!!!!

I Got Moxie... how about YOU?

5 Frosty Mugs - only the second time I have given that!!!!


check out the Moxie Festival

check the Kennebec's fan page

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