Saturday, January 26, 2013

Refreshe Root Beer: Store Brand on a Snow Day

Having recently moved from Nevada an Ohio Snow Day comes too fast.... regardless of when it arrives!!!!  Our Snow Day landed at the outset of the new year...... kids everywhere were overjoyed with the gift of no school and fluffy snow.  I on the other hand longed for my warm memories of Las Vegas.   As I searched for comfort I quickly discovered a brew within my stash that reminded me of those blessed hot days in the desert valley..... a store brand no less.

Safeway is a rather large western grocery store that dots towns in Nevada, California, and Arizona.... in fact I have even seen these stores in other states including Delaware.   While visiting a Safeway back in the west I discovered yet another store brand, "refreshe" not sure what they were going for by departing from our modern English spelling but they get an "A" for unique name....

As my mind pondered the warm memories of the desert sun I chilled my store brew in the 6 inches of snow just outside my front door.  After an hour the brew was ready for review......

As store brands go this one lived up to its name, it was rather refreshing during this cold winter day.  It was just what I needed to pass the time between shoveling my back porch and my front sidewalk.... granted there is just about a million things I would rather do than shovel this cold wet stuff but drinking root beer was well on the top of the list.   The brew was rather sweet with a splash of vanilla creaminess but mostly it covered my palate with fluffy flakes of root beer extract.   It was a solid root beer, no real frills, cheap, tasty...... far better than snow... on any day but Christmas!!!!
2 Frosty Mugs

-Adam

check out Safeway http://www.safeway.com 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Forgive me Brother, for I have Sinned

It has been far too long since my last post.  In addition to this transgression, I have neglected a promise to review the "Purely Natural" root beer from my friends at Thomas Kemper. Adam sent this to me because he knows how much of a dedicated fan of TK I am. He scored this limited (and no longer produced brew) from our pal Eric.  I, of course will get to the details of this review later but will continue on with explaining myself for yet another moment.

There are reasons for my recent and long termed departure. First and foremost, I had been previously occupied with writing my dissertation which tied up about 98.789% of my time for about a year or so. When Adam had given me the bottle, it was April. I thought I had the time but I guess from the present date, I apparently did not. That is the end of the excuses. Here is the reason and the review.

This stuff was quite possibly the WORST (with the exception of the Amish  yeast-brew) I have ever had. Thank all things holy that they do not make it anymore. Seriously. It not only threatened my most esteemed opinion of Thomas Kemper (don't worry guys we're cool), but nearly turned me away from Root Beer altogether. Well, that and a little red headed boy's obsession with Orange soda.

This stuff was fruity in a kind of vile and disgusting way. The only thing purely natural about this stuff is that it appeared to have "naturally" passed through someone's urinary tract without the aid of any flavor improving chemicals. There was an aftertaste that lasted longer than it took for the rest of it to go down the drain ( I gave it to the kids).

After consuming this Root Beer, I entered a sort of fugue. I drank the last of my home brew and perhaps made another at the request of my children; but the distancing of me and the fabled concoction had begun. It was official, I was turned off. And it would take a seemingly divine intervention to restart the engine.

Enter my little man. My four year old son loves him some Orange Soda. He believes in its power to maintain the redness/orangeness of his (and my) hair. Since my brief and unholy encounter had struck my RB senses numb, I had began cheating on my sweet lady. He and I began having more than our fair share of the sinful citrus nectar.

Time passed, we relocated and the home-keg was drained and packed away. We moved to central Virginia and I began having a tryst with the fountain of Orange Fanta in the lunchroom at the new workplace. Then, one evening after class, I had stopped in to get something to drink at a local gas station when I walked into the door, I saw and heard an old friend. A 20oz bottle of the standard was trying its old lines. It was time I gave in. I took a drink on the way to the counter and before I had gotten out to the car, I threw the empty bottle away. I had never chugged and loved so sweetly, so quickly, so perfectly. A belch or ten later and I was back off the wagon.

The boy still likes his Orange soda. That may never change. I still like one myself every now and then. But only when I am lonely. I tried a local taste at a microbrew (more on that soon). And soon I will get a water filter so I can get back to brewing my own. Since I am writing less these days, I will get back on the stick.

Here is the lowdown: Gross, .5 mug for no HFCS, .5 for glass and .5 for an old friend, TK. Don't change guys, it ain't worth it.

--Michael