Hello to everyone- devoted readers and people who may have stumbled upon this blog totally on accident. If you’ve been with us for a while, you probably will have noticed that recently our posts have become irregular, and eventually they just stopped. The truth is that, after trying four root beers, neither of us really felt like blogging about them. We did quite a few trials that ended up not getting posted about just because we never really got around to writing the post. That has been a problem on and off for basically the whole time we’ve had the blog. Sometimes motivation is a difficult thing to come by, but we managed to mostly work our way through lack of motivation.
There has been another thing as well. For the past year or so I (Elaina) have been starting to cut sugar out of my diet. Part of cutting out sugar was cutting out pop. I’ve gone for a long time without pop before, but having a blog dedicated to pop while not drinking pop got a little tricky. I started only drinking pop for these tastings. My co-runner of the blog, my dad, also recently started cutting sugar out of his diet. Basically what I’m saying is that neither of us drink pop anymore, and we’ve had to have a discussion about what we want to do about the blog and the almost full case of root beer that we have in the basement.
We’ve decided that we are going to stop doing root beer testings. This has been an incredible experience, and we thank everyone who has visited our blog. We’ll keep all the posts up, so anyone who wants to read about what we did still can. We’re in no way professionals, but there is still some good information and (hopefully) something entertaining about this blog. It’s been a great 2 years, but everything must come to an end. We again thank everyone who has taken the time to support us through this, and we hope that you support us in what ever our we may endeavor to do next.
Also, we still have some root beer (like a lot of root beer) left. If you’re interested in any of it, you can contact either me or my dad and we would happily sell it to you. Heck, we might even give it to you for free.
“Elaina write your post. Seriously just write it” “Yeah yeah I know I’m getting to it”. Sorry folks for the long delay in this. Basically we did the tasting and then a string of events called “Elaina is busy or lazy” happened so I’ve been delayed in writing this. This post is about the tasting where we tasted Ozark mountain, Gene autry, River city, and Black cow. So let’s get this show on the road (even though it is about a month late).
Now I’m not totally sure which one I rated first for two reasons. 1) I rated three the same thing and 2) I took so long to write this I can’t remember.
River City- So it appears that I have this ranked number one but then again I can’t really read my notes. Reading my notes for this actually made me remember it (sort of). If I’m ever somewhere like Subway or Chipotle and for some reason want pop (outside of these testings and YouTube videos I really don’t drink pop) I’ll get Barqs root beer mixed with either Mr Pibb or Pibb extra (depending on what is available). This root beer tasted sort of like that, but like a knockoff version of that. This earned itself a 3/5
Ozark mountain- This was the foamiest of the four and was very mild. By mild I mean it was just kind of an okay root beer that didn’t attack your mouth like some do. I gave this a 3/4
Gene Autry- I only have one note for this and I can’t really decipher it. It says “when you get really close to it, it smells like” and then the last word is not legible at all. It may say whales, whdes, crinoles, crindes, cinoles, or a variety of other things. I gave it a 3/5 so I guess it didn’t suck (unlike my handwriting).
Black cow- I have literally nothing written down except 2/5. I guess it was pretty bad but not like really bad.
So thanks for bearing with me and I’ll try to not take a month on our next post.
Frigid Outside/ Frothy Inside
Hello gang! Its a cold one out there. The mercury hovering right at 0 degrees. What better thing to do on a cold Minnesota night than to test a couple of new (to us anyway) root beers. Gene Autrey and Ozark Mountain root beers in clear glass bottles and River City and Druthers Black Cow in brown glass bottles. I hadn’t tried any previously so had no preconceived notions about which one I would like the best. So here we go, from most to least liked.
Gene Autrey Root Beer: Camarillo, CA This is a product bottled by the Rocket Fizz company. I consider these type of root beers a novelty so I was quite surprised that this was my top pick. Gene’s had the darkest head, had good bite, and was by far the creamiest of the four. Good flavor and aroma make this a well rounded drink and earns a 4/5.
Ozark Mountain Root Beer: Branson, MO I wasn’t expecting much from this one because the color is so pale. I associate that light color to natural root beers, which I usually shy away from because there’s nothing better than real sugar! Well, there is real cane sugar in this one. It had a full, light head, obviously from the light color. I did like the aroma better than the flavor, but the flavor wasn’t bad. I’m giving Ozark a 3/5.
