College Club Fiz Buffalo Birch Beer

September 7, 2015
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Brown Birch Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: NY, online

Obtained in: mail order
Head: Medium Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 184 Sodium: 35mg
Carbs: 46g Sugar: 46g
Caffeine: No

I have known about College Club for quite a while now but it seemed that I would have to go to Rochester myself to get some of it to review. which is not a bad idea as there are a few other sodas in western NY that I need as well, but it was not something planned. then they came out with this line of 'Fiz' sodas and began selling it more places. and lo and behold, one of them did mailorder! and at a very reasonable cost to boot! so i immediately sent for a mixed 6 pack. as I have not reviewed a new birch beer in a long time, this one will go first. the design is pretty good. nothing too thrilling, but fine. from what I gather from their facebook and twitter feeds, this 'Fiz' line is something that used to be made. I have no idea if they used the old recipes, if College Club was the company who made it back then, or if it is just an old Rochester area brand. but I am guessing the design is at least derived from the old. College Club itself has been around since 1922, again I don't know if that is continuous, but I think so. I do love that they still sell cases of returnable bottles, that is a rare thing. hopefully their other root beer is a different recipe than the Roc City so I can get that one as well. on with the show!
this is a very well carbonated drink, wow! so much bubble. that really takes over the taste for much of the experience. not that it is a terrible feeling but I'd rather the actual flavor be more prevalent. that flavor is good when it does kick in, highly wintergreen, more like a white birch. yet with the extra heaviness of a brown birch. it's good, pretty standard but good. i let it breathe for a while and much of that insane carbonation has left so it is much more enjoyable now.
Ingredients:triple filtered carbonated water, cane sugar, natural & artificial flavor, gam acacia, caramel color, citric acid and sodium benzoate


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

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Cooper’s Cave Ale Company Birch Beer

August 11, 2004
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 5:25 pm
Type: White Birch Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle, keg, 64 oz glass growler, On Tap
Available: NY

Obtained in: Glens Falls, NY
Head: Tiny Sweetener: cane sugar
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.cooperscaveale.com

ah, the birch beer now! i am quite thirsty and in need of a good beverage, i just rode my bike inside for a good long time, and hard too. so will it satisfy? hopefully. smells good, that is for sure. well, it is decent. a bit bland, i search for the flavor. that could be a worse thing but the flavor that is present is rather good. sweet and slightly wintergreen but not so much that you wintergreen haters will be all up in arms. but i still would pick other clear birch beers before this one. i do like that it is not too heavily carbonated though. sometimes you just don't want tons of bubbles, you know?

Anthony's Rating: 75
User's Rating: 74
# of ratings:10

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Crystal Club Birchola

June 24, 2000
Filed under: birch beers,other reviews — anthony @ 2:59 pm
Type: Brown Birch Beer Comes In: 12 oz can
Available: PA

Obtained in: Wilkes Barre, PA
Head: Medium Sweetener: corn sweetener
Caffeine: No

i am not sure what kind of soda this really is. Birchola i guess. some hybrid of birch beer and cola? perhaps it is their attempt at a new soda flavor entirely, something no one else has. who knows… it sorta does taste like that and is pretty decent. no caffeine which is good. got a little kick to it also. sweet, commercial root beer-ish with a taste of cola. decent.

Anthony's Rating: 55
User's Rating: 87
# of ratings:46

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Eddie Bob’s Birch Beer

August 25, 1997
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 3:44 pm
Type: Brown Birch Beer Comes In: On Tap
Available: NJ

Obtained in: Dakota Chophouse; Skillman, NJ
Head: Medium Sweetener: unknown
Caffeine: No

i got this at a jazz festival in Princeton, so perhaps the stuff in the actual restuarnt is different. i sure hope so cuz this was lame. SO watery and just no taste to it really at all. well, barely. seemed ok besides that lack though. little minty tinge which is nice.

Anthony's Rating: 36
User's Rating: 53
# of ratings:11

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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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faerie’s finest birch beer extract

October 6, 2014
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: White Birch Beer Comes In: extract
Available: online

Obtained in: mailorder
Head: None Sweetener: none
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.faeriesfinest.com

so luckily i have found more ready made sodas to sample thus i don't have to mix up as many extracts and syrups and the like, although i did stock up on them so there will be a bunch of reviews interspersed anyway. fun fun. well, sort of.
this is the second offering from faerie's finest, who still make a buttload, perhaps two full buttloads, of products to flavor things in most imaginable ways. i am very impressed with their selection of flavors and the variety of formats that you can purchase them in. i like to think of the company as a couple of ex-hippies, perhaps wiccans, trying to have a business that supports their ideals and values and running it out of their kitchen or something. but the logistics of keeping all of these products around makes me doubt that is the case at all. although it is possible.
now, there is a picture of their website page about the birch beer extract which shows a sparkling float made with, i assume, their birch beer. it even says "birch beer" underneath. but it is brown and this is very much clear, which is just fine really but a little misleading. perhaps you are expected to provide your own caramel color? i don't know. i am not sure what ice cream would work in a birch beer float. vanilla might. coffee i think would be tasty.
so the flavor here is not very traditional birch beer at all. it fact i don't know what it is. there is a trace of wintergreen in there but otherwise it is a bizarre chemically taste. or maybe a very natural, flower essence taste? it is hard to tell. i am not a big fan. it is ok and different at least but not "good." i did want to like this one, support this business and get those hippies some money and all, but it is just ok. i am at a lose for how to describe the taste much better. very light and i will go with herbal but in an herbal tea way. yes, that is where is falls. i have had teas much like this flavor, between a darjeeling and an irish breakfast somewhere.

