Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Grand Teton Brewing Company Root Beer

My friend and colleague, FT, bought me this root beer when he was down in Idaho Falls, ID this past fall.  

This brew is created by the fine folks over at Grand Teton Brewing Company in Victor, ID.

This root beer is created with pure Grand Teton spring water  and has a serious bite coming from the sassafras, vanilla and winter green. It is sweetened with 100% cane sugar but it is not overly sweet. It also has a small head to it as well that doesn't last too long.  It's a good brew and I'm very appreciative of my colleague to get this one to me.  Thanks FT!

Burp Rating:  8 / 10

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ginseng UP Root Beer

I found Ginseng UP root beer at Rainbow foods here in Ottawa after a friend of mine mentioned that he had spotted a bunch of root beer there.   It is made by Ginseng Up Corp. in Worcester, MA.

Ginseng UP packs a very gingery taste.  This brew reminds me very much of a medicinal drink though.  I didn't enjoy it as much as the root beer king of the USA did. :) 

Burp Rating:  7 / 10

Saturday, November 29, 2014

St. John Brewers Root Beer

My root beer pal Brad from Ohio sent me this brew many months back.  I waited and waited for a special day to crack it open.  I figured that hey, in honor of my friend in the USA who sent this to me and being so thankful for it, I waited for American Thanksgiving.

St. John Brewers Root Beer is brewed in the U.S. Virgin Islands by St. John Brewers.   This brew is amazing.  The head on it was large and intense. The flavors are captivating and spicy which gives it so much depth and kick.  Anise, wintergreen, vanilla are the highlights.  I didn't want this bottle to end and when it was ---  Thank you so much my friend Brad. I dont' know if I can repay you for this one.

Burp Rating: 10 / 10
( more like 11 / 10 )

Friday, November 21, 2014

Margo's Bark Root Beer

Margo's Bark.  A brew created by Margo's Bark Soda Company in Los Angeles, CA.  It's another find by my friend and colleague, ML, on his last trip to Denver, CO.  

This brew is really special.  When I read the label, it really touched my heart  "All proceeds go to help shelter dogs!". Margo was a rescued dog and her new family created this brew to help other dogs like Margo. The story is great and you can read it here.

The brew has a decent head.  Molasses, cassia, nutmeg, clove, wintergreen and yucca extract are the prime ingredients.  It is very well balanced with the pure cane sugar.  I did find a bit of an aftertaste though.  Almost perfect..

Burp Rating:  9.5 / 10

I should mention, the bottle cap. It's pretty cute.  "Woof" on the top of the cap.  "Meow" underneath :)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Tommyknocker Root Beer

Tommyknocker is brewed by Tommyknocker Brewery in Idaho Springs, Colorado.  This brew was brought to me by my friend and colleague, ML, who found it on his summer holidays in Denver.  

I was excited to try this one.  It is made with pure maple syrup!  Being Canadian, the maple always catches my eye.  Tommyknocker has a real nice head to it and it actually does a good job to stick around for you throughout the whole experience.  It has a decent kick and initially I found it well balanced, until the end, when the maple syrup takes over.  Maybe a bit too much of the maple (can't believe I just said that).  Regardless, I still thoroughly enjoyed this one.  Not quite perfect, but it definitely ranks high.

Burp Rating:  9 / 10

Friday, November 14, 2014

Buckin' Root Beer

Buckin' Root Beer is made by Jackson Hole Soda Company in Jackson, WY.  This one was brought to me by my friend and colleague, ML.   ML found this in Denver, CO. when he was there this past summer.  

Buckin' has almost no head to it which was a bit concerning at first, until I smelled and tasted the brew.   The smell was strong and spicy and I thought oh boy , is it going to be over powering?   No, in fact, wow, what a nice balance between kick and sweetness.  This was almost a 10... If it only had a bit more head, I would probably of given it a perfect score.  

Burp Rating:  9.5 / 10

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Boulder Birch Beer

Ok, so this one isn't a Root Beer per se.  My friend and colleague, ML, brought this one to me from his last trip to Colorado.

