NEWS – It’s Not Too Late To Compete In The Root Beer Olympics
As summer comes to an end, there is at least one more festivity to look forward to. This Saturday, August 26, 2017, Sprecher is sponsoring the first annual Root Beer Bash and Root Beer Olympics. The fun will take place in Sprecher’s home town of Glendale, Wisconsin; the Athens, Greece of root beer competition.
Root Beer Olympians will compete in one of three age groups and/or in as a team. Olympic events will include the Root Beer Chug, Keg Roll, Hold the Glass, Keg Toss, Root Beer Wagon Pull, Root Beer Obstacle Run, and Root Beer Relay. All proceeds from the Root Beer Olympics will be donated to St. Francis Children’s Center, supporting children with special needs.
All root beer athletes can sign up for the competition here.
Brigham’s Brew is my second consecutive review of a root beer named for a famous American. Brigham Young was an early leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who, among other accomplishments, led a large migration to the West in the 1840’s, founded Salt Lake City, and was appointed the first governor of the Utah Territory. Brigham Young directed the settlement of many towns in Utah, as well as through the whole Southwest, started the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and presided over the construction of the iconic Salt Lake Temple, making him the perfect figurehead for a Utah based root beer.
Brigham’s Brew’s label features a sepia colored photograph of the 19th Century Mormon leader. The picture of Brigham Young displays a powerful and resolute man sporting a boss beard.
Full disclosure, I graduated from Brigham Young University which, like the root beer, was obviously named after Brigham Young. Naturally, I had a rooting interest (pun intended?) in Brigham’s Brew. Brigham’s Brew starts off with a dark herbal taste before opening up to a light, almost fruity ending with hints of vanilla. Brigham’s Brew contains yucca extract. I tend to like root beers with yucca extract a little less than other root beers. That trend held true here. As a result, while Brigham Young is worthy of having a root beer named for him, Brigham’s Brew is not a favorite.
Orvon Grover Autry, better known as Gene Autry, also known as “The Singing Cowboy,” was an All-American musician and television and movie star. His heyday spanned three decades, running from the mid 1930s to the mid 1950s. By all accounts, Gene Autry was a much beloved cowboy superstar. However, I have to think that Gene Autry’s fan base is old, shrinking, and likely not an ideal group to target for root beer marketing. On the other hand, maybe Gene Autry is so synonymous with cowboys and the west that he is the ideal, timeless mascot.
The label for Gene Autry Root Beer shows a young Gene Autry attired in a western shirt emblazoned with Old Glory. Standing next to him is his faithful horse and sidekick from radio, television, and film, Champion. To top it all off, Gene Autry’s name is spelled out in cursive with a cowboy’s lasso rope.
Coming into this review, I had some trepidation that Gene Autry Root Beer would be terrible, nothing more than a gimmick. In reality, it is an adequate root beer. It has a dark flavor, without any specific spices standing out. On the back end, vanilla becomes more pronounced. All of this is delivered with just enough carbonation. Gene Autry Root Beer is not as fantastic as Gene Autry was a cowboy, but it is worth a drink.