My soon-to-be-dentist friend Dick found this little root beer next to the previously posted one at Cost Plus World Market. Maine Root Beer has been around since 2004 and is brewed in St. Scarborough, ME. It has a real hippie look to it and is all about the pure, natural flavors and what not (kind of like Virgil's). It was started by a couple brothers just helping out a friend with a restaurant and became popular enough to go into distribution. They actually make a whole line of different sodas with natural flavors and organic ingredients. Apparently people love this stuff. It has the appeal of being "all natural", so it's closer to the original stuff. In fact, there is a link on their website to this fun little website which is all about the natural root beer movement. I personally rather like the sweet and sugary "corporate" way of making root beer because it doesn't taste like boiled yard work, but i suppose that's open to discussion. I haven't messed around on this site too much, but there is a lot of silly stuff on there you can look at if you're really into root beer culture. Looks more like hippie culture to me, but whatever. Just don't believe everything you read (unless it's on this blog).
It comes in your typical dark brown 12 oz. glass bottle and the label on it has some weird root drawing or something on it and a list of all the ingredients (kind of like Virgil's). There is a lot of typed print on the label, i guess to reassure you that they really do use all these natural flavors. The color scheme is green, brown and white, very Earthy colors, and as i have already stated, i get the over all impression that this is a hippie root beer. Don't believe me? Look at a picture of it's creators on the home page of their site. Two words; greasy hippies.
Anyway, despite the fact that this is a hippie drink, it's not terrible. It's not great, but not terrible. It has the black licorice flavor, but not overpowering, it's semi-sweet and lightly carbonated (kind of like Virgil's). I guess what i am trying to say is that if you like Virgil's, you'll probably like this. It doesn't have the exact taste Virgil's does, but it's close. It also does not have the incredible marketing job that Virgil's has, with their giant bearded man and awesome packaging. All in all though, it's not a terrific drink, but it also doesn't taste like a dead guy, so that's a plus.
My official review is that Maine Root gets 4 (four) IBCs. This is one of those drinks you just have to like the basic taste of. Virgil's has a bit more to it than just the black licorice flavor which makes it more likeable for me. Maine Root simply compensates with a sweet sugary after taste. So again, if you like black licorice flavored root beers, be my guest. Just don't buy to much of this stuff. We don't want another hippie uprising.