This one had head to it. It was sweetened with beet sugar and the taste was interesting but it didn't leave a lasting impression.  The label gets a 10 - love it!

Burp Rating: 6 / 10

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Frostie Vanilla Root Beer

Frostie Vanilla Root Beer was brought to be my friend and colleague, ML.  ML was out in Colorado this past summer and found a bunch of brews for me.  Thanks so much M!  

There is some history to Frostie, as it was originally produced by the Frostie Beverage Company in the late 1930s. According to Wikipedia, it is now being distributed by Intrastate Distributors Inc of Detroit, MI.  

This one had almost no head to it.  The flavour is of artificial vanilla.  Sweetened with pure cane sugar.   I felt this one to be a bit too sweet and the spice dynamics didn't impress.

Burp Rating:  5 / 10

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cherry Root Bear

Cherry Root Bear was sent to me this past summer by my root beer pal, Brad.  It's a creation by Cherry Republic in northern Michigan.

My bear pals were all over this one.  Cherries, a bear theme and from northern Michigan (one location in Traverse City where the Detroit Red Wings hold camp)? They couldn't resist.  Boom Chugga Lugga!! 

When I poured this one into my mug, the head dissipated immediately. :(  The cherry flavour was there indeed. Perhaps a bit too sweet?  

My thoughts were to give it a 6 maybe 7 initially; however, as I continued drinking it, I realized that I was mostly enjoying it and was not turned off by it at all.  

Burp Rating:  8.5 / 10

Bear Paw Rating:   5 / 5 paws  (biased!)  <-- bear pals rating

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ozark Mountain Root Beer

Ozark Mountain was given to me by my root beer friend in Ohio, Brad.  It is brewed by the fine folks at Ozark Mountain Bottleworks in Branson, Missouri.

This brew is outstanding!   It has a decent head to it and as I told Brad, it tries to stick around to the bitter end and trust me it was a really bitter end knowing I had no more of this one. :'(  It is so creamy and I think I tasted some wintergreen, vanilla and caramel along with the sarsaparilla flavour.  A perfect mix and I was so disappointed when I finished the bottle that I had no more.  

Burp Rating: 10 / 10

Anchor Ginger Root Beer

I found Anchor Ginger Root Beer here in Ottawa at HomeSense of all places.  It is brewed by the Orca Beverage Soda Works company in Mukilteo, WA.

The label says "As a tribute to all the Sea Dogs and Scallywags looking for adventure on the high seas. Anchor has the sweet rich taste of root beer with a soothing touch of ginger to help keep you sailing all day. Enjoy!"  Sweetened with cane sugar and that added hit of ginger made me thoroughly enjoy this one. The head was okay but not great.  

Burp Rating:  9 / 10

Friday, September 19, 2014

Towne Club Root Beer

I found Towne Club root beer in a downtown Detroit, MI convenience store.  According to Wiki, "The Towne Club brand is now controlled by Intrastate Distributors, Inc., known as IDI, Inc."  

Some interesting history on Wikipedia on this one "It was owned and operated by Harold Samhat. The company first started selling its pop in the mid-1960s in its own retail outlets in Detroit, known as "pop centers". It was an affordable alternative to bigger brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi, and often sold well in Detroit's poorer neighborhoods."

I found it quite average. 

Burp Rating: 5 / 10

Old Towne Root Beer

I found Old Towne Root Beer in a convenience in downtown Detroit, MI.  For 69 cents and in a plastic bottle, I wasn't expecting a lot from this one. :)

It's very generic but I had to try it.  Average.  Enough said.

Burp Rating:  5 / 10

Spring Lake Root Beer

Spring Lake Root Beer is another brew sent to me by my root beer buddy, Brad.

Spring Lake is brewed by Glewwe's Castle Brewery in Prior Lake, MN. 

