The website states Spring Grove started making soda in 1895. It was started by G.G. Risty who they say was a Pharmacist who developed soda for his store. Some say he was just a entrepreneur with a great idea. Either way, it was a long tie ago. The website states formula for spring Grove Pop has remained basically the same since the business was founded. (Although this can’t be true as they use HFCS now and that was first marketed in the 1970s.
They say in the early years the soda was bottled in returnable glass bottles. But by the 1980’s most sodas were bottled in plastic and aluminum cans so people were not accustomed to bringing back the returnable bottles. Therefore there was an acute shortage of returnable bottles. Since returnable bottles were cost prohibitive to purchase new the owners at the time purchased the necessary equipment to bottle in non-returnable glass bottles. It is the same equipment still used today.
Now for the official root beer review. (Click here for information on the rating criteria and a table of all the root beer tested or to be tested.)
Ingredients: carbonated water, pure cane sugar, corn syrup, artificial flavoring and artificial color - yellow no. 5, caramel color, phosphoric acid, preserved with less than .1% sodium benzoate
Nutrition (from the 12 oz bottle)
45 mg Sodium.
42 g Sugar (14%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine
Aroma and Flavor – 2.0 out of 3 mugs
The aroma and sweet aroma was strong of vanilla and honey. At the first sip, it was as expected with a unique caramel aftertaste. It is very smooth yet a little too sweet. There is a complex and spicy flavor with a little too much licorice and not enough sarsaparilla flavors and the flavor fades.
Head – 2.5 out of 3 mugs
This is the largest and longest lasting head of any root beer I have tested. It was excessive for my preference. See the picture, which evolved after my first two sips.
Zip -- 2 out of 3 mugs
There is a decent spice with middle level carbonation. It goes down nice and smooth. It is smooth yet had high sodium and syrupy taste.
Post Consumption Impression – 2 out of 3 mugs (0.5 docked for HFCS)
While I appreciate the full head and creaminess this is just a little too sweet for me. There is a sticky, sweet, and spicy with hint of licorice aftertaste. It also has a high amount of sodium, which impacts the overall enjoyment. My top 5 root beers has zero to 0.63 mg per ounce where Spring Grove has 3.75 mg per ounce.
Would I recommend this at 8 out of 12 mugs?