Anthony's Rating: 55
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Flashback Malt Shoppe Creamy Birch Beer

October 7, 2013
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Red Birch Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: OR

Obtained in: special order from company
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 180 Sodium: 45mg
Carbs: 45g Sugar: 43g
Caffeine: No

another custom soda made by Orca Beverages! i think it is quite rad that a west coast, in this case Oregon, malt shoppe would get a custom birch beer since it is such an east coast flavor. are there any west coast soda flavors that i just can't find here? nothing i can think of, but i wouldn't really know, not having been there a lot. curious. anyhow…
i stumbled across this place's facebook page and sent them a message to see if i could purchase some of their birch beer and root beer. they were more than kind and all was arranged. very quickly there after several bottles came in the mail, superbly packed! all were fully intact and pristine to boot. coolio! they were a real class act all around.
the label has a 60s/70s feel to it with the tie dye colored background and retro font in the logo and all. that is fine by me, it is unique if nothing else.
the taste is standard red birch flavor done just exactly right. a good amount of wintergreen, a good amount of sugar and enough birch goodness to construct a yummy beverage. it does lack that little something to push it higher, but it is an excellent brew as it is so there is no shame in the drink with the current formulation. it makes me happy that the west coast can experience the joy and delight of a good birch beer.
Ingredients:carbonated water, pure cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, citric acid, sodium benzoate (a preservative)


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

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Foodtown Birch Beer

October 9, 2000
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 5:36 pm
Type: Brown Birch Beer Comes In: 12 oz can, 2L plastic bottle, 3L plastic bottle
Available: NJ, NY, PA

Obtained in: Foodtown supermarket in Warren, NJ
Head: Medium Sweetener: high fructose corn syrup
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.foodtown.com

yet another store brand soda… wait though it is really good! i love minty birch beers and this is quite minty. my girlfriend had a slightly minty birch beer (Pennsylvania Dutch brown) a coupel days ago since there was a 2 liter bottle in the fridge and started yelping about how it is like a wint-o-green or something, so i had her try this but she thinks it tastes like nothing. oh well. i enjoy it. or i did for the first 1/2 of the can, now it is sort of losing its taste. i would say this is more of a "gulping" birch beer since when i just drink it slowly, it gets flavor-less. and there it loses points.

Anthony's Rating: 69
User's Rating: 56
# of ratings:8

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Foodtown Old Fashioned Birch Beer

May 6, 2010
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 9:43 am
Type: White Birch Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: NJ, NY, PA

Obtained in: Foodtown store in Toms River, NJ
Head: Small Sweetener: high fructose corn syrup
Calories: 180 Sodium: 40mg
Carbs: 44g Sugar: 44g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.foodtown.com

this was a pleasant surprise. well maybe i should not say that until i taste it, but i mean the finding of it was a pleasant surprise. i was trying to track down a bottle of the Old Fashioned Root Beer to complete a trade with someone and came upon this one, which i had not seen before. actually they had pretty much every flavor except root beer. alas. i will have to keep looking. although by the time this post publishes, in 6+ months from when i am writing it, i will hopefully have found some more anyway. digression complete, resume loosely tied together ramble.
i still do not know if this is actually a different product than their canned and plastic bottled soda, but for the sake of padding my number of reviews, i will assume it is. i do love the old style labels. i feel like i recall when that logo and style was the norm in use by Foodtown stores but i could just be making that up in my head, as i do with many things in life. i think it replaces the actual things that happened so at least i have some memories in there.
in general i like clear or white birch beers a lot. the usual wintergreen taste is an interesting and highly enjoyable thing. but this one is just not up to snuff. it is alright but mostly just tastes like slightly flavored, slightly carbonated sugar water. i don't get a real sense of much flavor. a hint of the wintergreen i speak of is there but not too much of it. it is quite sweet though which is fine, not too much. the carbonation is pretty low but i feel like the bubbles are a smaller variety as they seem more sharp but i have no idea if smaller bubbles would cause a sharp mouth feel, it just makes sense to me.
so i am kind of disappointed in this in the end. it is ok but not so worth seeking out. there are lots of better birch beers in the Foodtown territory and Foodtown may even stock them, so not too much point in getting this one.
Ingredients:carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid and sodium benzoate (preservative)


Anthony's Rating: 62
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Forest Park Birch Beer

December 24, 2002
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 3:27 pm
Type: White Birch Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: NJ

Obtained in: Trenton, NJ
Head: Large Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 170 Sodium: 40mg
Carbs: 40g Sugar: 40g
Caffeine: No

i am assuming this is another vanity labeled product, much like Private Label or Clearwater. this one though seems to be made with better ingredients including real cane sugar, anise, clove, sweet birch, wintergreen & vanilla. you can taste them all too which makes for a quite tasty brew. the wintergreen is not overwhelming either, none of it is really, just adding a little piece to the overall taste. the anise / wintergreen combination is an interesting one that works alright but might be pushing it a bit. interesting and pretty tasty, but not exactly what my taste buds prefer most of all. although a birch beer that is creamy is interesting. yummy.
Ingredients:carbonated spring water, pure cane sugar, natural flavors and oils (including anise, clove, sweet birch, wintergreen), vanilla and benzoate of soda


Anthony's Rating: 86
User's Rating: 84
# of ratings:81

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