The head on this brew is not bad.  Flavor profile-wise, there is a lot going on with this one.  HFCS and raw honey sweeten this one up.  I really enjoyed drinking this one.  It is definitely up there in ranks..but is it a 10 for me? I'm not sure.. I need another to confirm.. 

Burp Rating:  9 / 10

Hummingbird Hill Root Beer

Hummingbird Hill Root Beer is another brew that my root beer buddy, Brad, sent me.  It is made by Hummingbird Hill in Silverdale, WA.

The flavor profile is noticeable with the added caramel and vanilla.   I found that this brew didn't have a strong head.  I enjoyed this one -- it was above average but not a perfect brew.  I do love the label on this one though.

Burp Rating: 8 / 10

Friday, August 29, 2014

Cubby Bear Root Beer

Cubby Bear Root Beer is another brew sent to me by my root beer buddy, BS.  

This brew is crafted by The Cubby Bear Chicago in Chicago, IL.

Nice head. Good flavour. No aftertaste but it didn't scream perfect to me.  

My bear pals again wanted to be in the pic since they love all root beers that are "bear" related.  They told me I'm being to hard on this brew and I should rethink it some.

Burp Rating:  8.5 / 10

Bear Paw Rating:  5  / 5 Paws (biased!)

Fizzy Izzy Root Beer

You have to love the label on this brew.  Thanks to BS, my root beer buddy in Ohio for sending me this unique brew.

To quote the creators "Fizzy Izzy Root Beer is named after Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary’s tiger, Izzy. Our Fizzy Izzy Root Beer is a wonderful bubbly treat that is sure to quench your thirst. Fizzy Izzy Root Beer is Brewed and bottled by Crown Valley, located in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. "

As much as I love the label and their mascot cat, I found this brew to have some kind of after-taste that I couldn't quite pinpoint and frankly did not enjoy.  Nice head on this one though.

Burp Rating:  6 / 10
Label: 10 / 10

Bronx Pop Root Beer

Bronx Pop is another root beer sent to me by my root beer buddy, BS, in Ohio.  

This root beer is manufactured by Bronx Pop.  It is sweetened with cane sugar and artificial flavours.  Sounds kind of boring but it's actually not too bad.  It has a nice head to it and I like the smoothness of it.  

Burp Rating: 8 / 10

Zeb's Ole Tyme Root Beer

Here's yet another brew sent to me by my good root beer pal, BS from Ohio.  Zeb's Ole Tyme Root Beer brewed by Zeb's General Store.

Zeb's has a decent head to it and flavour to boot.  It was not at the top of my list overall.  When I saw "ole tyme" I was expecting a bit more kick and old school rooty style.  That wasn't the case in my opinion.

Burp Rating:  6 / 10

Monday, August 18, 2014

Roundy's Root Beer

Roundy's is another brew sent to me by my root beer pal BS.    This brew is made by Roundys' Beverages from Milwaukee, WI.

Given the classy label, I was expecting this one to blow me away; however, I was disappointed.  The head was decent and strong but the flavour profile was lacking.  The sweetness was there and maybe it was overly sweet.  It could of used more of a spice balance in my opinion.

Burp Rating:  5 / 10

Propeller Root Beer

My good friend and co-worker, DM, brought me this root beer via his parents who recently made a trip out to eastern Canada.   This brew is crafted by Propeller Brewing Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia. 

It took a couple of bottles for me to make a decision on how to rate this brew.  After the first bottle, I thought that it was an "ok" root beer that didn't pack a lot of punch nor did it have much finesse in the flavouring; however, after recently drinking a second bottle,  I found myself thoroughly enjoying it with some pizza.  That made me think.. Depending on what you pair this with, you might get that balance that makes a whole meal complete.  On it's own, I think it's weak.  

Burp Rating:  8 / 10 (just pair it well)

Frankie's Genuine Root Bier

Here is yet another brew from my good root beer pal in Ohio, BS.  Frankie's is brewed by Frankenmuth Brewery in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

Frankie's is  sweetened with Michigan beet sugar and the pure vanilla adds to the intense flavor profile of this brew.  It has a nice head on it and I love the dashund on the label.  

