Root Beer (223 reviews)

Anchor Ginger Root Beer

Anchor Ginger Root Beer

If us here at Thirsty Dudes are anything we are men of the sea. The crashing waves and the salty air are all we know of life. With the ocean breeze in our hair we point our bow towards whatever fancy we have at the time. Wait no, that’s not us at all. The ocean is a terrifying place that holds many creatures that mankind will probably never know of. I’m actually shocked that I even knew what a bow was. Mike and I are content to sit on the shoreline, stare out at the ships on the horizon and sip on some root beer. I mean I do have an anchor tattoo, but I never claimed that I wasn’t a hypocrite. I also never complained about double negatives.

While we may be full of lies, one thing that is a truth is that we have dreams of creating (more like having someone make for us) a hybrid of root beer and ginger beer. We’ve proposed it to several companies, but they didn’t seem very interested. They are all fools. How perfect would a nice dark, woody root beer be with the kick of some hot ginger beer? I’m sure ratios would have to be very specific to keep the flavors in line, but that is what folks in lab coats are for.

When I came across this Anchor Ginger Root Beer, I thought that perhaps my prayers had been answered. The sea is an unknown place (for the most part) and so is this beverage. It could hold wonderful secrets or disastrous monsters. You have no idea how many creatures I find in bottles of sodas; at least most of them are vaguely indifferent to me.

While this was not the soda of my dreams, it is almost there. Really the only thing that is missing is the heat. There is no burn at all in this bottle. It’s more of a ginger ale root beer instead of the ginger beer root beer that I so desperately wanted. I will happily take what I am given though. This really tastes like someone made a batch of ginger ale the correct way, with real ginger, and mixed it with a creamy root beer. It has a nice classic root beer taste that is on the darker side of the spectrum that ends with a strong vanilla after taste. The ginger is the majority shareholder in the beginning of each sip, but the vanilla in the root beer is all you are left with seconds after you swallow.

I am a big fan of this, and I hope to come across it again in my travels. I can use it to help me get by until I can talk a company into perfecting my vision. Maybe I should just try combining sodas myself to see how it turns out. I mean that has to end well…right?

Website
http://www.orcabeverage.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Ginger, Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on July 13th, 2014
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Buy Now
(Retro) Anchor Ginger Root Beer 12 Pack

Hippo Size Burley Birch Beer

Hippo Size Burley Birch Beer

People are constantly asking me what the difference between root beer and birch beer is. I usually tell then that birch beer is like a darker root beer that is historically made from bark of the birch tree, whereas root beer is more often made from a variety of roots/barks. I have to admit here and now that I have been spreading lies. I’m going to let you all in on a secret that the soda world doesn’t want you to know. The real difference between these two similar sodas is that root beer is extracted from the tusks of a walrus, and birch beer comes from those (teeth) of the hippopotamus. Strange I know, but 100% true. You can surely understand why this would be kept a secret. It would be hard to market a beverage that comes from animal teeth.

Hippo Size gave hints with their sodas, but they hid them behind a promise of gargantuan, hippo sized flavor. They were right with that boast. This is a fantastic representation of what can be extracted from a hippo. The animal that got this from must have been eating a lot of mint, because this has a very strong wintergreen taste, which is fantastic. I really enjoy this red birch soda that is made with white birch extract. I’ll leave that for another science lesson. This really hit the spot. It’s creamy without being anything like a cream soda. It’s just what I needed after a long day like today.

Orca beverages have been breathing life into some long forgotten soda companies, and they are doing a great job at it. I certainly would never have had this if it wasn’t for them, and I thank them for the experience.

Website
http://www.orcabeverage.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on June 26th, 2014
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Buy Now
(Retro) Hippo Size Burley Birch Beer 12 Pack

Dang Butterscotch Root Beer

Dang Butterscotch Root Beer

Ladies and Gentlemen, we live in a post Harry Potter world. Both the book and movie franchises have come to their conclusion. As I write this it has been two and a half years since the final movie and they are trying times. Butterbeer has made its way into reality from the imagination of a British woman. While it may not be exactly what the author had in mind, a butterscotch flavored cream soda burst onto the scene and captivated the taste buds of dozens. Okay, hundreds, if not thousands. It was not quite for me, but it exists and that is an interesting thing. It was the first butterscotch soda I have ever tasted, and as a person, who dislikes the candy, I found it fairly enjoyable.

