Reading Draft Blueberry Birch

blueberry birchLot’s of Reading brews that I haven’t tried yet, but I’ll mark the Reading Draft Blueberry Birch off my list.  To be honest, I love blueberries and I love birch beer, but I haven’t had an overwhelming desire to try this brew.  Maybe I’m wrong, but it just doesn’t seem like a combination that goes together.

The “kool-aid” blue color of this birch beer is a big turnoff as is the food coloring flavor that is slightly noticeable.  All in all, it is not quite as bad as it could be – it’s flavor is mild, which in this case is a really good thing.  The carbonation is low, which in this case may not be such a good thing – a higher carbonation level might mask some of the flavor.

It doesn’t really taste like blueberries either, again it’s more of an artificial “kool-aid” “food-coloring” taste.  It’s not gross, but it’s simply something that you would drink at a birthday party for a six-year old . . . you know, the kind of birthday party with cupcakes, streamers and boogers that have been wiped on the couch by multiple, gross six year old boys.

Surprisingly, there is no nutritional information on the side of the bottle . . . maybe because they wanted to hide the extreme amount of sugar needed to make this soda . . .

The Professor’s Grade:  D+

Hippo Size Burley Birch Beer

hippo sizeThese dang brews keep showing up in the most unlikely places . . . I sure hope it didn’t microwave itself because that would totally ruin the review.

This brew seems to be 12 oz. of pure contradiction though.  This is a creamy red birch beer (and on a side note it seems like creamy red birch beers are in high demand these days).  But I’m assuming that the red is just some artificial coloring being that this it’s flavored with “White Birch Extract,” but one can never be so sure.  The bottle also says that this Burley Birch Beer is the “original Texas sized drink” and that is bottled under the authority of Orca Beverages in the state of Washington.  And the “Hippo” in the name had apparently at one time referred to the size of the beverage, but now it seems to refer to the taste.  I guess I could rename this “Regular Size White Birch With Red Food Coloring Original Texas Now Made In Washington Birch Beer.”  A little more honest . . . but doesn’t have the same ring to it . . . I guess I’ll stick with Hippo Size Burley Birch Beer.

I haven’t had a Birch Beer in a real long time so I almost forget what I’m looking for in a Birch Brew.  But this is a creamy brew with a nice simple birch flavor, mixed in with the perfect amount of carbonation.  I’m sure there are plenty of Birch Beers that are a lot better, but for now I am really digging this contradictory Birch Beer.

The Professor’s Grade:  B +


Weis Choice Old Fashioned White Birch Beer

Old Fashioned normally means “it tastes like junk,” but in this case it’s actually not that bad.  Now remember, it’s all about expectations, so this brew is not going to rank in the top brews, but for a store brand it’s pretty darned good . . . erhhh . . . average.

It’s real light, but not too zippy.  It’s a very smooth and likeable birch beer.  This is the kind of brew that you could drink 2-3 cans and not feel sick.  It has a strong wintergreen flavor with not much else to it (that the plight of most birch beers).  Not really extraordinary, but a nice change.


The Professor’s Grade:  C -

Stewart’s Birch Beer

Ahhh . . . a birch beer on a root beer web-site.  I can feel your judgmental eyes reading this birch beer review already.  Academically speaking, birch beer is root beer’s twin, both birthed from a wonderful combination of sugar, roots and carbonation.

I was thrilled to taste this and review it as Stewart’s is a classic . . . you can almost find it in as many supermarkets as IBC.  Unfortunately, I don’t really have a lot to say about this brew.  Simply, it tastes like a birch beer should taste.  It’s probably flavored with a bit or birch root, as this is a birch beer.  A pretty standard birch beer on the lower end of the excellence scale.

The Professor’s Grade:  D+