Welcome!

November 14, 2011
Filed under: random junk — anthony @ 12:56 pm

Hello and welcome to the oldest, largest and frankly the best root beer reviewing site in the world! over 625 brands reviewed so far! i also throw in birch beer and sarsaparilla reviews occasionally while i am at it since to me, they are the same genre. once in a while i even detour into other branches of the root beer tree, such as spruce beer, dandelion & burdock and the like. a new review publishes every week on Monday with the random post or review of root beer related stuff every once in a while. feel free to submit your own ratings, check out the rankings from me and other visitors, see what sodas are available near you and more. make a float, tap a keg or mix some extract up and enjoy!

anthony (me) started reviewing root beer related drinks in '96 but has always loved the delicious joy of root beer and birch beer and just kept it going ever since. if you have any suggestions of features you'd like to see or sodas you want reviewed, let me know!

 
 

Summit Vintage Soda Pop Root Beer

May 30, 2016
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: NJ Obtained in: at Aldi store
Head: Medium Sweetener: sugar
Calories: 170 Sodium: 30mg
Carbs: 45g Sugar: 43g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.aldi.us

yet another Aldi find! I am not sure what it is about this store that they so frequently have new bottled root beers (not that once every couple years is all THAT frequent, but it's more than any other supermarket I know of), but I am happy there is one close by for me to get these without the postage costs or trade worries. Summit is the generic company for Aldi though so they are behind this themselves. the label is fairly generic while seeming to have made a tiny bit of effort to make it seem 'vintage' and 'micro' or whatever but sort of failing at that. does it matter when their audience has only this one to chose from at their store? not so much. in any case, i think it is rad that they made this and seem to be trying to be on top of the latest food trends and the like.
the flavor here is better than generic but not by a lot. it is fairly creamy but had the slightly harsh carbonation usually found in generic sodas. they don't really take any chances with this drink and just went down the same well traveled road that many of the glass bottled sodas have traversed before. i don't blame them. but it doesn't stand out. it just tastes like you'd think it would. the head is pretty good at first but doesn't stick around or come back for the whole bottle. it seems to lose carbonation quickly which i have not noticed before. so it is a fine, for what it is, but i'd probably pick something else better if it's available.
Ingredients:carbonated water, sugar, natural and artificial flavor, caramel color, sodium benzoate (preservative), and citric acid


Anthony's Rating: 73
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

Log in to save your ratings and personal root beer list!

enter YOUR rating (1-100 1=worst 100=best) for this soda:

 
 

US Foods Chef’s Line Craft Root Beer

May 23, 2016
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: CA, IL Obtained in: trade with Sagi S
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 200 Sodium: 10mg
Carbs: 51g Sugar: 48g
Caffeine: No

this soda was an interesting one. i found out about it and figured I could get some semi-easily. for one, US Foods distributes food all over the country so someplace nearby must have it. for another thing, they are the biggest customer of the company I work for, so there must be some way to track some of this down. but none of that happened. or, more accurately, Sagi emailed me and asked if I needed some of it, so I took him up on the offer rather than really try to seek it out. that is much easier.
I have no idea who that guy is on the label or why he is there. is he supposed to be artisan like the soda? he looks kind of like a strange olde timey sailor maybe? hat is askew, striped paper straw in the his mouth, weird expression on his face. i don't get it. at all. he seems french for some reason, which is weird as the rest of the bottle seems to be very americana pushing, red, white and blue stripes and red stars.
i also don't get what the name of this soda should be, "US Foods Chef's Line Naturally Crafted Artisan Sodas Craft Root Beer" would be the most accurate but is just too long.
moving on…
this surprisingly good! i did not expect much so i am indeed surprised. it is not awesome, but it is different than a standard flavor root beer. the anise is not really shining out, in fact none of the hyped spices seem to make themselves known. i taste more of a cinnamon thing going on. maybe a touch of the sweet birch comes through. i have no idea what cassia tastes like so maybe that is the overwhelming flavor here? nutmeg not so much. it is quite sweet, again a good thing. and it is unique and stands out at least somewhat, so that is all good.
Ingredients:carbonated water, cane sugar, natural flavors (vanilla, anise, sweet birch, cassia, and nutmeg), caramel color, and citric acid


Anthony's Rating: 87
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

Log in to save your ratings and personal root beer list!