River City Root Beer: Sacramento, CA This one by far had the best aroma of all four root beers. But aroma alone couldn’t carry this one. It did have a wintergreen flavor but it was weak and the total package was lacking. Giving River City 2/5
Druthers Black Cow Vanilla Creme Root Beer: Oglesby, IL For a drink that touts itself as a vanilla creme root beer, this was really missing the vanilla. I am a huge fan of vanilla in my root beer but found this dry and flat with a watered down flavor. It did have a pleasant generic root beer aroma, but no bite or head. I’m giving this a 2/5.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! I figured it best to quote Frosty the Snowman during the holiday season. Happy holidays everyone and thanks for being patient with us as we are still working out this whole blogging thing. We’ve done multiple tests since our last post but never actually blogged about them because we forgot or just weren’t in the mood. But anyways- this test thingy we tested Fitz’s, Hippo Size, St. John Brewers, and A&W.
St. John Brewers- This root beer was definitely the foamiest of the 4. I took a swig and realized that I could very easily drink an entire bottle. It’s fairly “tame” and doesn’t attack you mouth. I would suggest having this along side a piece of pizza. 4/5
Fitz’s- This one smelled very strong. The actual sensation while drinking it was what I like to describe as getting punched in the face. The wintergreen was almost overpowering. Additionally, there was a strange aftertaste that I couldn’t quite place. Overall though I liked it. 4/5
A&W- Now I don’t really like A&W just in general and the bottle added absolutely nothing. It smelled like wheat thins. Yes, the cracker, and there wasn’t actually a taste. Someone could’ve handed it to me and I would be able to tell you that it’s pop, but I wouldn’t be able to tell you what actual drink it was. 2/5
Hippo- Hippo was a giant disappointment. We tried it before we started blogging and both enjoyed it. Since that day I’ve had it on multiple occasions and still loved it. Today it was just bad. I described the smell as “fruit punch windex” and the taste as “like a 5 year old shoved a fruit roll up in it”. For some reason there was just an odd fruity element that I’ve never tasted before in this. I give this particular bottle a 2/5 but will not change the rating on the “Elaina’s picks” page because I firmly believe that there was just something wrong with the batch that we got.
Overall for our first week back after a few months I’d say this went pretty well.
Merry Christmas everyone. Yes it is a little early but I don’t know if we will get another tasting done before the end of the year. My writing skills and taste buds are a little rusty so this blog will be a little different than normal. For some reason it was really difficult to pin down the flavors of the various root beers tonight so I am just going to give you what were my favorites along with the usual bottler information. The four beers of rootness that we tried tonight were Fitz’s, St. John Brewers, and Hippo Size, all in dark glass bottles and A&W in a clear glass bottle.
Fitz’s Root Beer: St. Louis, MO. I liked the flavor of this one the best of the four. It did have a diet aftertaste. A fair bite and no head at all. 4/5
St. John Brewers: Virgin Islands. This had the best head of the 4. Again, I’m sorry about not commenting on the flavors but am giving this a 3/5
A&W Root Beer: Plano, TX. This one I was kind of bummed out about. Of all the root beers that you can get in two liters from the grocery store, A&W is my favorite. I was pumped to find it in a glass bottle and couldn’t wait to try it. I have to say that it didn’t come close to the creamy vanilla flavor that I’m used to getting. It did have a good bite, but almost no root beer flavor and no discernible aroma. 3/5
Hippo Size: Mukilteo, WA. Another disappointment. I had tried Hippo before we started our blog and remember liking it. This time around not so. There was something “off” with the aroma and a cleaner like flavor. I am only giving this one a 2/5
This Christmas season I hope you take the time to rejoice in Jesus, the savior of the world, and enjoy an icy cold root beer with someone you love. God’s blessings to you!
Well we’re back after an unexpected break. Believe it or not we actually did a testing a few weeks ago with my sister, but none of us felt like blogging about it and now it happened too long ago for dad to remember his opinions. So this week we’re back with something a little special. All the root beers we tried are made in Minnesota. Whistler and North star are the two root beers that dad picked up at the Whistler bottling plant in Forest Lake, Minnesota. Voyageur butterscotch and Northern draft are the two root beers that I found in a little general store type thing in Ossipee, Minnesota.
