Sweetener: Cane Sugar
Bottled at: Mukilteo, Washington
Purchase Location: Cost Plus World Market
Hippo Size Burley Birch Beer is both a wonderful and confusing beverage. This is just one of the many retro soda offerings manufactured and bottled by Orca Beverages. The birch beer comes in a stout bottle with a green label depicting a hippopotamus yawning, screaming, singing, or opening his mouth as wide as possible to guzzle down some birch beer (I do not know which, as I am not a hippo expert). The label explains that Hippo Size beverages have been around since 1927, and makes the succinct promise “Small Bottle, BIG Taste.”
Being a West Coast boy, this is my first birch beer. However, I am not sure my confusion regarding this drink has anything to do with my left coast geographical location. You see, although the ingredients include white birch extract, the soda is a dark red color. My confusion was soon forgotten upon my first sip of soda. It is rich, smooth, soothing, dark, creamy and wonderful. Despite its dark flavor, there is no harshness or recognizable bite to this soda. It is simply pleasing to the last drop. This may be the most wonderful birch beer in the world. I will, of course, be reviewing other birch beers to see if that is the case. Hippo Size absolutely delivers on its promise of “Small Bottle, BIG Taste.” If I had more birch beer experience to compare this to, I might give it an even higher score. For now:
Overall Score: 8 of 10.