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Old 01-08-2017, 08:04 PM   #1
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Chief Longwind Of The North's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: USA,Michigan
Posts: 9,304
Non Alcoholic Beers

I'll start with root beer and try to describe what I can remember of differing brands.

1. A&W Root Beer. It was agreed on by everyone in the family that the gallon glass jug from A&W restaurants had the best root beer, and that it was best served in an ice-cold, frost covered A&W mug. The soda pop was sweet with a combination of flavors that included primarily wintergreen, and brown sugar. Not a lot of people understand that carbonated water has a flavor, almost a salty/sour flavor. That flavor combined with the wintergreen and brown sugar gave A&W a very sweet, almost syrupy flavor. What comes in the bottles and cans isn't quite the same as what you got in the gallon jug, but is very close.

2. Dad's Root Beer. Very similar in flavor to A&W, but toned down just a bit, as if not as much flavor concentrate was used in the recipe, or maybe less root beer syrup.

3. Frosty Root Beer - As good tasting as A&W, but with more of the brown sugar flavor and less of the wintergreen. Tasted great when ice cold and it's hot outside. Great in a float.

4. Mug Root Beer - Pretty much the same as Dad's Root Beer.

5. Barque's Root Beer - My eldest daughter, and her hubby love this stuff. I find it has a bit less flavor that Frosty's, or A&W. It is a quality root beer.

6. Shasta Root Beer - not as good as is their cream soda, but good on a hot day, and cheap. Again, it's not as full bodied as my two favorites.

7. Hire's Root Beer - It seems a Mr. Hires happened upon a flavorful tea while on his honeymoon. He figured out a recipe for this tasty tea and added carbonation. It was made of a host of berries, roots, barks, and tree buds. Hire's Root Beer, strangely enough, is the brand I like least.

Sassafras, a wintergreen flavored ingredient, was the main flavor of root beer, but was banned in the U.S. in 1960 as a carcinogen. It was discovered how to remove the oil from the sassafras root, with was the problem child, and the recipe was saved.

If you've never tried it, next spring, when the birch trees are budding, collect some and steep them in hot water to make a tea. Add a little sugar and see if it doesn't have a wintergreen flavor.

Next time you crack a bottle of A&W, pour just a little into a glass and agitate until it's flat. Take a sip and let it roll around in your mouth for a minute and you will find that it tastes like wintergreen breath fresheners.

Ginger ales, and ginger beers can be either alcoholic, or not, and are very potent drinks that have medicinal qualities that aid in calming the stomach. Someone else can talk about those. My youngest daughter loves ginger beer, teh non-alcohlic version. 'Tis a strong flavored beverage indeed.

Seeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North


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Old 01-08-2017, 09:36 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Twin Cities Mn
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In terms of NA beer I prefer Clausthaler, a German import, which I would describe as crisp and somewhat dry. A good thirst quencher on a hot day. . It must be classed the same as beer here because it’s sold in liquor stores, not the grocer’s drinks aisle.

Not sure what is the difference between ciders either. We buy a seasonally available local apple cider, but it’s not carbonated and tastes like a really good apple juice. I don’t recall seeing a carbonated NA apple cider. Never tasted an alcohol based cider.

For awhile I was buying/ trying various root beers from the grocers that did not contain HFCS and made with real sugar. Not sure sugary anything is an improvement, but it's got to be sweetened with something since its a sugary sweet drink. The nice part is most came in 4 packs rather than the old 6 or 8 packs of soda. “Trial Size”, I thought. Kind of fell off the grocery list after while before I could formulate a list of faves or ones that I would at least try again.

I prefer A&W and Hire’s Root Beer. Never mind reading labels. They both taste like Root Beer is supposed to taste. Then, of course, you have to choose carefully for a good ice cream to go with the root beer.

Now I see my grocer’s soft drink shelf has expanded to cover Both sides of the aisle with soft drinks. A lot of bottled/ canned coffee drinks, flavored vitamin waters and Yes, ginger beers. I think I need to start paying attention to the ginger beer. Ginger is one of my favorite flavors and hopefully less sweet. I make a ginger sugar syrup sometimes and use it to flavor lemonade or cranberry juice plus sparkling water. A cool drink on a hot day.

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Old 01-09-2017, 12:23 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Richmond, Va
Posts: 1,245
Non alcoholic beer

As non alcoholic rood beers go, my preferences are Barqs or Mug. Neither are as good as most any soda fountain root beer. The best I ever had was at a brewery that made root beer as a very profitable side line. Poured from a tap in a standard stainless beer vat. To die for.

As for non alcoholic beers, it seems like an oxymoron to me. I've tried a couple, and they tasted like I expected them to.

Deviating a little from the thread, Not Your Fathers is the root beer I keep in my beer box. Makes the best RB floats ever.
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:07 PM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: oregon
Posts: 60
My favorite root beer was Western Family. Cheap store brand, but it tastes like a root beer barrel candy. Haven't seen it for years.
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