It’s a Chicago Showdown on this week’s round-up as we hit up three Windy City Root Beers with pedigree.
WBC Chicago Style Root Beer
WBC stands for WIT Beverage Company. WIT Stands for Whatever It Takes. Whatever it takes includes being the surviving soda arm of the Goose Island Brewery after one of the three companies that would like to own every alcoholic beverage brand on the planet bought them out a few years ago. Goose Island Root Beer was the first “gourmet” root beer I ever had, setting me on this journey. We’ll see if it holds up.
It does not. All bite and no bark. Very little smell. It’s got a good vanilla to it, but much sweeter than I’d expected. Tastes a bit like root beer candy, but not as sickeningly sweet as some others that I’ve made that comparison about.
Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer
While currently made headquartered in the state next door, Dad’s got its start in Chicago back in 1937, and claim to be the first drink to be sold in six packs. I’ve been drinking the stuff since elementary school when my mother ran a sandwich shop with a Dad’s machine out front.
A lot of sassafras on the nose. For being a leading mainstream brand it’s got a really solid flavor, not too sweet, not overly vanilla-y.
Berghoff Root Beer
The famous Berghoff restaurant in Chicago stemmed from the Berghoff brothers beer operation and dates back to the 1890’s. To keep from closing during prohibition the family started making Bergo sodas including this root beer.
Smells a little spicy. Tastes a little cough-syrupy, but not bad. Definitely on the sassafras end up the spectrum, but a maybe a few other herbs going in there. Taste is pretty good, and actually my favorite of the bunch, but there’s a lot of chemical additives in here. Maybe the label’s just being more honest than others: gum arabica, yucca extract, ethyl alcohol, propylene glycol alginate, and triethyl citrate. Eh, whatever, doesn’t taste nearly as chemically as anything from Episode 2.