Friday, November 16, 2007

New Push On Against Root Beer And Sodas

First they came for the smokers and I screamed my head off, even tho I wasn't a smoker. Then they came for the trans fats and I screamed my head off again, even tho I avoid trans fats. Now they're coming for Root Beer and Sodas and I'll scream my head off again, for all the good it'll do.

It seems that the nannies over at the Centre for "Science" in the Public Interest and some of their fellow traveller busybodies are looking to attack bubbly beverages now. They are even going so far as to propose "modest" taxes on effervescent wonders to be used to fund themselves.

Consumer groups on five continents are promoting a new “Dump Soda” campaign to educate people about the links between soft-drink marketing and rising childhood obesity. “Multinational giants like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are flooding the world with beverages that are nothing more than ‘liquid candy,’” said Bruce Silverglade, legal director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is coordinating the campaign with the International Association of Consumer Food Organizations. “As a result, consumers, including children, in all corners of the globe are increasingly developing obesity, ‘adult onset’ diabetes, and other health problems.”
Their demands include asking governments to require soft-drink producers to stop advertising sugar-laden beverages to children under 16 and to impose a modest tax on soft drinks to fund nutrition and fitness programs. The campaign also promotes the marketing of lower-sugar products, selling existing products in smaller portions, and stopping sales of sweetened beverages in all public and private schools, from elementary to high school.

It's all for the children again. Sheesh. Of course they failed in their "science" part, again. The vast majority of drinks on the market do not contain sugar. That's obvious from only a cursory glance at a label in most countries, especially the US. Most are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. If they would actually champion sugar as the primary sweetener, rather than nanny banning and taxation, they might actually get my attention in a positive manner. Instead they have, once again, aroused my ire with their latest anti-everything good campaign.

Environmentalists and nannystatists seem to go hand in hand, these days. Wishing to impose their tofu and water lifestyles on everyone else. All for their own god, of course. Well, guess what folks? I am the final arbiter of what goes into my body and that of my children. Not you. Not your "scientists" and certainly not the politicians you will manage to sway with your "oh so caring" rhetoric. You people will be in for a fight on this one. Here's my line in the sand.

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Cry Root Beer!

During my most recent vacation to the Outer Banks I was given the gift of a bottle of Weeping Radish Root Beer by my sister-in-law and her husband. I must say that it was an unexpected pleasure and one I am glad to have received. This pint and 9 oz bottle was quite surprising to me. Many breweries make Root Beer as an afterthought and take little care with its formulation, using sub par extracts and treating it like the unwanted step-child of the business.

Weeping Radish Root Beer isn't one of those. Even though they rely on extract, rather than craft brewing they have managed to turn out a complex and tasty brew that is a pleasure to drink. Whatever extract the they use is pretty good and loaded with complex flavours that keep you going back for more tastings. Manteo, North Carolina is not just the home of Andy Griffith. It is home to one really nice Root Beer! It also sports about the shortest ingredients list I have ever seen.


Root Beer Extract
Pure Sugar
100% Pure H2O

Aroma: Hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, wintergreen and licorice. Spicy.
Head: Dissipated all to quickly. Too Soda-like.
Carbonation: Average. Adds just a touch of bite to the brew.
Root Beer Flavour: A complex spicy flavour, not soft and draft-like. It has a slight dryness that gets put down by the sugar.
Sweetness: Sugary sweet, but not overwhelming. The sugar is a dominant aspect but it doesn't eclipse any of the other tastes.
Aftertaste: Sugared spiciness with licorice tones and a very slight hint of vanilla.
Overall: Quite possibly one of the most complex brews I've had in a while. While it was a gift to me, I would certainly go out and buy for myself.

I give Weeping Radish Root Beer a 7/10 or a B+

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