Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Filbert's root beer

Background information: (from the website) "During the early 1900's, George Filbert, his wife and their young son, Charlie, could be seen on a horse-drawn wagon in Chicago's Bridgeport neighborhood delivering bottles of milk to stores and homes. George also delivered ice and coal and provided general moving and transportation services to the Bridgeport community.

It wasn't until the height of prohibition that Filbert's began making Root Beer.

George's son, Charlie who had a love of Root Beer created a recipe that was distinct from other Chicago area bottlers of Root Beer. In 1926 he started making his own "draft style" Root Beer soda.

Since so many establishments had barrel dispensing equipment, it was manufactured in half barrels and supplied mainly to taverns and restaurants.  In fact, during the 1940's, Filbert's was supplying thousands of half barrels of Root Beer to customers across the Midwest.  Filbert's Root Beer supplied the Berghoff Restaurant with its own draft style root beer for over 50 years.

Now 85 years later, Ron Filbert, the fourth generation Filbert, continues to make his families famous Root Beer in the same Bridgeport neighborhood where his Great-Grandfather started it all back in 1926."

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Distributed by Filbert's Root Beer Co., Chicago, IL 60608.  150 calories, 41g sugar.  Glass bottle with twist off top.

Ingredients: Carbonated water, sugar and/or corn sweetener, caramel color, natural & artificial flavors, sodium benzoate (as a preservative).

My thoughts: After looking at the ingredient list and seeing "sugar and/or corn sweetener" llisted, my expectations weren't very high, as cane sugar seems to be the preferred sweetener of the finest root beers (to be fair, many of the worst use cane sugar as well).  Well, this drink is just like the regular canned stuff you find on your grocery store shelf.  It has a moderately artificial and strong root beer flavor, with none of the additional natural spices or flavorings that mark an attempt to be different.  Aftertaste is more of the same, and the usual sugary coating is left behind in my mouth.  Carbonation is pretty good, but nothing too special.  This root beer doesn't try to be anything out of the ordinary, and it succeeds wonderfully at that.  But success isn't always a great virtue, as this root beer is not worth buying over the far cheaper generic stuff.

Rating: C
flavor: C
aftertaste: C
sweetness: C-
smoothness: B
carbonation: B

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