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Tree Fort Root Beer

066 - Tree Fort Root Beer

Producer: Tree Fort Soda, Minneapolis, MN
Obtained At: My brother Nate
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, cane sugar, white honey, natural flavors, caramel color, quillaja extract, malic acid, sunflower oil, phosphoric acid, xanthan gum
Calories: 180
Sugars: 45g
Caffeine: No

My older brother Nate lives in Minneapolis so he has access to local root beers that I don’t see here in Connecticut. Lo and behold, Nate came through and sent me several bottles of root beer, including this one here: Tree Fort Root Beer, based in Minneapolis. I have seen this brand online before while looking for new root beer in Minnesota, but I have never seen it in person before this. The label is fairly basic and keeps the theme of a tree fort. The soda itself is lighter in color than most root beers. The flavor is weird and definitely different than most root beers. It’s not a bad taste as far as that goes; it just has a lot of different spices or something. All in all, it’s worth a try if you’re into natural sodas and want to try a unique root beer.

4/10

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Original Pappas Pizza Downtown Diet Root Beer

065 - Pappas Pizza Downtown Diet Root Beer

Producer: Original Pappas Pizza, Stamford, CT
Obtained At: Original Pappas Pizza, Stamford, CT
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, pure cane sugar, caramel color, natural & artificial flavor, citric acid, sodium benzoate
Calories: 0
Sugars: 0g
Caffeine: No

Another root beer from the pizza place that I walked by for several months without noticing (see first review here).  I always like it when I find a new root beer and there is also a diet root beer or a sarsaparilla. The label here is basically the same as their regular root beer. The taste is alright. It starts out like a good diet root beer but somehow the taste disappears. It has absolutely no lasting root beer flavor. It’s not bad, but overall it is pretty weak.

5/10

Hank’s Gourmet Root Beer

064 - Hank's Gourmet Root Beer

Producer: Hank’s Beverage Co., Trevose, PA
Obtained At: Big Y in West Hartford, CT
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Filtered carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel color, natural and artificial flavor, sodium benzoate, yucca extract, citric acid, and acacia
Calories: 180
Sugars: 44g
Caffeine: No

This one is so good. Like most root beers, I have had this one before. But unlike most, I forgot how delicious this one is. I went into Big Y and found a couple different kinds that I had tried before but had not yet reviewed. I chose this one because it had been the longest since I had tried it (probably 5 years) and I was not disappointed. It is really rich and creamy, but it still has a complex flavor which complements that nicely. Plus, the bottle is really cool and unique, which is always a plus as well. All in all, if you see this, get it and drink it. You won’t be disappointed.

10/10

Pappas Pizza Original Downtown Root Beer

063 - Pappas Pizza Downtown Root Beer 2063 - Pappas Pizza Downtown Root Beer

Producer: Original Pappas Pizza, Stamford, CT
Obtained At: Original Pappas Pizza, Stamford, CT
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, pure cane sugar, caramel color, natural & artificial flavor, citric acid, sodium benzoate
Calories: 180
Sugars: 44g
Caffeine: No

For five months I walked past Pappas Pizza and glanced at the glass bottles they have in their front window. For some reason I never stopped to look at what the bottles were, but finally I did and what do you know? They have their own root beer and diet root beer. The label is pretty bland, with its white background and red lettering. But I guess for an in-store root beer they don’t need anything fancy. The slogan “Laugh More, Be Original, Say Yes, Order Pizza & Love Life” is by far the strangest slogan I have ever seen on a root beer label. But I can’t say I disagree with any of the advice. As you can see from the photos, I got the root beer, the diet root beer, and two slices of pizza. The root beer is really good. Quite surprising, actually. It is creamy and has a strong root beer taste. I highly recommend this one if you’re ever in Stamford.

8/10

Dad’s Diet Old Fashioned Root Beer

059-dads-diet-root-beer

Producer: Dad’s Root Beer Company, LLC, Jasper, IN
Obtained At: The Fresh Market in Avon, CT
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, caramel color, sodium benzoate, sucralose, acesulfame-k, and natural and artificial flavors
Calories: 0
Sugars: 0
Caffeine: No

Dad’s Root Beer was the first root beer bottle I kept as part of my collection. I remember enjoying it a lot. I have also had their diet root beer before, but don’t remember it at all. I like the label of this one. The vertical stripes are something I don’t remember seeing elsewhere, so that’s cool. I like when the diet labels are a lot different than the regular label. The taste is decent. It tastes exactly like what you would expect a diet root beer to taste like, which I think is a good thing. I don’t expect diet root beers to blow me away. This one might be a little too sweet. I don’t know if they use more sweetener than other diet root beers, but it sure tastes like it. Alas, this is a good diet root beer and worth a try.

