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!


Marco Sodas Spruce Beer

April 8, 2019
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Spruce Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: Canada

Obtained in: trade with Eric
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 112 Sodium: 7mg
Carbs: 28g Sugar: 28g
Caffeine: No

it has been quite a while since I reviewed a spruce beer! wow. this one comes, very kindly, from the gourmet one himself. as he does not cover this segment of 'root' beers, i am happy to do so.
as root beer is traditionally an american beverage, I often read about how people from other lands think it tastes like tooth paste or some other such gross thing. there are videos of people trying it for the first time and the like out there. but then again, there are videos of pretty much everything out there so that is not saying much in the end. my point here is that spruce beer is a uniquely canadian thing it seems so people accustomed to root beer often think this smells and tastes like furniture spray. usually i can sort of see that complaint but don't really agree with it. and yes, who has not gotten some Pledge in their mouth or nose when spraying stuff, ok?! in this case though, yeah, this totally tastes and smells like Pledge. carbonated Pledge but still… it seems a fine line between being yummy and being kind of gross. this treads right on that line. some sips I am like 'yeah, no, this is just cleaning product, ick!' but then others i'm like 'well, i do like lemon with herbal stuff in it, maybe it is not so bad.' i kind of tastes like lemongrass dishes, which i am not too fond of really. it is not the crisp lemon of like sprite or something. it is much more herbal and deep. i am not saying i hate it but it really isn't my favorite thing in the world
Ingredients:carbonated water, cane sugar, citric acid, natural essence (spruce, yeast), potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate

Anthony's Rating: 37
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Mason Ale Works Violent Gentlemen Root Beer

March 25, 2019
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12 oz can
Available: CA

Obtained in: from Sagi
Head: Medium Sweetener: unknown
Caffeine: No
Website: https://www.masonaleworks.com/

lately i have very much been relying on the kindness of the root beer world to help me get new sodas. mostly the root beer tracker himself, Sagi who told me about and sent me this one. i have been slacking a lot in my quest for new drinks. although i do search quite often, it is not as much as I used to, but it is much less fruitful. so i am very appreciative of others who trade or just send me stuff.
i really don't know what the real name of this is. it seems to be made mostly by Mason Ale Works, in collaboration with Locker Room Supply / Violent Gentlemen Hockey Club. I don't know if Locker Room Supply is some branch of the Violent Gentlemen Hockey Club corporate behemoth or something, it gets all confusing with these things. lol in any case, i just called it what made sense to me. hopefully it is close to correct. i tried to google it up but that actually didn't help much.
i will admit, on first taste, that i am not sure where they were trying to go with this. i have not looked at the ingredients but i suspect they put something weird in there. which i would applaud if it worked well, but it is mostly a bizarre bitter taste. huh, there are no ingredients. that is highly irregular. and illegal i believe. oh well. i taste some honey on the back end, which is pleasant. yet the overwhelming flavor is not so pleasant. it is almost like i am drinking something yummy right after brushing my teeth, that 'off' taste you get. it definitely isn't the worst soda i have had, by far. i am glad they are trying something new and different and i grant them a few extra points for that, yet it just falls short and isn't very good. I really hoped for better, this sounded super good. oh well.

Anthony's Rating: 42
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Shank’s Root Beer Extract

March 11, 2019
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: extract
Available: PA, online

Obtained in: from Amazon I think
Head: None Sweetener: none
Caffeine: No
Website: https://shanks.com/

i mixed this up in my seltzer bottle deal like a week ago according to the recipe on the bottle, which was a whole of math going from making 5 gallons with a whole bottle to the 1 quart of my bottle. it ended up as around 1/8 tsp of extract in there, which seems like barely anything, but hey, that is what they called for, so that is how i will try it. i did not carbonate it until now but somehow it was not actually carbonated when i put it into my mug. oh well, my fault, so i won't count that against them.
i do like the bottle, it is fun. for some reason, extract bottles seem to be more generic, all of the flavors with very similar labels and such. i appreciate that they at least put in the effort to make this one unique.
the taste here is just ok. i really think it needs more extract, but i followed the recipe quite precisely so this is how they want it. it tastes like root beer, which in the end, is what an extract is supposed to do, right? but as i am judging it against the real root beer soda world, that is not quite good enough. i also think their sugar amount suggestion is a bit too high. i will have to try making a cake or cupcakes or something with this at a later point and test that aspect. maybe pancakes, i make a lot of pancakes… hhhmmmm
Ingredients:caramel color, propylene glycol, water, phosphoric acid, natural and artificial flavor, sodium benzoate (as preservative)

Anthony's Rating: 63
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Northwoods Espresso Root Beer

February 25, 2019
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: MI, online

Obtained in: mailorder from company
Head: Large Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 190 Sodium: 40mg
Carbs: 48g Sugar: 47g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.northwoodssoda.com

i'll admit upfront i have never had an espresso. and i very rarely drink coffee at all, maybe 4 times a year? which is not to say i don't like coffee, i rather do. it is one of my favorite ice cream flavors even. i just don't like to have caffeine if i don't need to. plus when i do want to have caffeine, i want it to do what it is supposed to do with a minimal amount, not require a load of it to do so. anyway, i don't think that will cloud my judgement here. granted when i do drink coffee i think it should taste basically like melted coffee ice cream, so all of that sugar and dairy is not too healthy.
Northwoods make a couple of super yummy regular root beers, so i was quite excited to find they made this variation. they also made a diet version which i twice tried to order only to be told they stopped making it despite it being a product you can order on their website.
this is a collaborative effort with Roast & Toast out of Petoskey, MI. that is a good thing, actually calling in some experts in the espresso field. at least i hope they are with a name like that. they have a little blurb from their head roaster as well explaining what it is composed of which is rather convincing as well.
you actually taste the espresso here more than the root beer, which also is not a bad thing, but a little surprising. you could tell me this was an espresso soda and i would believe it. it has that bitter edge i associate with espresso despite never having had it. it is still sweet even though, which i am quite happy with. i do wish the root beer was a little more prominent in the flavor yet if you pay enough attention you can find some hints of it. i am not sad i had to but a twelve pack of this even though i can't drink it after like 3 pm or i won't sleep that night. i'll just have to plan ahead is all.
Ingredients:carbonated water, cane sugar, espresso, natural & artificial flavor, phosphoric acid, caramel color (sulfite), and sodium benzoate to preserve freshness

Anthony's Rating: 95
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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