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!


Empire Bottling Works Birch Beer

August 22, 2016
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: White Birch Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: NY, RI, online Obtained in:
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 120 Sodium: 10mg
Carbs: 30g Sugar: 30g
Caffeine: No

Somehow this drink eluded me for many years. it was based not THAT far away so i always thought i'd find it somewhere at some point. that is not a very safe or good way to think since so many companies don't last. it has been over 11 years since i reviewed the first thing i found from them, their root beer, so to me it is surprising that i never did get this until now. via trade it is now mine though and will shortly cross my lips! I like this style of bottle, the shorter, slightly squatter sort of deal and their design works well with it although it is a bit generic. no matter in the end as look as it is good.
this soda is in fact very tasty. it is not quite as wintergreen as i hope for in a clear/white birch beer, but it is still very crisp and refreshing. as i have probably mentioned before in a white birch beer review, them being pretty rare makes ones that is the expected norm is still an exceptional thing so it rates more highly than a root beer that fits in with the expected norm. or maybe because the norm for root beers is more along the lines of A&W or Barqs which are indeed mediocre whereas the norm for a clear birch is maybe Pennsylvania Dutch's clear birch. hhhmmm, i wonder what is the biggest seller in white birch? i really don't know. there is not a company i see all the time really. maybe Simpson Springs even, they seem to have solid distribution. the focus here though is this drink! the carbonation reminds me a bit more of a seltzer than I'd like. it is just more tingly and stinging than I prefer. but not so much so that it wrecks the drink for me.
Ingredients:natural artesian spring water, made with 100% cane sugar, natural and/pr artificial flavor extracts, citric acid, sodium benzoate

Anthony's Rating: 84
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Island Girl Beverages Root Beer

August 15, 2016
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: NJ Obtained in: Milano's in Morristown, NJ
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 180 Sodium: 35mg
Carbs: 44g Sugar: 44g
Caffeine: No

i always appreciate when my friends and family bring me root beers. although often they are not new to me, the effort and thought is so awesome. I was actually kind of surprised when my brother gave me this one. i mean, a new vanity label in New Jersey?! it could of course just be a variation on Private Label or something really made by Ginseng Up, but i will assume not for the sake of argument and no real proof to the contrary.
the label is somewhat generic and very much feels like a simple custom job, nothing wrong with that at all really. i will have to get to this place though myself one day, the pizza is supposed to be amazing. plus it makes me think of Alyssa Milano and my youthful crush of many years on her, so that's all good to. i know there is no connection whatsoever, although i am surprised that 'whatsoever' is one word. huh, who knew? you probably. maybe Alyssa too.
the soda is fine, good even. standard good. predictable good. what you'd expect to get when you grab a root beer, nothing less, maybe a little more. sweet without being syrupy, hearty but light enough to guzzle and quench while doing so, a bit creamy but not in a sickening way. it's just fine. which makes it hard to write about.
Ingredients:carbonated water, pure cane sugar, caramel color, natural & artificial flavor, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative)

Anthony's Rating: 80
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Doggone Good Soda Sarsaparilla

August 8, 2016
Filed under: sarsaparillas — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Sarsaparilla Comes In: 12oz glass bottle, 20oz glass bottle
Available: CA Obtained in: trade with Sagi
Head: Small Sweetener: sucrose
Calories: 120 Sodium: 27mg
Carbs: 30g Sugar: 29g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://doggonegoodsoda.com

So Sagi came through for me again on this one! Hooray Sagi!! Thank you kindly friend! Again with the same, interesting, very hand crafted seeming bottle and hang tag and all of that. their website seems to suggest they are a much bigger outfit than this product seem to indicate, but perhaps I am overestimating a good website and also over estimating the hand production on this one.
This one is also not very carbonated at all. that surprises me somewhat. i figured the ceramic flip top would preserve carbonation better than a twist off cap but the few sodas i have had in flip tops have not proven that theory at all.
the sarsaparilla is a bit more herbal and rooty tasting than the root beer was. in addition i find it sweeter, which is unusual but a pleasant combination. the sweetness really kicks in later, as the herbal taste is fading so it does not come off as sticky but leaves you with the knowledge that it is a sweet drink yet you have that memory of something else previous to that. the herbal-ness is more sassafras with a tiny hint of anise and ginger in there. I am not sure I prefer it to the root beer by just a little bit. that is not a slight on this drink, it is good.
Ingredients:carbonated water, sucrose syrup, sodium benzoate, citric acid, and natural and artificial flavor.

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

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Peace Tree Brewing Co Root Beer

August 1, 2016
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle, On Tap
Available: IA Obtained in: trade with Vince
Head: Small Sweetener: beet sugar
Calories: 180 Sodium: 55mg
Carbs: 42g Sugar: 41g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.peacetreebrewing.com

Through a really amazing facebook group, I found someone with access to this soda who wanted to trade! He also sent along 3 other sodas I could not get including two huge growlers of local breweries, so this is all so very awesome. thanks Vince! i don't think i'd ever have gotten this Iowa brew any other way. the internet really is an amazing thing and the root beer community is truly awesome in general, so very and kind.
i really like the bottle they used here, it is short and squat but still a full 12 oz. it reminds me of the Bundaberg bottle but without the ultra cool pull off tab bottle. the artwork is quite handmade looking, which adds to the micro-brew, hand crafted feel. in fact, they say "hand crafted" on the label just to drive the point home.
i am finding that for whatever reason, i quite enjoy root beers made with beet sugar. now, beets were the most evil and awful of vegetables growing up, when it was beet night, i was a little sad but ate them anyhow, trusting my mom's assertion that they were good for me. as a grown up, i have come to enjoy beets. not the canned, super red ones though still, those are gross, but the freshly cooked ones are rather tasty. this has nothing to do with beet sugar of course. i am not sure it even tastes all the different than cane sugar and it is probably coincidental that the few root beers i have has with it were tasty.
this one is tasty. it is pretty creamy and smooth but with a more hearty edge to it. the carbonation does not result in a big foamy head but it does influence the taste, adding a sharpness to the profile. no, it does not break new ground at all, but it is a good, strong predictable root beer and that is worth something in and of itself.
Ingredients:carbonated water, beet sugar, natural and artificial flavor, caramel color, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (as preservatives) and citric acid

Anthony's Rating: 88
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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