This week we've got three root beers that give back, each more tenuously than the last.
Margo’s Bark Root Beer
Margo’s Bark Soda Co.
Los Angeles, CA
Margo’s Bark grew out of Oscar Youd’s science fair experiment to create root beer. Why did I never think of that? Because I was lazy with my science fairs. Oscar’s parents Tim and Jessica helped and they named it after their dog Margo. All profits from the sale of the root beer go to help a number of a dog shelters.
Herbal on the nose and complex on the palate, definitely leaning toward the more sassafras and licorice end of the spectrum, but with enough sweetness to pull it toward the middle. Very good head, very good flavor.
Joby Joe’s Root Beer Float
Rocket Fizz Soda Co.
Solid information on Joby Joe’s Root Beer Float is surprisingly hard to come by, but the bottle says “In Memory of Joe” and shows a smiling white dude outside a tent with a fishing pole and lantern. It also says that a “portion of proceeds [are] donated to a homeless organization” which is a little ambiguous in itself, but not necessarily improprietous.
It smells like chocolate. It tastes like cocoa, vanilla, and burnt sugar. What I’m saying is that if this were marketed as a s’more soda it would be a spot on flavor and actually pretty good. Since it’s marketed as a root beer, or at least a “root beer float” soda and this is root beer project, though, I can’t give it high marks.
Gene Autry Root Beer
Rocket Fizz Soda Co.
Aside from the (again delicious) Judge Wapner Rocket Fizz has a series of name-licensed drinks -- their Rowdy Roddy Piper All Out of Bubblegum Soda is a favorite. This one’s got the name and likeness of singing cowboy Gene Autry, we’ll see if this root beer is a white hat or black hat. While this one doesn’t support a charity, I assume that a portion of all proceeds could be said to go to the Autry estate, which probably means Jackie Autry profits from the root beer, and she does her fair share of charity work herself.
Unlike Margo, our singing cowboy here is all bite and no bark. Very deep licorice and herbs and a good bite to it, but ultimately the flavor is a bit flat -- it almost tastes watered down. But it’s still drinkable.