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!


Sapp Organic Birch Tree Water

February 12, 2018
Filed under: other reviews — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Other Comes In: 10oz glass bottle
Available: everywhere

Obtained in: Shoprite, Bound Brook, NJ
Head: None Sweetener: none
Calories: 10 Sodium: 0mg
Carbs: 3g Sugar: 3g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.sapplife.co/

I saw this and the other flavors this company offers at my local supermarket and it caused quite the questioning of my site review guidelines for me. just what makes something a 'birch beer' or 'root beer'? saying it on the package? what it is made from? if the latter, what exactly makes it so? a beverage made with (real or simulated) parts of a tree as flavoring seems the most simple and what i have mostly stuck to over the years. granted i have reviewed a couple that probably don't fall in that area. i say 'tree' instead of 'plant' since then i'd be opening it up to ginger drinks and they are definitely a whole other genre to me. is carbonation needed? i've had a few things that were definitely root beer that were not carbonated. so i say 'no' to that requirement. i should probably make this a bonus review on an off day but i'll probably shove it in the normal schedule.
i think this drink is supposed to be ultra-hydrating, like coconut water or the like. it has lots of Manganese but i have no idea how useful that actually is. i suppose that is what people say is so wonderful about kale. it is not carbonated at all and has just 2 ingredients. so is it any good? well, not really no. it does not taste anything like birch beer or really any drink i have ever had. i do not mean that in a good way either. this is not like kombucha bad but it is not tasty at all. it basically tastes like chewing on a stick in liquid form.
Ingredients:organic birch sap (99.9%), citric acid

Anthony's Rating: 20
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Henri Sodas Rootbeer

February 5, 2018
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: Canada

Obtained in: trade with Eric
Head: Large Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 155 Sodium: 35mg
Carbs: 40g Sugar: 40g
Caffeine: No

there are definitely some sodas out there i would never know about and even if i did, i would probably never get them if it was not for the help of others in the root beer community. this is definitely one of those drinks. the intrepid root beer gourmet, Eric somehow acquired a few bottles of this one and was kind enough to send me one.
i especially love trying root beer from other countries. as it is an American invention and a rather flexible one at that, the more outlandish flavors seem to come from other lands. each place seems to put their own stamp on what it can and should be. even the nation to our north has many unique and interesting takes on root beer.
this one is particularly interesting and fun for several reasons beyond the foreign factor. first of course is the sticker over the cap. i always like that sort of touch. it is unique and fun. then there are the interesting promises on the label, like "a beverage made of citrus, herbs and spices that will pair well with a hefty meal." now i don't have a hefty meal handy so i will have to imagine how that would go. the label otherwise has a very homemade, low budget yet could be high budget feel to it.
i am quite eager to try this drink i admit! oh wow. this is something different. it treads the line that i didn't realize existed between very tasty and kind of gross. there is definitely herbs and spices involved here and just a touch of citrus as promised. many herbal root beers just don't work but this one really does. i taste a healthy dose of licorice (which is almost always a hit with me) that does dominate the flavor, but there are also other, lighter tastes in there too. it goes down smooth and well. the French Canadians did very well this time around. many US companies could learn a thing or 23 from this drink. excellent stuff that I wish I could get more of anytime I pleased. although then i might be rather obese or something so it may be better this way.
Ingredients:carbonated water, organic cane sugar, herbal extracts, organic essences, caramel, citric acid

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

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Red Hare Brewing Co Root Beer

January 29, 2018
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12 oz can, On Tap
Available: GA

Obtained in: trade with Sagi
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 170 Sodium: 90mg
Carbs: 42g Sugar: 42g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.redharebrewing.com/

not a lot of breweries decide to package their root beers for sale beyond as a growler. even less of them decide to put it into cans. i would suspect it is a cheaper option than bottling so it would seem a wiser choice. yet there is the oh so mistaken belief that canned or plastic bottled sodas are somehow inferior to those within a glass vessel. to me, any way you package it is fine and cans are definitely an underused method of containment for craft sodas.
so there is something else unusual about this drink, the taste is a bit different. i am trying to pinpoint the flavor and i think it is extra cinnamon. the mouth feel is a little extra fizzy and buzzy at first but it slowly calms to a sugary, cinnamon, root beer flavor. if i was not paying very close attention i don't think it would strike me as being at all unusual as the flavor is not that crazy different where it strikes me upside the head or something. as eluded to earlier, the carbonation is a little too harsh for my tastes but it works reasonably well here. just expect those hurty in the nose kind of burps later on after you are done. or maybe that is just me… i am glad they made this drink and canned it but it doesn't
Ingredients:water, sugar, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, gum arabic, citric acid, and sodium benzoate for perservation

Anthony's Rating: 76
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Raley’s Craft Soda Sarsaparilla

January 22, 2018
Filed under: sarsaparillas — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Sarsaparilla Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: CA

Obtained in: from Sagi
Head: Huge Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 180 Sodium: 35mg
Carbs: 45g Sugar: 45g
Caffeine: No
Website: https://www.raleys.com

hooray and huzzah! now i get to try the sarsaparilla of this chain grocery store! i am a little surprised that a California chain would make a sarsaparilla in Canada, or one in general, but really, sarsaparilla is much more a west coast thing when i think about it. they make it clear that there is no juice in here, although i wonder what kind of juice people might think would be in sarsaparilla. i think my standards for sarsaparillas are lower than that of root beer, mainly because there are a significantly lower amount of them. i also have somewhat lower standards for store brand sodas.
all of this leads me to say this is an excellent store brand sarsaparilla. it is rich and creamy, smooth and flavorful. there is nothing harsh or unpleasant about it. the head foams up huge. there is a lot of caramel and some rooty taste happening. it is not as bold or rich as i would expect a sarsaparilla to be, but that's fine. is it a new taste? no. doing anything super special and / or unique? no. is it better than their root beer? yes indeed it is.
Ingredients:carbonated water, inverted cane sugar, natural flavors, citric acid, sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate (as preservatives), caramel color, calcium disodium edta (to protect flavor)

Anthony's Rating: 83
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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