Tag Archives: Saranac

NEWS – 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship Winners Announced

2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship Winners Announced

The 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship winners trophy1were announced on July 10, 2017.  In 2016, the winners in the non alcoholic root beer category were as follows: sprecher

Gold – Sprecher Root Beer – Sprecher Brewing – Wisconsin
Silver – Saranac Root Beer – F.X. Matt Brewing – New York
Bronze – Red Hare Root Beer – Red Hare Brewing – Georgia

Those results were somewhat confusing, seeing that Sprecher Root Beer garnered a modest score of 6 on this site, while Saranac Root Beer earned an impressive 9, cementing itself as an elite brew, and RB-SARANACRB-2one of the best root beers reviewed on this site.  Apparently recognizing the absurdity of their 2016 results, the U.S Open Beer Championship changed course in 2017 issuing the following medals:

Gold – Saranac Root Beer – Saranac Brewing – New York
Silver –  Sprecher Root Beer – Sprecher Brewing – Wisconsin
Bronze – Bear Wizz Root Beer – Adirondack Brewery – New York

Congratulations to all three root beers.  I look forward to reviewing BW Web-01Bear Wizz Root Beer in the future, but I can attest that Saranac Root Beer is worthy of its gold medal. All of the 2017 U.S. Open Beer Championship results can be found here.



Saranac Root Beer

Saranac Root Beer


Website: http://www.saranac.com/soft-drinks/

Sweetener: High Fructose Corn Syrup

Bottled at: Utica, New York

Purchase Location: Total Wine & More

Saranac root beer is a product of the Matt Brewing Company.  The brewery, which was established in 1888 has been making hand-crafted root beer in small batches for the past thirty years.  The brown bottle has a simple scarlet label with the words “Root Beer” emblazoned in yellow.  The bottom of the label has a small, antique picture of the brewery.

I first had Saranac several years ago as part of a New Year’s Eve root beer taste test of some 12 root beers.  As I recall, I came away from that taste test very pleased with Saranac.  My most recent Saranac experience was similarly pleasing.  Saranac is a well rounded, delicious root beer.  It has a creamy, full, rich flavor.  Saranac boasts smooth vanilla overtones without being dominated by its vanilla flavor.  Then, Saranac’s aftertaste provides a kick of licorice.  However, the licorice kick is perfectly balanced, not too powerful.  This is a very good root beer.

I immediately knew that Saranac deserved high score.  My only concern was that unlike other gourmet root beers which use cane sugar and other premium sweeteners, Saranac uses high fructose corn syrup.  I took my time considering the issue.  In the end, I could not penalize Saranac for using high fructose corn syrup.  Saranac earned its score based on its terrific taste.  I highly recommend this beverage to all.

Overall Score: 9 of 10.