Northern Draft- This was my favorite of the night. It was extremely foamy. By far it was the foamiest of the four. It had a pretty generic or neutral taste, which apparently I like. I give this a 4/5
Whistler- This one smelled cola-y (which we all know I don’t like). The taste was actually root beer though. It was pretty wintergreen-y. For the first time ever I’ll comment on the “bite”. It had no bite. Still it’s a pretty good bottle of root beer. 4/5
Voyageur Butterscotch- When I first tried this I didn’t taste any butterscotch. It actually tasted like some 3 year old decided to put their strawberry candy into a bottle of root beer just to see what would happen. After knowing it was butterscotch, I could taste butterscotch but initially I tasted strawberry flavoring. Oddly enough I apparently like my strawberry illusion enough to give this a 3/5
North Star- I always smell our root beer before I drink it. This had a smell, but it was very faint. I initially thought the taste was okay, but there was something in the aftertaste that I was not a fan of. Overall this was the worst of the 4, but it still didn’t suck. 3/5
So I’ve decided that even though Minnesota has basically nothing to do, we have some pretty decent root beer. Also we “added” a rule that we need to write our posts within an hour of trying the root beer. So far we’ve both failed (I gave up on it before dad even finished saying the “new rule”).
Hi sports fans! It’s been a while since our last post. We actually did a tasting several weeks back, but were to lazy to post. So another new rule. Have our comments uploaded within an hour of finishing. Yeah right! Let’s see how long that one lasts. So the four root beers we tried today are from up here in “God’s Country”. Or so they claim. Whistler and North Star Craft Soda (both in clear bottles) are brewed in Forest Lake MN. I’ve visited the bottling facility myself. Minnesota Northern Draft and Minnesota Voyageur Butterscotch Root Beer (dark bottles) both say they are a division of Ely Soda Works.There was no address or web site on the bottle. An internet search brought up old stories from the 70’s about the Ely Soda Works that was locally renowned for its cream soda. I am going to venture a guess that somebody grabbed the local name to market to tourists. The bottle caps are also very generic. (UPDATE!!! Since this posting I was informed that Ely Soda Works was indeed Minnesota brewed. I stand corrected.)
Whistler Root Beer; Forest Lake MN. This was my fave of the four. Huge wintergreen flavor and aroma. No head to talk about. I don’t like my root beer to sweet and this one is quite sweet, but it works. It has the lightest color of the four. Whistler is a story in itself. The owner of Whistler is trying to bring back returnable bottles to Minnesota. Whistler can be purchased at select markets, outdoor venues, festivals, yada yada yada…, and of course the bottling plant. It is also bottled in an 8 ounce bottle and can be purchased in 8 packs. I’m a huge wintergreen fan and am giving Whistler a 4/5.
Minnesota Northern Draft Root Beer; Parts unknown.The aroma of this soda was of mild vanilla. It had the creamiest head of the four and a generic root beer flavor. The vanilla comes out more as the root beer gets closer to room temperature. With that said,it receives a 4/5.
North Star Craft Soda Root Beer; Forest Lake MN. I have had this one in my stash for awhile and had high hopes for it. Maybe I should have had no preconceived ideas because this one was ok. The aroma was something I can only describe as “sweet”. A mild root beer flavor with a cola after taste. No discernible head or bite. 3/5
Minnesota Voyageur Butterscotch Root Beer; Parts unknown. Minnesota Voyageur has a very vanilla smell that I would have sworn was creme soda. This had a dark caramel color and a nice head to it. A mild butterscotch flavor that was pleasant. As this one warmed up it actually tasted like one of those Brach’s butterscotch candies. 3/5
I’ve been too busy to write this post (our testing was 2 weeks ago), so bear with me as I try to remember my thoughts on these. This testing was the second part of our “o[NE] for the road”. Kombucha, Saint Arnold, Sky Valley, and Oogavé are all root beers that we found on our trip to Omaha, Nebraska.
Saint Arnold- This was by far the winner. I believe I wrote something about there being a distinct vanilla flavor (although I can’t really remember). I liked it enough to give it a 4/5.
