Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mercury Root Beer

I want to get into this one, but before i do i need to say that i got this root beer from a site called the Root Beer Store. It's another good mail order root beer site that someone (i think Eric) directed me to. I alluded in my last post (Freaky Dog Rooffbeer) that this was the next one i was going to review. Mercury Root Beer is brewed by the Mercury Brewing Co. The website on the bottle (MercuryBrewing.com) leads to a dead end, which you would know from reading the Freaky Dog post. You would also know that by googling Mercury Brewing, you can reach this site, which is the site for the brewery that brews Mercury Root Beer and has been operating out of Ipswich, MA since 1991. Other than being a town in Massachusetts, Ipswich is also a popular football club (aka soccer team) over in England. I'm not really a professional sports fan in any sense of the word, so someone over there please correct me if i'm wrong, but i don't think i am. I think i've overheard enough soccer talk in my life to get some of the basics. But the point is, i think Mercury Brewing and Ipswich Brewing must be one and the same. Not sure if it was a take over type situation or a shared labor agreement, but i have to think they are working together for more reasons that just this one. But we'll get to that later.

The typical 12 oz. clear glass bottle is adorned with a generic color schemed label with the main focus being on the fact that this soda is a root beer, and the name of the company is below as a secondary consideration. So instead of being Mercury Root Beer, i should probably have labeled this post "Root Beer! ... (oh yeah, that's made by Mercury Brewing Co.)". Nothing on the label really stands out from the bland background except the little depiction of the Roman God of Messengers, Mercury himself (or Apollo if you subscribe more to the Greek mythological god naming protocol). Mercury can be seen drinking from a mug wearing his distinctive winged hat. Traditionally he is depicted wearing winged sandals to symbolize his speed, but the label only has him shown from the shoulders up. Kind of a bad call if you ask me Mercury/Ipswich Brewing Co. Instead of the giant "root beer" font on the label, maybe you should have shown a better image of Mercury in all his glory. Hey, even a picture of the planet Mercury would have been better. All the planets of course taking their names from Roman gods, Mercury was so named for being the innermost planet with proximity closest to the Sun, giving it the shortest orbital cycle. Indeed, Mercury's swiftness is displayed by completing an orbit once every 88 days, which means it circles the Sun a little more than 4 times every Earth Year. But while its eccentric orbital path may be the shortest distance of all the planets in the solar system, Mercury has one of the slowest rotational speeds, completing roughly three Mercurian days every two orbits. It has been documented for centuries via telescopic Earth observations, but was only visited via satellite during the mid 1970's Mariner Probe missions and recently at the end of the last decade via the Messenger flyby to study Mercury's core and magnetic field. Fascinating stuff. I mean, come on Mercury Brewing... i think you really dropped the ball on this label.

Outside the obvious connections between the websites listed on both the Freaky Dog Rooffbeer and Mercury Root Beer labels, one of the main reasons i wanted to try this one right after Freaky Dog (and quickly after) was to do a taste test between the two. Now, it wasn't side-by-side comparison, but i just reviewed Freaky Dog yesterday and i have to say... i think they are the same root beer. I think the same liquid is bottled in two separately labeled bottles and sold under separate distribution channels. A true side-by-side test would help me confirm my suspicion, but for the time being i am going to say that they taste identical.  It's not uncommon for one root beer to taste like another, but when both companies list the same brewery/website and then that website leads to a dead end and the only common link is a third unmentioned-on-the-label brewery, i gotta stop and think these crazy kids are trying to cover their tracks or something. Seems kinda fishy what these two companies are up to.

My official review is that Mercury Root Beer gets 5 (five) IBCs. Now i know what you're thinking... "Yo Cosmo, why would you give this a lower rating than Freaky Dog if they tasted identical? How can that one be better than this one bro? I mean, i know you're like super awesome and probably like real good lookin' and stuff. I mean, i aint never seen you and i'm not gay or nothin'. Like, i mean, i like girls and stuff. So ya know... just sayin'. But how could you do that bro?" My answer, dear reader, is this... because i can. In fact, i just did. It's not just the taste that sells the review. It's the whole package. And the Freaky Dog package is better than the Mercury Package. Need i say more? I do? Well... i'm not going to.

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