Thursday, January 21, 2010

Americana Root Beer

I had a bit of a bad bout with my computer recently but luckily i have a backup. So it's back to business as usual i suppose. New root beers are becoming harder and harder to come by. However, thanks to a site called Soda Pop Stop (not sure if i have already mentioned and/or linked it), i have several root beers on hand that i am trying to space out somewhat to preserve the long running status of this blog (over one year). This root beer is an old timey American classic, which is why it bears the name Americana. This drink is part of the Orca Beverage Inc. and hails from Mukilteo, WA. Orca also distributes several other brands of soda. Americana also comes in black cherry and honey lime ginger flavor, the later of which sounds like it would be delicious in a salsa with some tacos. Not sure if it translates that well though, but if you find the desire, i urge you to try it and let me know how it is.

The 12 oz. brown glass bottle is draped in a simple but bold label adorned with the American flag and some flagrant font. (Speaking of font, my wife and i rented a documentary called Helvetica, which is about the origin and application of this majestic font. I haven't seen it yet, but i am sure it's fantastic. Check it out today.) Simple colors of red, white, and blue act proudly yet somberly to convey the message that this root beer's patriotism is evident from start to finish. It's not over bearing, but it makes the point clear that this root beer would gladly die for it's country if the cause of freedom were in jeopardy. Noble, i suppose, but in the end, i think it just plays to the sentimentality of old people. But i digress. (one of my favorite websites) defines Americana as, "materials concerning or characteristic of America, its civilization, or its culture; broadly: things typical of Amercia". So to me, if you name your root beer Americana, it had better taste like things prevalent in American culture, like apple pie, baseball, and wearing out your welcome. However, the thing is tastes like most to me is molasses. The bottle does say that Americana is made with pure cane sugar, but i wasn't expecting it to be a thick, dark molasses flavor permeating the experience. It's not unbearable, but i don't particularly care for the taste of molasses. My wife tells me that is tastes like a bad gingerbread cookie, the key ingredient in gingerbread being molasses (i would have thought it would be ginger, but whatever). The taste is fairly sharp and gives me no room to find anything else appealing about the root beer. And frankly, i don't know how molasses flavor is supposed to speak to the sentimentality of American culture, past or present. Of course, i am not very versed on the history of molasses in our country, so if any of you, my loyal readers, care to shed some light on this, i would be a willing student. But basically, i think Americana has missed the mark.

My official review is that Americana gets 4 (four) IBCs. It's not great, and with a name like Americana it's supposed to make me think of a better, simpler time. It doesn't though. It makes me think, "now what am i supposed to do to get this taste out of my mouth?" And i'm not a marketing expert or a research and development guru, but i am pretty sure a root beer wants people to want to drink more of it.

BTW... Someone should tell that to the Journey Root Beer guys, cuz that stuff is awful.