Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Man's Best Friend

Well, once again I was in need of something good, so I popped a bottle of Sea Dog Root Beer into the fridge and set aside my anticipation till it and my mug chilled. Sea Dog Root Beer comes to us from Pugsley Brewing LLC, Portland Maine but, the reality is that Sea Dog Root Beer is made by Shipyard Brewing, the same fine folks that brought us Capt'n Eli's, the Finestkind Root Beer around! Contract brewing can be a confusing thing but, in this case I don't care. It just doesn't matter who takes the credit for Sea Dog.

The brewers of Sea Dog have made a really nice brew. Not as good as Capt'n Eli's mind you, but a good brew. The first thing that struck me about Sea Dog was the nice cane sugar scent with vanilla undertones. That's a sure sign of good things to come in my book and I wasn't disappointed in the least. The head on Sea Dog was also a nice surprise, as it lasted a lot longer than many other brews on the market. The carbonation in this brew adds a necessary bite that isn't brought by the ingredients, it's pleasant.

The heart of Sea Dog is in the Old Style Flavour, dominated by the cane sugar taste. It's a light Root Beer flavour that is really drinkable, it's hard to say anything much better than that. I enjoyed this brew and that's a testament to the consistency and care that its brewers maintain. Good work, folks!

Cane Sugar
Caramel Coloring
Natural & Artificial Flavors including Wintergreen Oil, Anise and Vanilla
Citric Acid
Sodium Benzoate

Carbonation: Good. Adds a bite to the brew.
Mouth Feel: Nice. Not too thin.
Root Beer Flavour: Old Style, not heavily "Root Beer" or spicy, tho.
Head: Great head, lasts long enough to be a pleasing addition
Aftertaste: Cane and vanilla
Aroma: Nice cane scent with vanilla. You can smell a light herbal scent, as well.
Overall Taste: Nice cane sugar and vanilla taste with a light root beer flavour. Every other flavour is light, understated even.

Barney the Sea Dog's signature Root Beer gets an 8/10!

Technorati Tags:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A Family Affair

Sometimes you need a bit of goodness in your life to counteract all the little things that add up and bring you down. Not something great, just something pretty good. That's what brought me to Sparky's yesterday. I just wanted something pretty good....and I got it. The folks at Knox Brewing, a small family run business in Pacific Grove, California brew up Sparky's as a regional beverage. I was lucky enough to come across one of their 22 ounce bottles during my last foray to Jungle Jim's and I must say that I wasn't disappointed that I bought this brew. The Knox family have turned out a pretty good Root Beer, and that speaks well of them and the folks in their region, who have supported them by consuming enough of their product to make it a profitable enough business that I can manage to obtain a bottle in the Midwest.

Most folks are going to want to share one of these 22 ouncers with someone else, but not me. I sat back with my frosty mug and consumed the whole thing and have no regrets about it at all. Kevin and Carol Knox, (their names are even signed on the label) have managed to turn out a nice Root Beer. Like many Root Beers that are "Draft" style, it has a soft carbonation, in some brews this is a good thing and in some...not so good. It does seems to work well for Sparky's, tho. The taste of cane, honey and spices combine really well. While it doesn't list it I will hazard a guess that they have used some birch flavouring in their Root Beer, as well since it lacks a serious jolt of sassafras flavour. But, that's OK, too...it works in this case and the mellow flavour is nice.

If you get the chance to buy a Sparky's, go for it. You won't be disappointed.

Ingredients: Carbonated Filtered Water, Pure Cane Sugar, Honey, Natural and Artificial flavorings, Spices, Sodium Benzoate, Phosphoric Acid and Caramel Color.

Carbonation: Softly carbonated. Just about right, initially. But it loses the carbonation bite really fast.
Mouth Feel: Not creamy but not too thin.
Root Beer Flavour: Old Time draft style taste. Nicely spicy. Honey and cane sugar throughout.
Head: Sparky's has a head that dissipates fast.
Aftertaste: Nice cane sugar aftertaste with a hint of honey.
Aroma: Old Style Draft aroma. Light vanilla scent. A bit of spiciness.
Overall Taste: Sparky's has a nice all around taste. The spiciness combines well with the cane sugar and honey

Score: 6.5/10

Technorati Tags:

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Blog Tag...And I'm It.