Dang! has put together a little variation here. Instead of using cream soda they went with root beer for their base. To be fair this may have existed long before the other soda, but since I have never come across it until now, in my find it’s post-Potter. I must say that I enjoy this a whole lot more than the Flying Cauldron Butterbeer. The root beer flavoring tones down that of the butterscotch. Don’t worry, both flavors are most definitely present, but neither of them overpowers the other. This is fairly creamy, smooth and delicious. The flavor starts briefly as a nice dark licorice heavy root beery that quickly fades to tones of butterscotch, but the best part is the aftertaste is a perfect medley of the two.

I am looking forward to someday coming across Dang’s regular root beer, because that initial flavor gives me a lot of hope for it. As for this, well it’s a memorable soda that I wouldn’t drink all of the time, but it would make a nice little treat every once and a while. If you are a fiend for butterscotch, you should most definitely track some down. You won’t be disappointed.

Website
http://dangthatsgood.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 22nd, 2013
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http://www.amazon.com/Dang-Butterscotch-Root-Beer/dp/B006YJW6TO/ref=cm_cr_pr_pb_t
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Buy at SpecialtySodas.com

Schmohz Brewery Sammi Rae Root Beer

Schmohz Brewery Sammi Rae Root Beer

It is always a treat in my travels when I come across small local breweries that make their own soda. I had never heard of Schmohz Brewery until I came across this root beer in a small coffee shop in downtown Flint, MI. The home of the brewery is actually Grand Rapids, but it found it’s way a short distance to Flint, which might I say has come quite a ways since I last visited there a decade ago. Back then the city was a ghost town, and everything seemed to be falling into ruins. This time there were some businesses that seemed to be thriving and things looked like they were on the up and up. Good job Rust Belt, let’s keep reviving these cities.

Okay, enough about economic downfall and rejuvenation. We’re here to talk about root beer so let’s get down to brass tax. This root beer starts off fairly light in your mouth. It seemed like the ratios of the other ingredients to water were a bit off. Once I took a couple of sips I realized that while it’s in your mouth it tastes a bit weak, but once you swallow it has a nice dark aftertaste. This doesn’t taste like your run of the mill “classic” root beer. It’s a but darker and you can tell it’s microbrewed. There is nothing overly strong about the flavor. It’s certainly there, but it’s something you have to kind of sit and ponder over as it’s not on the nose like most root beers.

Sugar and “More Sugar” are both listed in the ingredients, so I was expecting this to be overly sweet, but it’s not at all. It has an average, and possibly even a little low level sweetness going on.

Finally, I’d like to acknowledge that a portion of the proceeds of this soda are donated to Sammi Rae of Hope, which is an organization that helps families who are suffering with the possible loss of a family member that can result in high medical bills. Sammi Rae helps those families to not lose their homes. Sounds like a great organization to me, and it’s more than enough reason to take a chance on this pop if you ever find yourself in Michigan.

Website
http://schmohz.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on December 18th, 2013
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Bundaberg Root Beer

Bundaberg Root Beer

When Jay goes on tour, he comes home with some different drinks. If you stay in one place, things get stale. Jay knows that all too well so he's on tour a fair amount and, if I didn't know better, he spends as much time with the band as he does on the hunt for new drinks.

Now he just was in the United States but came across this little Australian tart. You know a drink that comes both in glass and with an awesome pull-tab is going to be good, so is it? Well, it's good and it's better than most but is it as good as I wanted to be? I don't think so. It is a nice, dark licorice filled root beer. That's for sure. What's wrong with it then? It's a little too sweet. Is it the molasses? Maybe. It almost tastes like a good root beer with something like a grape hard candy in it. That's not the worst thing but whatever that "candy" thing is in there, it knocks its great potential down a peg or two. Am I in the position to be assigning proper peg state? I like to think that I am. I would like to think that in turn someone out there is placing me on some ladder whether it be a skill ladder, sexual ladder, or something in between. We can all agree that those are the two extents of social ladders, right?

Website
http://www.bundaberg.com/info/home/
Country
Australia
Sweetener
Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Mike Literman on December 3rd, 2013
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Honest Fizz Root Beer

Honest Fizz Root Beer

It’s no secret that us here at Thirsty Dudes are very large fans of root beer. I was going to say junkies, but then I realized that we’re not guzzling any version of the stuff we can find to get that sweet, sweet (literally) fix that we need. We have a bit of a refined palate when it comes to this particular beverage. Sure, if we’re at a party and someone offers us store brand, we will drink it, but we search out those sodas whose companies have spent some time perfecting their brew. With all of that in mind, I would like to inform you that diet root beer is the devil. It is the liquid form that the dark lord takes to steal souls from the living on this planet we call Earth. It is always the lowest grade of root beer that has had its sweetener swapped out for something zero calorie; usually aspartame or sucralose. It’s blasphemy and I want nothing to do with it.

All of the above is what I would have said to you until I tried this can of Honest Fizz. This product went up against all of the odds and came out victorious. First off, it’s in a can and not a glass bottle, which does not bode well for it. Properly brewed root beer simply does not come in cans. Yes, that is the snob in me coming out. Of course it’s also fighting again being the most unholy force in the universe. The thing is Honest did the unthinkable and they made a zero calorie root beer, that I not only could stand drinking, but that I down right enjoyed. I think the secret is that they started with a quality product before adding the sweetener (erythritol). This doesn’t taste like an everyman root beer. This tastes like something that was microbrewed. It has a darker taste than something your local supermarket would produce. Sure, once they added the erythritol there is a bit of diet flavor in the aftertaste, but the superb quality of the root beer does a nice job of covering it up, unlike all of the rest whose products taste more like diet than root beer.

I liked this so much that I could see myself drinking it on a semi regular basis. With zero calories and no sugar, my body will be sure to thank me for that.

Website
http://www.honesttea.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Erythritol
Categories
Diet, Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 28th, 2013
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Buy Now
Honest Fizz - Organic Zero Calorie Soda Root Beer - 6 x 12 oz. Cans

Frostie Vanilla Root Beer

Frostie Vanilla Root Beer

It’s been a few years since I’ve had a Frostie root beer. It’s not like Old Man Winter on the bottle and I had a falling out or anything, it’s just not readily available in Buffalo, and while I’m traveling I’m always looking for something new. Cut to me entering the Village Beer Merchant in Buffalo with a friend and I see this little guy peaking out of the cooler. Interest piqued.

From the picture on the bottle this would appear to be root beer float flavored. While that sounded interesting, it also seemed a little gross. I don’t want dairy in my sealed soda. Lucky for everyone involved it’s more of a root beer – cream soda hybrid that is very heavy on the cream soda side of things. It tastes like vanilla extract rather than vanilla ice cream, and the results are excellent. I would actually say this is 70% cream soda and 30% root beer. Keep that in mind because if you go into this wanting a strong root beer you will be sorely disappointed.

Now there are two different versions of their regular root beer the cane sugar one and the HFCS one. It’s not shocking that the cane sugar one is superior in every way. This unfortunately is sweetened with corn syrup, so it’s a bit on the thicker side. I can only hope that I come across a cane sugar version some day and fall in love even more.

Website
http://www.frostie.biz/
Country
United States
Sweetener
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on November 20th, 2013
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Frostie VANILLA ROOT BEER - "So creamy you may just Float away!", 12-Ounce Glass Bottle (Pack of 12)

Harmony Springs Beverages Sarsaparilla

Harmony Springs Beverages Sarsaparilla

I purchased this on a trip that I was sure was ultimately going to result in my death. On our last tour we played a last minute show at a coffee shop in Western Mass. We didn’t know anyone at town, and didn’t have a place to stay. Suddenly this 20 something year old gentleman approached us and told us he had been couch surfing and living out of his van, be he had a place we could crash, as long as we were okay with having a bonfire. We agree, follow him to a 7-11, where I purchased this soda, and then drove for what seemed like forever into the heart of nothingness. It seemed like we were nowhere near any sort of town, and even streetlights were nonexistent. The words of a bonfire got me to thinking that we were certainly going to be sacrificed. Most of my body was telling me to turn around and head the other direction, but we are poor and cheap and didn’t want to spring for a hotel. Finally we turned into a driveway of a creepy old farmhouse. A single motion detector light came on and it didn’t help our feelings of dread. The area was dead silent. There was no trace of any other human life for miles. We ascended the stairs to enter the house and I took a breath waiting for murder and mutilation. As he flipped the light switch I was sure a family of crazy hillbillies would be waiting for me, but instead I was greeted with construction equipment. You see at the show our host was vague about everything, but he quickly explained that this was his grandmother’s house and she had passed away the year before. His parents were remodeling the whole thing, and it was to be their retirement home in the country. He showed us to some nice new mattresses for us to sleep on and then we went out to enjoy a nice fire on a chilly night. It ended up being one of my favorite nights of tour, and great conversations were had. In the morning light we saw that the place was probably one of the most relaxing places I had ever been. There were hundreds of cows in a field next door, pear trees and even a little waterfall in the stream behind the house. We were dumb dumb heads and we watch too many horror movies.

You didn’t come here to hear about my potential demise though. You’re here for sarsaparilla, and it’s a fine place to be. Due to the caps I was expecting this too be the same mix that College Club and Avery uses, but this has a much darker licorice taste to it. I was very surprised at how bold the flavor was. When companies use the same labels for all their sodas and the only denotation of the flavor is on the cap, I expect something on the higher level of good, but not great. What was that something about books and covers? This is an exceptional sarsaparilla that Massachusetts is lucky to have readily available.

Website
http://www.drinkharmonysprings.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
100% Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 13th, 2013
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Spikes Root Beer

Spikes Root Beer

How many hot dogs can you eat? Do you have the fervor it takes to take on the former world champion Takeru Kobayashi, or do you just like to take it easy and eat a whole mess of dogs at a leisurely pace? Either way if you can force down at least six dogs at Spike’s Junkyard Dogs in New England you can get yourself a t-shirt and a picture on the wall. I wouldn’t say it’s an elite group that has achieved this as the walls are basically covered in said pictures, but there is a certain pride that comes with it.

If you still have room in your gullet after you have downed an unhealthy number of hot dogs (or veggie dogs) I would suggest ordering yourself a bottle of their store brand root beer. You would think that for a store brand it would be some average root beer that is normally made by a different company, but that has been rebranded. It seems that Spikes has had this specifically brewed for them. It’s sweetened with cane sugar, which puts them ahead of the average game if you ask me. On top of that it’s fairly heavy with the wintergreen, which makes it stand out as slightly different amongst its peers. It doesn’t taste like it’s just made from a mix, or with “root beer flavoring.” I suppose after you eat 23 hot dogs (the greatest number consumed at the location we were at) you’re probably not going to notice the subtleties of the flavor though.

Website
http://www.spikesjunkyarddogs.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Pure Cane Sugar
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
4/5
Reviewed By
Jason Draper on October 2nd, 2013
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Central Coast Brewing Old Fashioned Root Beer

Central Coast Brewing Old Fashioned Root Beer

I'm on tour right now and the band I'm with just played at Slo Brew in San Luis Obispo, CA with Titus Andronicus. People got us excited about this venue because it's also a restaurant and they feed all bands that play here. All the band members were asked what they wanted but they didn't think to ask me, the merch guy.

Then my good friend Max Gregor came to the rescue and bought me a slice of pizza and this huge bottle of root beer. I was totally surprised and it made my night. The pizza was as good as I was going to get in California, but the root beer was pretty decent. It's a local brewing company and you can tell this isn't their first batch of root beer. It has a nice sweetness, but not too sweet. It's a very "safe" root beer and would be a good introductory to someone new to root beer outside of Barqs and Dad's.

Website
http://www.centralcoastbrewing.com/
Country
United States
Sweetener
Not Listed
Categories
Root Beer, Soda Pop
Rating
3/5
Reviewed By
Derek Neuland on September 11th, 2013
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