Wednesday, February 29, 2012

H-E-B Root Beer

This is another root beer i picked up on my last cross country trek with my friend Richard. We passed through Texas and in Houston we stopped at a grocery store to look for root beers. This is one of the ones we found. I don't have a website for the root beer, but store is called H-E-B (an acronym for "Here Everything's Better") and this is the website for the store. The label says this is bottled in San Antonio, but i don't know how long it has been around or anything. Not really important though. This is just another stop on the generic root beer assembly line so i can't expect to find out a lot of the details about it. I doubt much thought went into crafting this beverage in the first place.

I chose to pick this up in a 2-liter bottle since it was the cheapest option. The label is pretty standard for a generic root beer. Same tired bland format, repetative color scheme, and lack of imagination i've come to expect from a store brand. Pretty unremarkable really.

For as much as it sounds like i am getting down on this one, i have to say it tastes pretty dang good. And that's because it's another exact copy of A&W. I've said it before plenty of times, and this one just proves the point: if you're going to make a generic soda that you just want to make money on, you might as well copy the flavor of a popular and winning formula. H-E-B does this with incredible authenticity. My wife now feels as though A&W is just a whore, giving it's recipe to any willing buyer. Personally, i don't really care.

My official review is that H-E-B gets 7 (seven) IBCs. I realize this review is short, but really, i don't have much to say about this one. I think with root beers like this, you basically just want to know if it's good or not. And it is, so i will give it the same score as i gave A&W (cuz they taste the same). So there you have it. It's cheap, it's good, and it's in Texas. The end.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Shine Classic Root Beer

There is a line of grocery stores here called Fresh & Easy, which coincidentally is what i occasionally call my wife. It's a chain of smaller grocery stores that are supposedly more personal and sell local produce and what not, or something to that extent. Personally, i don't do much shopping there. I went in once and wasn't too impressed with the particular store i visited, but i have been to other ones which were nicer. Anyway, that's not really the point of this post. The point is that i ventured in one day to pick up some ice cream because it was on the way to another engagement and i stumbled upon their generic store brand in a happy accident. Well, maybe not happy. Not sad, but... just kind of middle ground i suppose. It's called Shine Classic Root Beer, a brand i had never heard of previously, and true to it's generic nature it comes in basically every flavor in the soda spectrum. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly) i never found a website for it. It's that lame of a product i suppose. But whatever. It just means i have no extensive details on the origin or distribution of this beverage. I see on the label that it is bottled by Cott Beverages out of Tampa, FL. But truthfully, it probably doesn't matter cuz this stuff really isn't worth going out of the way for. Oh no, did i give it away too early?

I chose to pick up a 2 liter bottle instead of a 12 pack of cans. It embodies the generic root beer mantra down to the label style. Brown and silver design, some bubbles, and kind of a new age font, though this stuff is anything but cutting edge. It lacks a lot of imagination and if i weren't meticulously scouring the root beer section of every store i go in this one probably wouldn't have grabbed my attention.

I had a reasonable expectation for this one when i opened the bottle. The release of carbonation allowed a familiar A&W aroma to permeate the air and i was thinking i would be treated to another decent knock off of a true classic. However, i got much less than i bargained for. It honestly tastes like nothing. Not root beer, not soda, not anything. It's almost like drinking water, except not refreshing. It really does smell good, and i must admit there is a split second of remote root beer flavor right as it hits your tongue, but that fades so quickly that it almost doesn't register. Ultimately, i am left feeling cheated and bored. And i still have 2 liters of this crap to finish off.

My official review is that Shine Classic gets 3 (three) IBCs. Maybe i am being a bit harsh on this one. My wife seems to think so. But i really disappointed by it. So i couldn't in good conscience cut it any slack. Plus, it left a really bad taste in my mouth (also typical of generic brand). Yeah it's cheap, but don't waste the time or money. This one is simple not "woth it". (spelled wrong intentionally)