enter YOUR rating (1-100 1=worst 100=best) for this soda:

 
 

Six Barrel Soda Co. Sarsaparilla

May 16, 2016
Filed under: sarsaparillas — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Sarsaparilla Comes In: 275ml glass bottle
Available: New Zealand Obtained in: ordered from company
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.sixbarrelsoda.co.nz/

Wow, this soda was definitely one of the more challenging brews I have ever obtained. I was pointed towards them by a reader and immediately checked out their website. They sounded great, very natural, yummy flavors, great concept! And two flavors that would fit in my bailiwick, a sarsaparilla which they bottled and sold as a syrup as well as a pine soda that only came in syrup form. But they are on the other side of the world. I emailed them to see if they were up for shipping, specifying that I wanted at least a couple bottle of the sarsaparilla and one of the pine syrup, but if shipping would not increase I'd take more sarsaparilla. After a bunch of back and forth they agreed to send some over and I paid for it. what arrived was a repackaged box containing a plastic bag with the many shards of glass from a smashed bottle of pine syrup, an intact bottle of sarsaparilla syrup and an intact bottle of sarsaparilla which I am now drinking. so it was very disappointing to not get to try the pine soda, especially for what it costs to ship. oh well.
this is a very small bottle i must say. it is 275mL as opposed to the usual 355mL in a 12oz bottle. nothing wrong with that, it seems more of a snack size, at least to us lazy, fat americans. i don't think this is the norm in other parts of the world, but perhaps it is?
i very much like the small batch aspect of this which just exude from it in every way. they list what batch this is (#10) as well as what bottle (668/1000). the label is all scallop cut which feels very hand made to me and it also seems to be printed on someone's home printer as it is not glossy and much more paper-like.
the taste you ask? actually very solid. usually when i have a brew that is very oriented around the herbs and spices, it comes off as bitter and more like a tea than a soda. but they make it work here without being super sweet or bitter. it rides a fine median between the two, balancing out each side well. the molasses does add a smoky, darker flavor to it on top of the ginger and star anise bite. i am not sure what juniper berries taste like but i can guess they are adding that floral hint i am tasting. i do enjoy it. it is unusual but done well. this is what many of the micro micro brewers seem to want to strive for in my mind but few achieve.

Anthony's Rating: 94
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

Log in to save your ratings and personal root beer list!

enter YOUR rating (1-100 1=worst 100=best) for this soda:

 
 

Rock Island Brewing Co Root Beer

May 9, 2016
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: NY Obtained in: Long Island somewhere
Head: Large Sweetener: honey, maltodextrin, glucose syrup
Calories: 165 Sodium: 30mg
Carbs: 40g Sugar: 40g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.rockislandsoda.com

Ah, the root beer is on the docket for today! I have found I really enjoy sodas with honey so i am trying to keep my expectations in check for this. also since their Pumpkin Spice root beer was quite amazing, that gets my hopes up a bit for the regular, straight up root beer.
once again I find it strange that one bottle is 1.5 servings according to their nutritional info. I scaled the numbers to be for a 12oz serving instead of an 8 oz one to make it more simple to compare to the 99% of sodas that go with a 12oz serving size. granted, they have a very high sugar content and pretty high calorie count so i'm sure they want to hide that a bit. but really, if you are grabbing a microbrew soda, do you really expect it to be low calorie?
so this soda. it's very very sweet. i like very very sweet. if it was very very very sweet, that would be bad but the line is juuuust over their toes here. perhaps because they use three different sweeteners, each one adds it own distinct flavor to the overall taste and it stays in the acceptable realm. the honey is definitely a great addition and smooths it all out. it does come across as very smooth. i almost finished the bottle without realizing. it just flows and you are implored to keep drinking. there is a pretty standard taste beyond the honey and with some extra vanilla. the head is large and long lasting, which surprised me a little as the carbonation level is not all that high. i quite like this drink but it doesn't reach the upper echelon.
Ingredients:carbonated water, glucose syrup, maltodextrin, raw honey, natural & artificial flavors, sodium benzoate (preservative), phosphoric acid, quillaia / yucca extract, sodium chloride, caramel color, vanilla


Anthony's Rating: 93
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

Log in to save your ratings and personal root beer list!

enter YOUR rating (1-100 1=worst 100=best) for this soda: