I'm talking of course about Henry Weinhard's Root Beer. And brace yourself for this, cuz i kinda have a lot to say.
According to Wikipedia, the source of all truth in the universe, Weinhard's has been around since 1856, but apparently can't get with the program enough to get a proper website. You can see for yourself here.
Also according to Wikipedia, Weinhard's secret ingredient is forgotten and desperate orphans. That's right... Weinhard's grinds up sad and lonely orphans to put in it's root beer. Chilling, i know, and true. Now ask yourself, what else don't you know about Weinhard's? Hmmm?
Did you know that Henry originally went into the brewing business to make beer? Well it's true. Henry started a brewery under the name Blitz-Weinhard's that produced beer for over a century, until in 1999 the company had to shut it's doors after an extensive missing orphans investigation. Or, it was bought out or something. Anyway, the point is, Weinhard's isn't dedicated to root beer. He never wanted to make root beer. He just wanted to make some money and take care of the abandoned child issue, and what better way than selling ground up abandoned children to people in root beer form? Sounds pretty ingenious to me, and i would give him credit for it if he didn't flaunt this horrible liquid around like it's here to replace water. I think they even ran an ad telling people they should bathe in it. Wow Weinhard's... you're really conceited.
And speaking of conceited, let's move on to the bottle design and label. The guy put a picture of himself right on every bottle of this cursed beverage. Not a cartoon or a caricature, but an old-timey photograph of himself to call back from the dead and haunt your conscience. Like he has some kind of complex where he has to watch everyone drink his root beer to validate to himself that his life wasn't a complete failure and waste, which i promise you it was. In fact, i did him a favor by redesigning the label for him to appear more honest in advertising and true to the nature of Weinhard's.
Now let's look at the bottle itself. Hmm... seems pretty normal, right? Average size, dark color, can't complain here right? Wrong. Did you know that while he was alive, Henry personally saw to it that the only bottles he used were made in third-world-nation-sweat-shop-like conditions? I mean, even by the late 1800's standards, these were BAD conditions. And it wasn't to save money or because of better quality materials. It was so he could watch people suffer. In fact, this bottling process is what turned him on to the whole ground up orphans thing. He would work their parents to death making these bottles and then grind up their kids to fill the bottles with. If you can't see it by now, i'll just spell it out for you. This guy is SICK. Seriously. Did you know that "Weinhard" means "brutally exploit" in over 30 languages? It's true. I have Rosetta Stone (thanks again Richard). The only thing this bottle is good for is shattering and stabbing into your own face to end your miserable life. Bottom line... i wouldn't drink IBC out of it, and i'd drink IBC out of a homeless guy's underwear. YouTube it.
Let me throw in price for just a second here. Do you realize how expensive this garbage is? A six-pack will run you close to $8, whereas a six-pack of delicious IBC is usually half the price of that, and when on sale, a quarter the price. Why so much Henry? Got some gambling debts to pay off? Orphans don't run as cheap as they used to? And i thought the price of gas was gouging the working man...
Ok, but really now, enough character assassination and let's get to the nuts and bolts of this argument. Is the root beer any good? If you can't put it together yet, i'll go ahead and tell you. No. It is not good. I read all these other reviews about it and see descriptions like, "bold", "creamy", "smooth", "i clearly don't know what i'm talking about", etc. But one thing that has never been answered for me is this; Why does it taste like candy corn? Anyone? Does anyone know why it tastes like candy corn? Because it does, overwhelmingly so. And i want to be clear on this. Everyone knows what candy corn is, right? It's that awful Halloween candy that gets passed around every year but never gets eaten. Did you know that they actually stopped producing candy corn in the 70's? It's true. They had made so much of it while none of it was being consumed that the candy corn factories decided to just gather up the left over candy corn from all over the world and redistribute it. It's been that way for nearly 40 years now. So if people won't eat this crap, and candy corn manufacturers won't make it anymore, then why does this garbage beverage reek of candy corn? I can't quite make the connection, but there has to be something. Maybe Weinhard's is force feeding the orphans candy corn before he grinds them up for the root beer? I don't know. That sounds a bit far fetched. Or does it?
My official review is this: Weinhard's gets 0 (zero) IBCs. I dabbled with the idea of awarding especially awful root beers a "Weinhard's Award of Failure", but i think i'll just reserve that for the king of failure himself, Mr. Henry Weinhard. Speaking very honestly and candidly, i know it's very popular and people enjoy it. You are free to do as you will. I would just advise you this: do whatever you want with it. Wash your car with it, comb your hair with it, shine your shoes with it, whatever. But for your own safety and the safety of others, PLEASE be careful with it and don't get any of it in your mouth.