Tuesday, April 28, 2015

IBC root beer

Background information: (from the website): "The smooth, creamy refreshment of IBC Root Beer began in 1919 with the Griesedieck family and the Independent Breweries Company in St. Louis, hence the name of IBC Root Beer. Development as an alternative to alcoholic beverages during prohibition, IBC Root Beer became renowned for its quality, richness and great taste.

When the independent Breweries Company closed, the Kranzberg family purchased the trademark and distributed IBC Root Beer at their North-western Bottling Company, its popularity grew during the 1920s, and it was soon available at many top restaurants. In the late '30s the Kranzberg sold the IBC trademark and formula to the National Bottling Company owned by the Shucart family.

After World War II, Marketing and production methods changed and IBC Root Beer's revival began after the seven-up company purchased Taylor Beverages in 1980 and increased sales and distribution throughout the Midwest and the south."

Product details: 12 fl. oz.  Manufactured for Mott's LLP, Rye Brook, NY 10573 USA.  160 calories, 43g sugar. Glass bottle with twist off top. http://www.ibcrootbeer.com/

Ingredients: Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, sodium benzoate (preservative), natural and artificial flavors, modified food starch, citric acid.

My thoughts: I'm sure most people are familiar with grocery store stalwart IBC root beer, as it seems to be the "step-up" root beer of choice on their shelves.  Is this drink worthy of it's iconic status?  That's what I hope to ascertain.

The typical root beer flavor is strong with this one.  This is obviously designed to have the classic root beer taste that people are familiar with and IBC doesn't try to stray from that formula.  It's good, but there isn't anything particularly special about this drink.  The aftertaste provides more of the same, with no reveal of any deeper flavors.

Carbonation is nice, not too flat, but not too crispy.  Some of the more effervescent root beers will continue to crackle a little bit after you swallow it, but this one vanishes with the rest of the drink.  Not bad, but not great.  Despite using high fructose corn syrup instead of cane sugar, this one doesn't come off as too sweet and doesn't leave a particularly sugary coating behind, which is a pleasant surprise.  It does froth up just a little bit in my mouth, but once again isn't exactly a standout in terms of creaminess and smoothness.

At the end of the day, IBC is a good root beer that just manages to squeak by the average can of root beer.  I don't believe it's particularly worthy of it's status as the go-to "fancy" root beer for almost every grocery store, but's it's a safe bet that just slightly outdoes the usual root beer mediocrity that adorns many a shelf at the store.  It won't win any legitimate "best of" competitions, but I'd drink it over the usual canned counterparts if I were offered the two.

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

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