5/10

Abita Root Beer

057-abita-root-beer

Producer: Abita Brewing Company, Abita Springs, Louisiana
Obtained At: The Fresh Market in Avon, CT
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, cane sugar, caramel color, root beer flavor, phosphoric acid
Calories: 177
Sugars: 38g
Caffeine: No

Another root beer from my spontaneous trip to The Fresh Market. I have had this one before and actually have two different bottles of it in my collection. I like the label. It’s blue with some green and a very strong Louisiana feel to it. It breaks away from the traditional brown and orange color scheme that most root beer labels have. The taste is above average. It is a good flavor but doesn’t really stand out in any particular direction. Nonetheless it is a solid root beer and worth a try if you haven’t had it.

6/10

Boylan Root Beer

056-boylan-root-beer

Producer: Boylan Bottling Co., New York, NY
Obtained At: The Fresh Market in Avon, CT
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, sodium benzoate, citric acid
Calories: 170
Sugars: 42g
Caffeine: No

This was the second root beer bottle I kept for my collection back in the spring of 2010. I don’t think I have had it since then even though it is quite common. I have always liked this bottle though. It has a unique shape, an embossed “Boylan Bottling Co.”, and an old-school logo. Now that I look at the bottle from 2010 I realize it is different. The old one says “Boylan Bottleworks” instead of “Boylan Bottling Co.” and also has a white “Sweetened with Pure Cane Sugar” label on the neck. Looks like I have a new bottle here to add to the collection. The taste is not as good as I remember. It tastes kind of weird. I don’t really know how to explain. It’s not bad by any means and definitely not a run-of-the-mill root beer. It’s different. If you haven’t tried Boylan yet, you should probably check it out. But it probably won’t blow you away.

6/10

Foxon Park Draft Style Root Beer

053-foxon-park-draft-style-root-beer

Producer: Foxon Park Beverages, Inc., East Haven, CT
Obtained At: Frank Pepe’s, New Haven, CT
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Carbonated water, sugar, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, and sodium benzoate
Calories: 130
Sugars: 34
Caffeine: No

This is a Connecticut-brewed root beer, so I get to drink it all the time. I actually tried it for the first time long before I moved to Connecticut. I have always enjoyed it, but never thought it was anything amazing. But Frank Pepe’s has it so I get it with the pizza there. Let’s see how it is this time. The taste is pretty good. It’s smooth but has a unique taste to it so it’s not just like every other root beer. It is worth trying if you ever see it. But it isn’t anything fantastic.

6/10

Natural Brew Draft Root Beer

051-natural-brew-draft-root-beer

Producer: Smucker Natural Foods, Inc.
Obtained At: From my mom
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Sparkling filtered water, sugar, natural flavors, bourbon vanilla extract, anise, licorice root, birch oil, wintergreen oil, caramel color, phosphoric acid
Calories: 170
Sugars: 41
Caffeine: No

On the same trip to Minnesota that led to my most recent adventure at Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store, I also got a four-pack of this root beer from my mom (thanks Mom!). I have had this root beer before, and I believe it was one of the first bottles I got for my collection. For some reason I remember it being terrible, which is why I haven’t tried it in at least four years. The label is pretty cool. It has a lot of detail and really plays up the “small batch” aspect. The taste is a lot better than I remember, which means I must have been thinking about a different root beer all these years. It’s still not that great. The flavor is definitely complex, as the label points out, but it leaves a lot to be desired and comes off as a little bland. All in all, though, this is a decent root beer that won’t result in anyone leaving disgusted. Sometimes that’s all you need.

5/10

The Original Fireman’s Brew Root Beer

046-firemans-brew-root-beer

Producer: Fireman’s Brew Inc., Inyokern, California
Obtained At: Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store
Container: 12 ounce glass bottle
Ingredients: Natural Artesian Spring Water, Cane Sugar, Caramel Color, Natural Flavors, and Citric Acid
Calories: 180
Sugars: 45g
Caffeine: No

I’m nearing the end of my haul from the Big Yellow Barn, but I’m not at the end yet. This one is completely new to me, which is always a plus. I like the label. It has a fireman’s logo and has funny sayings such as “Extinguish Your Thirst” and “Ignite The Party.” The taste is good. Nothing out of the ordinary, but still really good.

7/10