root beers

Johnnie Ryan Root Beer

if what the website tells us is true, then this stuff has been made continuously since 1935 in the Buffalo/Niagara Falls, NY area. the key word there being ‘continuously’. i say that because a lot of soda companies now say ‘since 1927’ or whatever but really they operated from 1927-1965 or whatever and then their grandkids found the recipe and started it all up again in 2008 or so. the 40 year lapse is not really mentioned. whether it should be or not is somewhat irrelevant but i just wanted to note it. the company was also very helpful in trying to assist me in finding their product. it is supposed to be in many Wegman’s stores or else inter-store order-able at least, but my local Wegman’s had no idea what i was talking about. oh well, a kind reader sent some to me in a trade anyway. perhaps the company will do mail order at some point also as right now they are mainly available only in that western upstate NY region.
i was surprised too that this company does the very old school thing by having the same bottles for all of their flavors and only differentiating the packaging with the bottle cap. most of the companies i have seen that do that seem to use the returnable bottles so this may be a first for the more universal non-returnables.
speaking of the bottle, i do enjoy the design work of it mainly. my only qualm is the use of a variation on the Comic Sans font in a couple spots. if it were not for that i would buy into it being an old timey sort of beverage. i do appreciate the screened bottle graphics though, nice touch.
the soda itself is merely decent. the flavor is a little weak for my tastes, as if some ice had melted in the drink. the carbonation is pretty good when drinking it but it is one of the quickest dissipating heads i have encountered. the bubbles pop and die within 2 seconds of putting the bottle down. i enjoy the flavor that is there, the sweetness is at a good level, the flavor is an interesting slight variation of the expected ‘root beer taste.’ i cannot place what it is in the taste that is different. maybe cinnamon? just a hint of whatever it is. despite that, the flavor is a little weak and i am a little let down and can’t rank this too terribly high. i enjoy drinking it yet could survive without having it again.

Anthony’s Rating: 77
User’s Rating: 75
# of ratings:11

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Type: Root Beer Comes In: 12oz glass bottle
Available: NY, online

Obtained in: sent by Martin
Head: Small Sweetener: cane sugar
Calories: 180 Sodium: 50mg
Carbs: 45g Sugar: 45g
Caffeine: No

Ingredients: carbonated water, cane sugar, citric acid, sodium benzoate (a preservative), natural & artificial flavor and caramel color

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  1. This one was pretty much your average root beer. Carbonation was waaaaaay over the top thought – and it hurt my mouth. Flavor was alright, but kind of weak. It needs a richer flavor. 79 out of 100.

  2. rick b says:

    I gave this a 50.
    Very weak, almost none existant root beer flavor, and the carbnation was so high, it ruined it for me.

  3. O says:


    Not impressive. Average. Tolerable. If it wasn’t in a glass bottle, people wouldn’t care.

  4. Jill Ames says:

    I found this soda at Jim’s Apple Farm, AKA Minnesota’s Largest Candy store, in Jordan, MN. It was delightfull and I’m glad I tried it. I definitely tasted some other than root beer flavor in there as well, ya might be right with the cinnamon but my brain thought of rose.

  5. Rick beaudin says:

    I love the candy store in Jordan Mm, they just need to increase the amount of root beer. 155 is not enough. Same with blue sun soda, not enough root beer.

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