Saturday, January 17, 2009

Natural Brew Draft Root Beer

I found this one in a Fry's grocery store on New Year's Eve, but am just now getting around to reviewing it. I was with my friend from Buffalo at the time who had tried it and he said it wasn't bad. His wife didn't feel the same way and thought it was terrible. But either way, i figured i needed to review it for the masses. Natural Brew makes a few other flavors of soda, including ginger ale. I'm not sure when it started being produced as there isn't much about it on the internet, including the source of all truth. And although i couldn't find a site for Natural Brew itself, the source of all truth told me that it is bottled through Smucker Quality Beverages (the same Smucker's who make jams and jellies). SQB also distributes several other beverages under the Smucker's name, including After the Fall, which is the company that Mark Panely used to run before he started that atrocity known as Journey Food and Beverage Co. and began pumping out that disgusting excuse for a root beer. But anyway, this is about Natural Brew, not that other garbage.

It comes in a stout 12 oz. glass bottle in a 4-pack. Not buying it at the Pop Shop means i don't have the luxury of just buying them one at a time. The label has a color scheme using Earthy colors and shows a serene looking landscape consisting of a set of rolling hills/mountains in the background with a babbling mountain spring in the foreground. It's like something right off an Arrowhead Water label (maybe someone should alert them that their logo is being plagiarized). There is a lot of text along the sides of the label arguing the benefits of natural ingredients, etc. This seems to be common of all root beers that use natural ingredients. No big surprise there i guess.

Being a root beer that utilizes natural ingredients, i was already expecting a certain taste. And based on the mixed reviews of Dick and his wife, i was already thinking this was going to be another bad natural root beer. But i really didn't mind it. It was typical in the way of natural root beers in that it has a base flavor of black licorice and less carbonation than normal, but it also has a heavy clove taste to it and a mild vanilla aftertaste. I'll be honest, it wasn't bad. Probably one of the better natural root beers i have tried. But still not one of my favorites overall.

My official review is that Natural Brew gets 5 (five) IBCs. I really wouldn't mind drinking it again. I don't know how much i would go out of my way though, because it's kind of expensive. It was just under $5 for a 4-pack, which when you think about it isn't that much per bottle. But when you can get IBC for less than $5 for a 6-pack, it's an easy decision based on price alone. However, i will say i was relieved that i wasn't compelled to dump the other three bottles down the drain. This stuff isn't amazing, but it's not terrible. If you like the natural ingredient root beers, i think this one might be your best bet so far.

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