Burp Rating: 8 / 10

Friday, August 8, 2014

Briar's Root Beer

Briar's root beer is another brew shipped to me by my root beer buddy in Ohio, BS.  

Made and distributed by Briar's USA Inc., this root beer I found to be fairly sweet.  Perhaps a little bit too much on the sweet side.  The flavour profile included caramel and the ingredient listing mentioned yucca extract.  The head on this was average.

Burp Rating: 7 / 10

Stone Cellar Root Beer

Here is yet another brew sent to me by my root beer buddy in Ohio.  Stone Cellar root beer is brewed in Appleton, Wisconsin by the Stone Cellar Brewpub.

I found this brew to be very interesting.  The color is a lot lighter - more blonde than dark.  Sweetened with pure cane sugar and you get these light subtle hits of spice (ginger maybe?).  Regardless, I found it to be an above average brew.

Burp Rating: 7 / 10

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pure Sodaworks Root Beer

Another bottle that my root beer buddy, BS, sent me was Pure Sodaworks Root Beer.  Pure Sodaworks is based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  

They boast that this brew is made from 14 different herbs and spices (sort of like KFC!) ; however, they didn't mention any of them.  Sweetened with pure cane sugar and with a decent head when I cracked it open, I was pleasantly surprised.    Just wish I knew the ingredients. :)

Burp Rating: 8 / 10

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Oogave Root Beer

This is another root beer sent to me by my root beer buddy, BS.  

Oogave Root Beer is an all-natural root beer that is made by Oogave in Denver, Colorado.

All-natural == no sugar added.  This one is sweetened with agave nectar. The spices are nice.. The company's website indicates:  notes of sarsaparilla, vanilla, and horehound.  I did not find these ingredients listed on the label. 

For a sugar-free root beer, this one is pretty good.  Above average.

Burp Rating:  6 / 10

Capt. Electro's Intergalactic Root Beer

Two good friends helped me find this brew.  My good friend, AW, recently took a trip to Vancouver and brought me 2 bottles.  I wanted more so I can trade with my root beer buddy in Ohio, but AW wasn't able to find anymore. So I enlisted my good friend, AC, who lives in Vancouver to seek out more.  AC came through for me and shipped me 8 bottles!  Thanks guys!

Capt. Electro's Intergalactic Root Beer is brewed by Phillips Soda Works in Victoria, B.C. 

This root beer is almost perfect!  The spices are extremely interesting: Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract, sarsaparilla, licorice root, black pepper, anise seed, cloves and cinnamon.  Sweetened with cane sugar and molasses.
A very nice blend of flavours and it's not overly sweet but that is why I say almost perfect as I felt it could of used a bit more sweetness.   

Burp Rating:  9.5 / 10

Rollie's Premium Style Root Beer

Rollie's Premium Style Root Beer is another brew sent to me by my root beer buddy in Ohio, BS.  

Rollie's is brewed by The Mt. Tom Beverage Company in Holyoke, Massachusetts.  

Rollie's is sweetened with pure honey, cane sugar, and maple sugar. It includes yucca extract for it's flavor and wow this one just blew me away.  It has a nice head to it as well.  Some may say that it is too sweet, but I think otherwise and BS and I both agree that more brews should use maple syrup as their sweetener.  Cheers to Rollie's Soda for crafting this masterpiece!

Burp Rating: 10 / 10

Moosejaw Root Beer

Moosejaw Root Beer is another sent to me from my root beer buddy in the USA, BS.  

Moosejaw Root Beer is brewed by  Moosejaw Pizza & Dells Brewing Company in Wisconsin Dells, WI.

I was very curious about this brew because of "Moosejaw" - Saskatchewan?  The company website calls it a Saskatchewan Soda.. hmm.. owners are canucks? :)

As far as taste goes, I found this brew to have little head and also I thought there could be a bit more spice or flavour to it.  
Burp Rating: 6 / 10

Red Barrel Root Beer

Red Barrel Root Beer is another brew that was sent to me by my root beer buddy, BS.   

