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!

 
 

Rogue Soda Root Beer

February 8, 2016
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 22oz glass bottle, On Tap
Available: NY, OR, WA, online Obtained in: Liquor store in Hudson Valley, NY
Head: Small Sweetener: honey, brown sugar
Calories: 150 Sodium: 45mg
Carbs: 40g Sugar: 40g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.rogue.com

this was a very pleasant surprise for me as my friend Michael stopped in a liquor store while we were all on vacation together to look for some wacky artisinal whiskeys or something and since he is rad fellow, he checked out the soda selection while he was there. he spotted this one and grabbed me two bottles, knowing i probably never had it. he was right! i was shocked indeed when he came back with this bounty! awesome. just goes to show that you never know where or when you'll find something new.
so i totally love the design work on this bottle. it's fairly simple, 3 colors direct printed on the bottle, but it looks great. usually the direct printing instead of a label works well but this definitely is one of the better executions of it. they proclaim it is "craft brewed" and "small batch" as well. all of those are good things.
now the important thing, is it any good? i was expecting a pretty strong honey taste as there are two kinds in here and they say how it has their own honey a couple more times besides. but i don't taste the honey. instead i get a lot of star anise and licorice taste along with some other spices. it is a spice filled, complex brew, just the way i like them. i think the honey smooths it out and mellows the taste some so its influence is in there. they went for something different and it worked out well for them. the "sparkling foam" in the ingredients list is strange to me. I have never seen that and this soda is not one i would describe as having "sparkling foam" at all. that isn't a bad thing really, just it is an unusual ingredient and sounds fake. oh well, be mysterious, you Rogue people!
Ingredients:water, brown sugar, root beer flavor, rogue farm honey, wild flower honey, sparkling foam, sodium benzoate & citric acid


Anthony's Rating: 91
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Butler Extracts Imitation Root Beer Extract

February 1, 2016
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: extract
Available: PA, online Obtained in: mailorder
Head: None Sweetener: none
Caffeine: No

this is one of the most confusing brands i have ever encountered. the box says "Butler's Extracts" all over it but also "Butler Extract Co" with the address. the bottle though has "Dutch Bakers" very big on it with the same "Butler Extract Co" and an address on the bottom. so it is rather confusing what the name of this is. the recipe on it uses 4 gallons of water, 4 lbs of sugar and yeast. i did not want to do that, just for one glass/bottle of it to sample. so i followed the recipe from a different extract and hoped for the best. i think it came out how they intended.
the point of an extract is to taste like the expected flavor of course, so this succeeds in that regard. it is standard root beer flavor. and that is fine and good for baking or whatever but not exactly what i am seeking when i mix up a batch of soda myself. I always hope that they will do something a little different, make it unique. Some do, but that is more the syrups than the extracts. this is alright and does the job. i'll probably keep the rest around for baking something.
Ingredients:caramel color, propylene glycol, water, phosphoric acid, natural and artificial flavor, sodium benzoate (as preservative)


Anthony's Rating: 65
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Mark’s Original Birch Beer

January 25, 2016
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: White Birch Beer Comes In: On Tap
Available: NJ Obtained in: Middlesex County Fair, NJ
Head: Small Sweetener: unknown
Caffeine: No

one thing my children love, it is a fair. or rides of that type in general. one thing i love, besides root beer of course, is fair food, it works out then. so a couple years ago i saw there was a giant sign for a county fair in a neighboring county to be coming up and thought it was something they would love. and i was sure they would have yummy delights for me as well. it didn't disappoint in either regard, rides were ridden, fried foods were eaten, everyone went home happy. my kids asked to go to the fair all the time after that and they learned the valuable lesson of fairs not being permanent fixtures so enjoy them while you can. although the jersey shore boardwalk is basically a fair that lasts all summer so i understand their confusion. but i digress.
the following year the fair was back so again we went. it was bigger and better than ever. and! i spotted a sign at one of the food trucks, "Mark's Original Birch Beer" it proclaimed! what?! this is my home state, how do i not know of this 'mark' fellow and his culinary delights?! i asked the fellow manning it if they really made it themselves and he insisted they did. so i forked over some cash and sampled it right then and there while the kids did some crazy dragon ride or something.
It actually was pretty tasty. now, maybe it is because white birch beers are much more rare than root beers or maybe because i think a standard white birch just tastes better than a standard root beer but a standard white birch scores much higher than a standard root beer would. this one was full of wintergreen minty goodness along with a nice healthy level of sugar. it could have been a bit more carbonated

Anthony's Rating: 82
User's Rating: 0
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Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain Root Beer

January 18, 2016
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: On Tap
Available: NY Obtained in: at restaurant
Head: Small Sweetener: unknown
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.brooklynfarmacyandsodafountain.com/

My plan for the day was to drive into Brooklyn from my home state of New Jersey and have brunch with one of my oldest and dearest friends and then pick up another one for a little root beer finding quest. But the first part did not work out so I was in Brooklyn with some time to kill. I knew there were probably a couple of root beers out there somewhere. it's a hip place, small batch soda is a hip thing, at least in my mind, thus there has to be some that I didn't know or was forgetting about. google came to my aid and the Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain came up. I knew of the place but it is unclear whether they have their own root beer, the website lists other flavors but no root or birch beers. But i had time to kill so off i went. and lo and behold, they did have a root beer! and some amazing looking donuts. so i got one of those as well.
i was a bit concerned since they put quite a bit of ice in the cup but i figured if i drank it soon it wouldn't really be watered down much yet. so i drank it soon. and was let down. it is not good. it is much too bitter and trying to do an herbal thing that did not work out the way they expected or hoped or planned. it is not watery at all yet, that might actually help it out a bit to lessen the bitter. it also could be sweeter i suppose, maybe that would counterbalance it. i can't help but compare them to the Franklin Fountain as they have a similar schtick, olde tyme soda fountain sort of deal. but where as Franklin Fountain rocks it so far out of the park, Brooklyn Farmacy hits a line drive right to the short stop. that is, it looks like it might have promise for a second, and then nope, caught, tasted and goes back to its seat, forlorn.

Anthony's Rating: 41
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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