Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hill Country Fare Root Beer

I have a few more canned generics i need to get through, and this is one of the ones i picked up on my cross country drive at the beginning of the year. Hill Country Fare Root Beer is one of the root beers i found in Houston, TX at the local HEB grocery store there. HCF is one of the brands sold by HEB and from what i gather is similar to Kroger in that HCF makes a wide variety of products. Anything from food to personal hygene and more. I guess root beer falls under that wide umbrella. I couldn't find a site for this one, not even a proper page on the HEB website. But it's known that HCF makes more flavors of soda than just root beer. From the can i think it may be made in San Antonio, but that could be completely wrong. No way to tell how long it's been in existance. Really though, it's just another product from a giant faceless corporation, so i can't imagine the backstory is all that interesting.

Like most generics, this one came in a variety of vessels, but i just wanted the cheapest and least space consuming means of transporting this across the country with me. So i sprang for the standard aluminum can. Nothing to say about the label really. Company logo, bland color scheme, big font, you get the point. I don't really mind reviewing generics, but 9 times out of 10 i struggle to find things to say about the labels because they are so bland and formulaic. This is one of those times.

I remember i drank one or two of these at the time i bought them on my trip, but it must have been as unremarkable as now because i have no memory of the experience. This stuff doesn't have a bad taste, but it's quite tame and forgettable. The flavor fades fast and it's a bit watery. It also leaves a bad taste in your mouth afterward. The carbonation seems a little off too, as i expected more than i got. Other than that, it's the stardard root beer flavor, no doubt made from a concentrate syrup bought in bulk. I can't really fault HCF. They are pumping this out in large volume to glean a little off the soda market. However, to HCF's credit the can says if you're not happy with your experience they will "cheerfully refund your money". I doubt i will take those measures as i am not particularly unhappy, just not very impressed.

My official review is that Hill Country Fare gets 3 (three) IBCs. I don't really mean to be harsh on this one because it's ultimately not terrible. But it's definitely on the lower side of the generics, meaning it lacks a lot of flavor and character. Truly, this root beer is adequate and is very inexpensive. But if you invest just a little more money there are a lot better options out there. So if you see this in the store, just get the HEB brand. It's in the same place and gives a greater ROI.

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