So i stumbled on to this one almost by accident when i met a friend to get some ice cream at Culver's, which is mostly known for their concrete mixers (which is basically just like a Dairy Queen Blizzard). Anyway, when i met him at the local Culver's, he told me that the fast food restaurant chain makes its own root beer, and as a result i was able to review a root beer i wasn't aware of. Craig Culver opened his first restaurant in 1984 in Wisconsin by converting an old A&W stand, which makes me think he has been making root beer from the very beginning, though i have no documentation of that. However, using my superior root beer knowledge, judgement, and wisdom i will say that must be true. Makes logical sense. I always drive past the Culver's here and confuse it with Carvel's, an east coast ice cream cake shop famous for Fudgie the Whale and other ice cream cake concoctions. So it never dawned on me to stop in and get some food, let alone see if they make their own root beer.
I can't really judge the packaging on this one, as it is clear from the picture that i made the label on the cup by pasting a picture of the label from the soda fountain (and it looks quite poorly executed at that). I doubt they bottle this root beer, but i may be wrong. It was easiest just to do it this way, and if i am being completely candid, i have plans to make my own label in a similar fashion for another root beer which i have yet to review. That one, however, is in a bottle, just without a label. So i won't hold any points in favor of or against this root beer for the packaging. It's just standard fast food fare as far as cups and lids and straws goes.
My friend, whom i have consulted with on root beers in the past, informed me that this root beer was pretty good. And he's right. It is pretty good. Quite creamy tasting and well carbonated, it has a good root beer taste. You would think it would taste like A&W since the first restaurant was converted from an old A&W stand, but i think it tastes more like a creamy version of Mug Root Beer. It's similar, yet distinct. But in any case, it's a good root beer, and the food and concrete mixers at Culver's aren't half bad either. Overall, i had an enjoyable experience.
My official review is that Culver's Gourmet Root Beer gets 7 (seven) IBCs. It's a really good root beer. Maybe even worth an 8 considering i just got it out of a soda fountain and couldn't experience it in a glass bottle the way the root beer gods intended. So if you find yourself near a Culver's (not sure how nationally dispersed the franchises are), stop in and grab a bite to eat and wash it down with some of their delicious root beer.