Briars USA is a non-alcoholic distributor in the central New Jersey region. The company is a subsidiary of High Grade Beverage (HGB), a franchised wholesale beverage distributor of malt beverages, wine, spirits and soft drinks. Briars USA has been in business since 1937. Briars USA currently distributes Monster, Vita Cocoa, Function Drinks, Cintron Beverages, Jones Soda and 24 C, Muscle Milk, Sunny Delight, Sweet Leaf Tea Redline Energy and Welch's Juices.
Historically, Briar’s may be better known for its Birch Beer, but has produced many popular flavors over time including Black Cherry, Diet Black Cherry, Cream, Diet Cream Soda, Diet Root Beer, Lemon, Sarsaparilla, and Grape Soda.
High Grade Beverage Company was originally founded by Nicholas DeMarco and Harry "Butch" Levine in 1940. This business was located on Redmond Street in New Brunswick and consisted of only six others - three delivery men, two sales people and one secretary. Over the years the company grew, bringing on the Briar's USA soft drink beverage bottler in 1986.
So it is time for the 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, Invert Sugar, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness), Citric Acid, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Aspartame, and Yucca Extractives.
Nutrition 12 oz. serving (from the bottle)
15 mg Sodium.
42 g (15%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine
Aroma and Flavor – 2.5 out of 3 mugs
The aroma is commercialized. Nothing unique and actually removed me of barq’s. The first drink was enjoyable. Overall a good blend with a little too much carbonation for me. The sweetness level was a little higher than I prefer. Could be the “Invert Sugar” that was listed as the sugar?
Head –1.5 out of 3 mugs
The head was slightly below average yet would make a great root beer float. Within 30 seconds, there was no sign of any head remaining.
Zip – 2.5 out of 3 mugs
This has a remarkable balance of flavors accented with caramel, vanilla and carbonations. I really enjoyed the sensation from the first drink. It was pleasing, although the carbonation was a little higher than I would desire.
Post Consumption Impression – 2.5 out of 3 mugs
I was pleased and would look for the beverage again. It is not my top rated but close to the top 10. This would most certainly be my nomination for a root beer float! The more I consumed, it reminded me of my love for Taco Bell. The first bite is SO good, by the third bite I realize I am eating something and by the fifth bite, same old crap I could get anywhere.
Would I recommend this at 9 out of 12 mugs?
It is worth a try. A little sweet and carbonation higher than I prefer, which may make this a hit with those who love the commercial mixtures such as A&W or Barq’s. I would buy this again.