Red Barrel is brewed by Keuka Brewing Company in Hammondsport, NY.   

This root beer has a decent head but I didn't quite like this one for some reason.  The spice was there but something was a bit off for me.  

Burp Rating: 5 / 10

Grizzly Paw Root Beer

Grizzly Paw Root Beer hails from my home province of Alberta.  My root beer buddy, BS, told me about it.   It is brewed by The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company in Canmore.   One of their staff, Kristina, was kind enough to ship me a couple dozen bottles directly to Ottawa.  

I love the logo.  So do our bear pals as you can see.  Seems like our bears like any root beer with a bear theme - go figure.  As far as taste goes, it is above average and  I found it a bit on the sweet side.  

Burp Rating: 7 / 10 <-bears say 10 :P

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Baco Pop! Root Beer

Another root beer from my root beer pal, BS, in Ohio.  Baco Pop! Root Beer is very unique as it mixes chocolate into the flavour profile of the soda.  

Baco Pop! stems from California.  Their signature sodas are very unique with other flavors like "Hibiscus Sweet and Sour".    

I was nervous to try this bottle and thought that the chocolate aspect of it may turn me off immediately; however, when I took my first sip I realized that the flavours mixed quite nicely!  For me, it may not have been a soda to enjoy while munching on a bag of chips, but I thought maybe just maybe it would be great in an actual sauce. hm... A root beer bbq sauce -- yeah! Bobby Flay style...  If I ever get a bottle of this stuff again, this is what I will do with it.. :)

Burp Rating: 6.5 / 10

Begley's and Bill's Root Beer

My new root beer friend, BS, in Ohio surprised me one day by shipping me 21 different root beers.  Begley's and Bill's was one of them.   Funny enough, just days after BS had sent me this, I found it in the Natural Food Pantry store here in Ottawa! 

This root beer is an "all natural" soda with no sugar added!  It is sweetened with SweetenFX which is Begley's and Bill's propietary combination of  Stevia and Erythritol.  I prepared myself for the worst and had flashbacks to the other "natural" root beers I've tried in the past.  I took my first swig and thought "wow, this is actually not that bad!".  It didn't completely blow me away though.  Hence the rating.

Burp Rating:  7 / 10

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dr. McGillicuddy's Old Fashioned Root Beer

B found this root beer for me while in Lexington, Kentucky on a recent vacation.  Dr. McGuillicuddy's Old Fashioned root beer comes from New Orleans, Louisiana.   B brought me home 5 bottles and I saved the first one to drink for a special day.  It was nicely chilled for my first taste and it definitely packed some good flavour.   Perhaps a tiny bit on the sweet side; however, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Burp Rating: 9 / 10

Maine Root Sarsaparilla

While on a short vacation to Kentucky this past spring, B found Maine Root's Sarsaparilla for me.    She found it in a small restaurant in Lexington.  I had tried the root beer before and was hoping that this sarsaparilla would better suit my tastes.  My hopes were fulfilled, as I found this sarsaparilla to be nicely sweetened and balanced.   

Burp Rating:  7 / 10

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ithaca Root Beer

This is another root beer I got from Bottlecaps down in Watertown, NY. (Thanks Troy and Andy!)  

Ithaca Beer Company brews this gem of a root beer.   Some of the interesting ingredients of this baby:  natural panama bark extract, hops, star anise, juniper berries and vanilla bean.  Oh boy, what a melange of flavors and spice.  It is not overly sweet.  Andy at Bottleworks mentioned to me that this one was one of the best... BS also told me the same... I was eagerly anticipating this one and finally tried it tonight.   It did not let me down. It kept getting better and better after every swig.  Wow! Very happy! :)

Burp Rating:  9.5 / 10  (might change to a full 10 after I have a few more ;) )

Black Sheep Root Beer

Thanks to BS for tipping me off on this one.  Black Sheep Root Beer is made by Otter Creek Winery which is a winery found in Philadelphia, NY.  (not far from Watertown)   I had emailed the owner, Kyle Hafemann the night before my trip  to make sure they were open for business and he promptly responded and confirmed that they were.  I bought 2 six packs on my visit the next day.

