Monthly Archives: February 2014

Reading Draft Root Beer

Reading Draft Root Beer

Reading Draft Root Beer

Reading draft is a no-frills, no-nonsense, delicious root beer. They don’t even seem to have a website. There is a URL on the bottle, but that site does not appear to be working at the moment. I hope this means they’re busy making more root beer, and not finding new jobs, because this root beer is dark and creamy and sweet and syrupy. It coats the mouth when you drink it, and has a wonderful vanilla-cream soda flavor to it.

It uses cane sugar and not corn syrup, so I can’t complain about that. It has the usual ingredient list for root beer: water, sugar, natural and artificial flavors, citric acid, and preservatives, so there’s no “homebrewed” feeling about the recipe. Maybe that’s a slight knock, but it is generally impressive that you can get such a wide variety of flavors from essentially the same ingredient list from root beer to root beer. Whatever “natural and artificial flavors” are being used in this case are the right ones in my book.

Bottom line: Delicious, would buy again.

Ingredients: Triple filtered carbonated water, pure cane sugar, natural and/or artificial flavors, caramel color, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness).

Find out more at, except that the website is down as of this writing.

Virgil’s Root Beer

Virgil's Root Beer

Virgil’s Root Beer

Virgil’s Root Beer has a lot it wants to tell you about what you’re about to drink. The bottle has three paragraphs all describing how Virgil’s is made with natural ingredients. One mentions that it was originally brewed in the north of England (but “you’ll swear it’s made in heaven”). Another paragraph lets you know it is a family operation that has been brewing since 1916. Another one mentions 12 different herbs and spices used to make Virgil’s: Anise, Licorice, Vanilla (Bourbon), Cinnamon, Clove, Wintergreen, Sweet Birch, Molasses, Nutmeg, Pimento Berry Oil, Balsam Oil, and Oil of Cassia. Oh yeah, it’s gluten free as well.

There’s more on the label, but I don’t want to include spoilers in my reviews, so I went ahead and poured myself a glass and gave it a try. Sure enough, the first thing I noticed was the taste of anise. I just don’t really like it, and it made the root beer taste a little sour. I just find that you either like that flavor or you don’t. I only like that flavor when I’m eating black licorice, not when I’m drinking root beer. It’s a pretty mild taste, though, so I still enjoyed it, but it’s not a flavor I would seek out again.

Bottom line: I would drink it if someone was offering it. But I’m not going to pick it off the shelf, but that’s really just due to my personal avoidance of licorice flavors in my sodas.

Ingredients: Purified carbonated water, unbleached cane sugar, caramelized unrefined cane sugar, herbs, spices and citric acid.

Find out more at, which is really just a link to the parent company, Reed’s, who happens to trade on the NASDAQ as REED.