Month: February 2016

Sprecher Fire Brewed Hard Root Beer

008 - Sprecher Fire Brewed Hard Root Beer

Producer: Sprecher Brewing Company
Obtained At: The Bottle Shop, Longmeadow, MA
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Malt beverage with natural and artificial flavors and artificial color and caramel color
ABV: 5%
Caffeine: No

Another hard root beer, another great drink from Wisconsin. I acquired this one on the same trip as Not Your Father’s, along with a root beer whiskey I will review eventually. I love Sprecher Root Beer so I was very excited to try their alcoholic root beer. The label is pretty standard and keeps with the rest of the Sprecher brand. The root beer is delicious. You can tell it’s alcoholic, but it is much less schnapps-like than Not Your Father’s. This tastes more like root beer, which is good. Overall, this is a great hard root beer and worth a try for any root beer enthusiast.

9/10

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Not Your Father’s Root Beer

007 - Not Your Father’s Root Beer

Producer: Small Town Brewery
Obtained At: The Bottle Shop, Longmeadow, MA
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Beer with natural vanilla extract, other natural and artificial flavors and caramel color
ABV: 5.9%
Caffeine: No

I love root beer and I love alcohol, so anytime I can get my hands on an alcoholic root beer is a good day. I originally found this one online and thought that it was only in the Midwest. I eventually realized it’s also out here on the east coast and quickly headed to a liquor store that stocked it. I made some other great root beer finds that day, but those reviews will come another day. The label on this is vintage looking, with an old-timey man on it. The root beer is delicious. It tastes a little bit like root beer schnapps to me but not as strong, obviously. This is a great alcoholic root beer if you are interested in that.

8/10

Stewart’s Root Beer

006 - Stewart's Root Beer

Producer: Stewart’s Beverages, LLC, Rye Brook, NY
Obtained At: Stop and Shop in Stamford, CT
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, natural and artificial flavor, sodium benzoate (a preservative), citric acid, quillaia extract, gum acacia, yucca extract
Calories: 160
Sugars: 41
Caffeine: No

Anyone who is a root beer drinker has probably had this one before. It is a classic root beer and can be found most places that stock root beer in glass bottles. I bought a four pack of this as a celebration/reward after returning my truck after moving. I like the bottle and the logo. It’s nothing fancy, but still classic. The taste is good even though it uses high fructose corn syrup instead of pure cane sugar. It’s not too sweet and still has a good strong root beer taste to it. All around, everything about this is classic root beer and a solid drink in a time of need.

7/10

IBC Root Beer

005 - IBC Root Beer

Producer: IBC (Dr. Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.)
Obtained At: Stop and Shop, Wethersfield, CT
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (Preservative), Natural and Artificial Flavors, Modified Food Starch, Citric Acid
Calories: 160
Sugars: 43
Caffeine: No

This is one of the classic root beers. It is sold everywhere and seems to be held in high regard by the average person. I have had this one plenty of times before, but not for a long time. I remember it being above average, but nothing to get too excited about. I like the bottle, which has no paper label. Instead, the name and other branding is embossed in the glass and it has a red cap. The taste is what I remembered, above average but not exceptional. It has a lot of bite to it and is full of flavor. This root beer is definitely on the high end of the widely-available brews, being much better than Jones Root Beer or store brands. If you need a solid root beer, this one is for you.

7/10

AJ Stephans Butterscotch Root Beer

004 - AJ Stephans Butterscotch Root Beer

Producer: AJ Stephans Co.
Obtained At: Dave’s Soda and Pet City, 1330 Carew St, Springfield, MA 01104
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Pure water, cane sugar, natural & artificial flavor, caramel flavor, sodium benzoate (preservative)
Calories: 240
Sugars: 40
Caffeine: No

I am a huge fan of butterscotch root beer to begin with, but this one blew me away. It was the perfect blend of root beer and butterscotch. I wish I had bought more than just one bottle of this. I had a hard time getting my fiancée to give this one back to me after I had her try it. If you see this one, buy it and drink it immediately. You won’t regret it.

10/10

Jones Root Beer

003 - Jones Root Beer
Producer: Jones Soda Company, Seattle, WA
Obtained At: Stop and Shop, Wethersfield, CT
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated Water, Inverted Cane Sugar, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Sorbate (as preservatives), Gum Acacia, Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Disodium Edta (to protect flavor)
Calories: 180
Sugars: 46
Caffeine: No

Jones Soda Company puts a bunch of different pictures on the labels of their sodas. I think this is great, especially since every time I buy a bottle of this I can add it to my root beer bottle collection. The two labels in the picture here are just okay. Some flowers and some swimmers. I have others that I think are cooler. The root beer itself is weak. It doesn’t have a strong root beer taste at all. Not necessarily watered down, but just different. Overall, though, it isn’t terrible. Worth a try if you haven’t had it.

5/10

Mercury Soda Pop Root Beer

002 - Mercury Soda Pop Root Beer

Producer: Ipswich Ale Brewery
Obtained At: Mike’s Food & Spirits, Boston, MA
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, cane sugar, natural and artificial flavor, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preservative, caramel color, contains sulfites
Calories: 130
Sugars: 50g
Caffeine: No

I found this root beer while on a bicycle tour of pizza places and dive bars in Boston. They had it in a small cooler behind the bar and I knew as soon as I saw it that I needed to have it. I’m not a huge fan of the design of the label on this one. It looks too much like a generic, store-brand root beer you would find at a grocery store. The root beer itself was quite good. The flavor wasn’t too strong in any direction, but it didn’t taste watered down at all. It paired well with the pizza and beer so if you’re looking for a good root beer to enjoy with your meal, this one will do the job.

6/10

Capt’n Eli’s Root Beer

001 - Capn Eli

Producer: Shipyard Brewing Co., LLC, Portland, ME
Obtained At: Walmart in Avon, CT
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Water, Cane Sugar, Caramel Coloring, Natural & Artifical Flavors Including Wintergreen Oil, Anise, Vanilla, Spices, Herbs, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate as a preservative
Calories: 190
Sugars: 47
Caffeine: No

For my first review I thought I would start with one of the best. I originally found this in Maine while visiting some relatives back in 2010 (the bottle on the left in the picture). I remember loving it back then but I forgot how good it really was. So I was pleasantly surprised when I tried it again and rediscovered how delicious this root beer really is. It has a full, complex flavor that isn’t overpowering. This is everything a root beer should be. If you haven’t tried this root beer, buy it next time you see it. It is one of the best.

10/10