Picture above: Evan’s confused about which is which?
StewartS Birch or Root Beer, Part 8 of X, the final December post of 2009.
In a previous December post, I reviewed StewartS Root Beer… My wife and I tasted the soda at Cracker Barrel, a national chain sporting “Southern Cuisine.” To briefly reiterate, we were hungry and thirsty (obviously the reason for eating there). The StewartS was served in a cold, attractive bottle and a frosty mug. We liked it then, but it seems that our tastes have changed. More specifically, I had a major sweet tooth in the past, but have been recently turned off by overly sweet and highly artificial flavors.
This is certainly the case with both StewartS products: Root Beer AND Birch Beer.
My wife and I were in Connecticut for a Wine pairing event. In short, we tasted wines and paired them with various esoteric, NorthWestern Cheeses and sinful Chocolates. I tend to lean towards sweeter tasting wines, but not over the top ones. Actually, I’m
looking for something that balances slightly sweet, but not too dry. I’m mentioning this because the sweetness factor is a major consideration across the board with both foods and beverages… In any event, we went to an IGA store (just like in the good ol’ Oswego College days…) to see if they had different Root Beers than New York and New Jersey. They had the Saranac 1888, which I liked despite the HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP. I also found a 4-pack of StewartS BIRCH Beer. Actually, I did not know that
StewartS made both prototypes. So, I bought the Birch, drove home, stuck it in the fridge, and tasted it the next day.
I was disappointed (despite the cheesy grin)! I couldn’t tell the difference between the Root Beer or the Birch. They looked the same (dark), and tasted like a sugary Root Beer candy. Again, some people like that sort of thing. However, I was expecting something different. I asked my wife to taste it and she felt the same way: Zero difference, too sweet, and incredibly artificial. I do not have anything personal against StewartS, as they make an awesome Cream Soda, but that goes beyond the scope of this post. Moving forward, the ingredients are basically identical: High Fructose Corn Syrup (you saw that one coming), Yucca, Sodium Benzoate (a standard preservative that I learned to just accept), Gum Acacia, etc. Enough said!
At this point in my search for the ultimate Root Beer, if it has Corn Syrup, I’m not going to waste time. I’ve been poking around and have discovered several Root Beers dispersed throughout the United States. More specifically, the search has expanded to the West. It seems necessary to shell out some extra cash to purchase 6-packs plus shipping. I’m going to find out if some markets in NYC have these esoteric Root Beers… You know what I’m looking for: No Corn Syrup (mentioned earlier), a microbrew, a glass bottle, no caffeine, NATURAL INGREDIENTS, and some other mystical element depicting love. For example, if there is a family in the Root Beer business and they have secretive and special ingredients, then I’m all over it. You know that I’m a fan of putting love into food and drinks.
I’d rather invest my time in great intention, love, and excellent quality instead of “looking for love in all the wrong places…”
Evan J. wanna be gourmet wants to wish my devoted fans a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!!!!!!!