Swashbuckler Brewing Co Birch Beer

February 20, 2017
Filed under: birch beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Red Birch Beer Comes In: On Tap
Available: PA

Obtained in: at Brewery
Head: Medium Sweetener: unknown
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.swashbucklerbrewing.com/

so this was perhaps the most surprising root beer stop I've ever had. normally i stop at a brewery, park in the lot or street, go up to the bar and order a growler to go or a glass to drink of the desired drink. but this place was different. i was on a pretty rural highway in Pennsylvania, pulled into the grounds of a huge estate with a giant parking lot filled with cars. i'm already confused but i park and try to figure it out. i realize they host renaissance faires here in the summer often. but when they are not happening, or in the other months it is a bizarre tourist stop i suppose. wandering troupes of singers, wizards, jugglers, jesters and other such craziness were all about. they have a winery as well as several restaurants and random castle and medieval type structures all around. it took some time to actually find where they had the birch beer i was after. and they also were very busy so i took a long time to get the growler to go as they had to find out if they can even do that and how much it costs, etc. but in the end i was successful! huzzah!
this is very sharp for a birch beer, although I have encountered that before. somehow it is also a little watery and not as flavorful as I'd like as well. it lacks the usual strong wintergreen of a birch beer, even a red one yet it is definitely a birch and not a root beer, the feel is correct. i do not know quite how to describe it, but the mouth feel and taste are different for them. this is ok. i am glad they make a birch beer of course but even a quality, normal one would be better.

Anthony's Rating: 35
User's Rating: 0
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Old Forge Brewing Root Beer

February 13, 2017
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: On Tap
Available: PA

Obtained in: at brewery
Head: Medium Sweetener: unknown
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.oldforgebrewingcompany.com

over the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2015 i did not have much planned for some reason so it seemed as good a time as any to head out on a root beer quest! there are not many places to go for a day at this point in my reviewing career, but central Pennsylvania did have some places I had not checked out and i could potentially hit six of them in a day of driving. this was actually the final stop on my trip but i grabbed it first from the cooler, which is fine really. the five stops previous to this, along with about five other stops at random grocery stores and convenience stores i had not heard of before had only yielded two new sodas so the day was turning out to be a disappointment.
this drink is just what i expected, a standard, yet excellent root beer. it is very caramel rich, very sweet. i definitely suspect it is cane sugar sweetened. there is a smooth richness there beyond the caramel. nonetheless it does not set itself apart, it is a root beer and not too special.

Anthony's Rating: 77
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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Indian Wells Death Valley Sarsaparilla

February 6, 2017
Filed under: sarsaparillas — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Sarsaparilla Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: CA

Obtained in: Rocket Fizz
Head: Large Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 170 Sodium: mg
Carbs: 42g Sugar: 42g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://www.mojavered.com

somehow i did not even know this existed. one day i decided it was time to take a ride to the one and only, new (really not so new, just kind of far away so i never took the time to go there) Rocket Fizz location in my home state. it is about an hour away and there was one soda that they supposedly carried which was limited edition. it was a nice day for a drive so off i went. i have never been to a soda store before, which is a little weird i suppose, 19 plus years into this website, but then again there are not all that way soda stores in the world and certainly not on the east coast. i was not sure what to expect outside of an impromptu party at the arrival of a root beer celebrity such as myself. who would recognize me first, the hordes of patrons or the jovial, kind shopkeeper of the establishment? would there be cake? balloons? a backstage tour with exclusive access was a given. ok fine none of that happened at all. i think i need t shirts or something. anyway… i browsed the selection with my phone in hand to query my site in case i was unsure if i had tried something before or not. i did not get the soda i came for but i did get 5 or 6 other new ones, which is a very good haul for me. i am not sure when i will venture back there but one never knows.
so at some point Indian Wells came out with a Sarsaparilla apparently. i will admit i have little recollection of what their root beer tasted like, but i know it was not bad. this one has a huge head, very foamy and long lasting. the taste is more on the herbal side, as i would hope/expect with a sarsaparilla anyway. i like that mainly, it adds a little variety to the mix. as i drink more of it, it gets sweeter and a lot of the herby bite fades away. i do like the end taste more than the starting taste as it was too rough for me. now it is quite sweet which surprises me. i will have to up my initial rating a couple points. it has a strong taste of sassafras, some cinnamon notes along with a hint of anise. it is pretty good but not out of this world.
Ingredients:carbonated water, cane sugar, citric acid, caramel color, natural & artificial flavor, phosphoric acid


Anthony's Rating: 80
User's Rating: 0
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Great River Brewery River Rat Root Beer

January 30, 2017
Filed under: root beers — anthony @ 5:00 am
Type: Root Beer Comes In: On Tap, 16oz can
Available: IA

Obtained in: trade
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 165 Sodium: 30mg
Carbs: 40g Sugar: 40g
Caffeine: No
Website: http://greatriverbrewery.com

now, i would deem this a "gourmet soda" although some may disagree. just because it is only in a can and on tap does not diminish the level of dedication and effort that went into its creation.
i have known about this brew for a while. yet the only way it seemed i would get some was by ordering a case which was rather pricey for just one soda. at this point i know a few people that would have traded with me for it so I could have turned that one soda into several, but i ended up acquiring it myself in a trade which is fine by me.
the can itself is pretty cool, 16 oz is an unusual size. it is also not printed on directly but has a shrunken plastic wrap. that is also something new to me. perhaps that is a cheaper option? i do like the art with a background map of the rivers in the midwest it seems. it is all done well, so kudos on that. no, not the granola bars, silly reader!
they also are donating a portion of the proceeds from this to a local charity which cleans up waterways, which is quite cool.
the carbonation level here is quite low. whether that is indeed due to it being in a can or just how they made it I do not know. the flavor is solid and strong but not too unusual. it is a pretty standard, well worn recipe with vanilla, hints of licorice and an overarching sassafras and wintergreen taste. the wintergreen is something i enjoy and puts it a little closer to a birch beer in my mind. i don't have a problem with that mind you. i had hoped they would make something more unique for this unique gourmet can, but it is just a solid, yet standard root beer.
Ingredients:carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel color, root beer flavor, phosphoric acid


Anthony's Rating: 81
User's Rating: 0
# of ratings:0

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