i see Johnnie Ryan root beer occasionally in supermarkets near me. mostly in Wegman’s i think, which makes sense as they are based out of the Buffalo area and thus privy to products local to the Niagara Falls area which they sell at their stores throughout the northeast, like that wacky Loganberry soda stuff. so i figured perhaps one day i would come across some of their birch beer. but no such thing happened, at least not yet. with my luck i will see it later today. anyway, i mailordered it instead. that makes it much easier. at least in my effort levels, it is harder on my wallet.
i find it strange when Johnnie Ryan changed their bottles to completely de-emphasize their brand. it is only super small on the neck label. it doesn’t matter that much really but most companies proclaim it a bit louder somewhere on the main label. as they are sold in Quebec also, the label has all info in french and english, which does take up a lot of real estate in itself. the images on the website do have the older style, with the name very prominent though. actually the birch beer is not even mentioned there, strangely.
it is true brown birch beers often taste the most like root beers, but this one really takes it too far for me. there is only a hint of the wintergreen i love so much in my birch, instead it is replaced with a fruity, almost herbal taste that approaches some root beers. as a birch beer, it sort of fails. as a soda or drink in general it is decent. the carbonation level is very low, resulting in no real head. it is not a bad soda, but it is not what i would grab or look for and it definitely is not a good example of a birch beer, brown or otherwise.
Anthony’s Rating: 63
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|Type:||Brown Birch Beer||Comes In:||11.5oz glass bottle|
|Available:||NY, online, Canada||Obtained in:||mailorder|
Ingredients: carbonated water, cane sugar, citric acid, sodium benzoate (used as a preservative), natural and artificial flavour, caramel colour, acacia gum