Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Root Beer Post

Last summer I was on about Orange Crush, & while I'm certainly not off of the Crush, I haven' been quite as soda-oriented lately. That said, I just had a fantastic root beer (a Frostop w/ dinner & thought I'd mention it. Jason will tell you A&W is the best, & as for frosted mugs w/ on-tap root beer he's absolutely right. I'm gonna focus on the bottled stuff though. Obviously, claiming to have had ever brand would be ridiculous, but I have tried a lot over the years. Here they are, rated on a scale of 1-5, in reverse alphabetical order (if you can think of others that I've tried, or others you've tried & would like to rate, be sure to leave the old comments):

Wild Bill's *****
A nice creamy body w/ a sweat, full finish. It's really good.

Virgil's ***
A bit pretentious, but better than their ginger ale

Stewart's ***
A basic, rootbeer w/o many bells or whistle, but it's fine

Sioux City ****
To quote The Stranger, "That's a good one." It is the grand daddy, after all.

Natural Brew **
A decent body, but the finish is a bit thin and uninteresting

Mug *
Fine in a pinch, but certainly nothing to write home about

Considering how popular this is, I would have thought it'd be better, but it's tolerable

IBC ****
The 1st micro-brewed root beer I ever had. You've all had it and it's pretty damn good.

Hires **
Better than most of the major label brews.

Hansen's **
Similar to Natural Brew. It opens well, but the finish is thin and tinny. Hints of marzipan and dried cherries.

Goose Island ***
Like their beer, it's good, but not great. It's certainly better than some though

Frostop *****
Creamy and full bodied. This is a quality brew. They sell it @ Washtenaw Liqueur... try it! Nothing tops it, but the foam... or so they say.. & i think they might be right.

Frostie ***
I imagine it was a lot better before they changed the recpe adding the high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweetners & dropping the cane sugar. It's nothing special now.

Faygo ***
Much better than one would expect. A nice full flavor & the finish has a little bite

Dad's ****
I remember liking this a lot, but it's been a long time. I don't recall much about it

Boylan ***
Another tolerable brew.

Blue Sky ***
There's something about the labels sold in the natural Foods Stores that misses the mark. It's like Natural brew and Hansen's... decent, but thin and forgettable

Barq's *
Stay away from this stuff... it's BAD!

A&W ***
Probably the best of the main stream brews. The plastic bottes doon't do it justice though. Do like Jason & get a frosty mug.


cmadler said...

My personal fave is Sprecher Root Beer. I haven't had either of your 5* rootbeers, but I'd definitely put it above IBC (and yes, IBC is pretty damn good).

They also make one of my favorite real beers, Sprecher Pub Ale (infrequently available at Zingerman's Roadhouse, otherwise impossible to find locally). A great Wisconsin brewery.

jason said...

That Virgil's stuff was pretty bad if I remember correctly. Didn't we get some like 15 years ago when we were collaging? It was the worst Root Beer I've ever had. I disagree with your assessment of Barq's. It's probably my favorite if I'm buying a bottle or cans. Maybe A&W needs a widget in their cans like Guiness. Then maybe it will taste as good as it does from the tap.

dan said...

Andre, you are crazy! I didn't know that many root beers even existed. Once again I am impressed and appalled.

Andre said...

I do what I can, brother.