How can you not love the label!  Cute little black sheep. :)   Now, the root beer, it is made with sarsaparilla and brown sugar and is really well balanced.  Almost a perfect 10 taste-wise for me.  I may upgrade this to a 10 after I drink a few more though.. ;)

Label gets a 10 / 10.

Burp Rating: 10 / 10

Updated: November 21, 2014 - I've decided to change my rating to a 10. This one ranks with the best of the best in my opinion. I've almost run out of bottles :(

Cicero Beverage Co. Salted Caramel Root Beer

My friend and colleague ML recently visited his brother down in Phoenix, AZ. He brought me back 2 root beers that I had never tried before and this Salted Caramel brew from Cicero Brewing Co. was one of them.  

I love caramel and when I cracked this baby open, wow!  The aroma was so fragrant!  That salty caramel smell was definitely noticeable.  When I took my first sip, it was pure heaven.  This one definitely deserves top marks.  

Thanks ML for hauling these back for me!  I owe ya buddy!

Burp Rating: 10 / 10

Abita Root Beer

A big shout out to Troy down at Bottlecaps in Watertown, N.Y. for helping me get this one.   Last fall, I was hunting for root beer in Watertown and came across Bottlecaps (a beverage shop that specializes in beer mostly).  When I dropped in, Troy mentioned to me that he may be able to get a few brews in for me at some point. Awesome!   I got an email from him recently and he told me he had Abita in for me.  Great outfit -- great management and awesome service.  

This root beer hails from Louisiana hence the cool fleur de lys on the label.  It is an average root beer in taste though. 
Update: Feb. 25, 2015 - I tried another bottle today and I think I was a bit rough on the initial rating. This brew is pretty good.

Burp Rating:  7 / 10

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Brewski Root Beer

Another root beer connoisseur recently told me of a Canadian root beer that was available at Jack Astors Bar & Grill.  (Thanks BS!)  I couldn't believe it as there is one right here in the Ottawa area.  Lo and behold, Brewski root beer... A nice surprise.

Brewski is actually brewed by the Pop Shoppe specially for Jack Astors.  It has a very interesting spice (wintergreen maybe) and a very nice balance of sweetness.  The restaurant didn't chill my bottle to my liking though.  I would of liked to have tried my first bottle when it was a bit colder.  

Burp Rating: 9 / 10

Dang! That's Good Butterscotch Root Beer

My friend and colleague, ML, made a recent trip to Phoenix, Arizona.  When I mentioned to him that I've started to collect root beers from all over the place, he told me he'd bring me back some if he found any.  ML came through big time and brought me Dang! That's Good Butterscotch Root Beer.

Dang! They are right.  It is good! It definitely has a nice butterscotch flavor and well balanced thereafter with the spice and sweetness.  Not quite a 10 in my book though.  Very close though.

Burp Rating: 9 / 10

Olde Philadelphia Root Beer

My friend and colleague, VP, found Olde Philadelphia root beer for me while he was in Philly recently.  

This root beer tasted okay, but it didn't burst with spice or sweetness.  I found it to be just above average.  I'm very lucky to  have received it though, so I'm very thankful to VP for bringing it to me to add to my collection. Thanks VP!

Burp Rating:  7 / 10

Berghoff Root Beer

I found Berghoff's in Ottawa not too long ago.   It's a tasty root beer with a real good balance of spice and sweetness.  I think the added yucca extract gives it some of it's uniqueness!  

Thanks to Herman Joseph Berghoff, who crafted this beer during prohibition times and came up with this root beer to sell in the Berghoff Restaurant in Chicago...

Burp Rating:  7 / 10

Found in the following Ottawa locations:

Grace in the Kitchen