Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Langers Root Beer

Piggy-backing off my last post, this is the other root beer i got from Rocket Fizz on my root beer reconnaissance trip to California last summer, but i have i since seen it in select grocery stores. Langers is a company formed in Southern California (L.A. area) that produces natural fruit juices. It's a family company that has been around since about 1960. As it turns out, they also make a root beer (and perhaps other flavors of soda). To follow the trend of their fruit juices, this root beer is crafted from natural ingredients, meaning there is no high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors in it. Sounds like another fly-by-night hippie operation, right? That was my first impression too. I figure if you want to make your juice that way, knock yourself out, but don't take something good like root beer and try making it "healthy". Next they are going to try and make cheese fries healthy. That just sounds awful. I want my cheese fries served with a heaping side of regret when i have stomach pains later. That's how you know they are working.

The bottle and label are a pretty professional set up. The label is pasted on the brown 12 oz. bottle with a glossy sticker and doesn't look cheaply thrown together. There is nothing particularly spectacular about the label, but nothing i can say really repels me, besides the fact that it has a hint of "generic brand" look to it. But i can't complain too much. The company has been around for over 50 years now, so they seem like they have everything in order. Plus, they have an Egyptian Sphinx looking lion on their logo, so that's kinda neat. Right? Maybe not. I'm probably just grasping for something to say about the label. It's dull, but fine.

I don't know that i would classify it as what i consider a "natural" root beer, which more often than not carries some pretty heavy implications that it tastes like hot garbage. To be honest, this stuff doesn't taste too bad. It's lacking in carbonation and definitely has a taste of honey to it, but overall i'm not completely put off by it. The label claims it contains vanilla extract (from Madagascar no less...) with cream and honey tones. Like i said, i can definitely taste the honey, and the vanilla is a nice touch. The root beer flavor could be more prominent, but overall i think these hippies did a decent job of not bottling piss and calling it root beer for the sake of being healthy. So for that i say well done.

My official review is that Langers gets 6 (six) IBCs. Again, i hesitate to even call it a natural root beer, but if that is indeed what it is then it's one the better ones i have had (calm down Langers, you don't have very stiff competition in that department). I wouldn't say this stuff is worth going out of my way to purchase, but i will say it was certainly a pleasure to drink considering what i was expecting. So congratulations Langers, I don't hate you.