I've been tagged -twice-by the same person! The perils of having more than one blog, I guess! On the upside, though that’s proof positive that someone's reading them!

Four Jobs I've Had
1. Dish Washer
2. Chef
3. Overseas Government Contractor
4. Computer and Technology Sales and Support

Four Movies I can watch over and over
1. The Princess Bride
2. Serenity
3. Buckaroo Banzai-Across The Eighth Dimension
4. To Kill A Mockingbird

Four Places I've lived
1. Cairo, (That's Egypt, not the Peoples Repbublik of Illinois)
2. Beijing
3. Tel-Aviv
4. Pretoria, South Africa and a dozen more.

Four TV shows I love
1. Battlestar Galactica (the new series)
2: Firefly
3. Red Dwarf
4. Kitchen Confidential (cancelled) and Anthony Bourdain-No Reservations

Four highly regarded and recommended TV shows I haven't seen (much of)
1. 24
2. House
3. The Shield
4. CSI

Four places I've vacationed
1. Gulfport, MS
2. Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
3. Mahogany Flats, Death Valley, CA
4. New Orleans

Four of my favorite dishes
1. Creamed Chipped Beef On Toast
2. Barbecue
3. Sushi
4. New England Clam Chowder (made with Quahogs)

Four sites I visit daily
1. Liberty Filter
2. Kn@ppster
3. Sunni and The Conspirators
4. Kole Hard Facts

Four places I'd rather be right now:
1. Cairo
2. Hong Kong
3. Lake Cumberland, KY
4. The Smokey Mountains

Four new bloggers I'm tagging:
1. Mike Kole at Kole Hard Facts
2. Captain Corruption
3. The Barq'sMan
4. Honestly, I can't think of anyone who hasn't already been tagged.....

Why answer this thing? Seems like fun and it affords me the opportunity to give an insight into who I am, without a long and probably boring biography...except for the getting shot at parts...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Even Ex-Presidents Know That Cane Sugar Is The Way To Go!

Yep. Bill Clinton, the oversexed poster-child for the Left-Side of the Boot On Your Neck Party knows that High Fructose Corn Syrup is a major cause of what's wrong in the American diet.

He described the changing composition of the American diet and of food itself, and how the body metabolizes fructose, a soft-drink sweetener, differently and more destructively than cane or beet sugar.

Unfortunately, he and his fellow politicians will muddy the waters even more by getting involved because they will want to do something. It was doing something that got us into this sorry mess of having HFCS in everything on the market, even supposed "health foods" are often HFCS laden calorie bombs. As I have written before on the High Fructose Corn Syrup debacle, I know that there IS a solution. Get government out of the way, get rid of subsidies for corn and HFCS, quit protecting cane sugar and artificially inflating the prices via protectionism. Government interference has made it prohibitive to use natural sweeteners in foods and drinks. That's why a standard soda will cost you $.50 and a premium, cane sugar sweetened drink can cost you up to $2.00.

What Bill didn't bother to cop to was that government was probably the major culprit in the crisis du jour, now that tsunami relief is passe'. By interfering in the free market and subsidising corn and corn sweetners the government paved the road which has led to any obesity problem that might exist in this country. Go in your pantry and take a look at what you have that contains HFCS. You might be surprised, I know I am. Peanut butters, fat free and low fat mayos, beans, ketchup, "healthy foods" and low fat foods along with Root Beers and Sodas.

So, thank you Mr. Clinton for bringing this to the notice of your political peers. Now, if you really want them to do something....then urge them to undo what has already been done to us. Then we can get back to enjoying our Root Beers and Sodas the way they were originally formulated and enjoy better health as a side effect.

Technorati Tags:
, , ,
, , .