Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tower Root Beer

Here is another root beer i got from the Soda Emporium site. Tower Root Beer has a lot of history attached to it. It comes from Somerville, MA and has been serving the Boston area since 1914. The site has a big write up on the history of the family run company, complete with some cool black and white pics from way back. The company that produced Tower Root Beer was called Prospect Hill Beverages, LLC which was a location where a tower stood atop a small hill for which the root beer is named. It was started by three brothers (i assume they are brothers, although it never really specifies) from Italy named Domenick, Giuseppe and Felice Cusolito.
Very Italian mob boss sounding names. During the years of prohibition, the company thrived and expanded to service much of New England throughout the Depression and into the 1960's. In 1969 the company was sold to a conglomerate and a franchise was run by Domenick's son Richard until 1978, at which time Tower went off the market. Then in the late 90's, Domenick's grandson Larry found the old recipe and brought the root beer back into production. All this can be seen on the website. Kind of a neat story i guess.

This root beer came in a stout brown 12 oz glass bottle, but the website tells of a time that the root beer was bottled in clear bottles until the acquisition of several 7 oz amber bottles from a beer brewery that was shut down during Prohibition. Ever since then, the brown glass bottles were used. I like the label. It has the old timey look of something you'd find in a pharmacy or apothecary. The font and colors selected are classically in line with the way it has always been made. The small circular depiction of the tower in the center includes the words "better than the best". While i admire the brash show of confidence, it has already been established that nothing can be better than IBC. Nothing gets 10 IBCs except IBC. Sorry Tower, you're just wrong on that one.

Keeping true to the old recipe, Tower is sweetened with pure cane sugar. But the ingredients on the label don't give any other indication to the flavor of the root beer. I think it has a very subtle molasses base which thankfully is not overpowering. But aside from that and the cane sugar i can't say i really get a root beer taste from it. That doesn't make it bad. In fact, i find myself enjoying this stuff quite a bit and perhaps without justified reason because i can't really defend it. I just like it. It's not amazing, but i wouldn't mind having another any time soon.

My official review is that Tower gets 6 (six) IBCs. I teetered on giving this one a 7, but i don't think it's quite deserving of that high a rating. But it's enjoyable, satisfying, has good carbonation and a pleasant taste, and therefore is easily deserving of a 6. Well done Tower. And welcome back.

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