Kombucha- We found this is a grocery store in the “suburbs” of Omaha. Dad picked it up and said “I’ve heard this one sucks”. This is one of those “natural root beers” that is 18 shades to light to be root beer. Surprisingly I could tolerate it enough to give it a very low 2/5. I definitely would NOT have it again.
Oogavé- I’m always excited by root beers that have names with cool letters. This one caught my eye because there is an accent mark on the e. This one sucked. 1/5
Sky Valley- This was just overall crapacious. We picked it up at a whole foods right by our hotel in Omaha. Because this is a “natural” root beer I guess they decided to make it as awful as possible to stop you from ever wanting to try normal root beer. One of the ingredients is apple cider vinegar so you can imagine how it tasted. Like carbonated apple cider vinegar. If I were to ever get this again I would use it as drain cleaner and not drink it. 1/5
Now after dad and I decided 3 of these root beers are horrible I thought “2 wrongs don’t make a right but 3 lefts do” and decided to mix the 3 bad root beers in the hope that it would turn into something half way decent. I was horribly wrong and ended up spewing the concoction into the sink. Never try to fix something that is way beyond repair.
So, this has been a couple of weeks in the making. This tasting was done a couple of weeks ago. Our last tasting was done in the “Big O”. While on our trip we picked up some root beers that weren’t in our collection. So this is actually “On the Road” Part 2. Our 4 entries this week are Live Kombucha and Sky Valley, both in clear bottles, and Oogave and Saint Arnold root beers both in dark glass bottles. After this taste test we came up with a new rule regarding our taste tests. That being from now on we will only drink one “natural” root beer per sitting. For our own sakes! Here we go.
Saint Arnold Root Beer; Houston, TX. By far and away the best of what we found on our trip. Purchased at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store in Jordan, MN. This was creamy, with a good vanilla flavor. Good bite as well. One of my first thoughts was that this would be a great root beer for floats. I’m giving St. Arnold a 4/5. Enjoy!
Live Kombucha; Austin TX. Nasty! 1/5
Oogave Organic Root Beer; Denver, CO. Nasty! 1/5
Sky Valley Root Beer; Danville, VA. Nasty! 1/5
So here’s the deal. As I was drinking these three natural sodas, the taste kept getting worse and worse. My root beer partner started laughing at me because I kept trying to determine sip by sip what was so nasty about the flavor. “You should see your face!” she belly laughed. I could feel my neck muscles tighten as the angst of each swallow wracked my sensibilities. Then my cohort got the bright idea to mix all three nasty naturals and give that a whirl. I’m guessing it was worse than Dr. Jeckyl’s potion. The highlight of the night was watching my daughter shake her head “NO” and spew the brown liquid into the sink. Now you can see the reason to add the rule to only allow one natural soda per tasting. I never knew that drinking root beer would require a spittoon.
We took a little trip to Omaha, Nebraska, and decided to bring 4 root beers with us to try. This testing was a little odd because we were in a hotel room and our normal “palette cleanser” (saltines) had to be switched to cheddar and sour cream ripples because we forgot to bring the saltines with. We tried Snake River, Empire, Millstream, and Tower.
Empire- I grabbed this off the shelf and dad had a fit because the label wasn’t on totally straight. I was excited to try it and I really didn’t have a reason for that. On my notes sheet what I have written down is “well it doesn’t suck” which was my exact quotation after trying this. It was actually really good. Ask me what it tasted or smelled like and I can’t tell you but apparently I liked it enough to give it a really high 4/5
Millstream- This was a little odd because it didn’t seem like there was actually anything there. You couldn’t really smell or taste it, and yet I drank a lot of it. This is the kind of thing where you’ll drink a lot of it without realizing how much you’ve had. I gave it a 4/5
Tower- This was kind of the same as millstream because it wasn’t really there, but somehow I could tell that this one was a little worse. 3/5
Snake River- Every so often we get a root beer that tastes more like cola than it does root beer. This is exactly the case for this one. It smelled like root beer but the taste was sort of like flat cola. Now I’m not a huge fan of cola and I really don’t like it when something is advertised as root beer and tastes like cola. 2/5
Next time is also going to be a little interesting because while we were in Omaha we stopped a few places to look for root beer. We found a few and next time is going to be on the road testing from home.