It all started in the 80's with a beer brewing kit in Pacific Grove, California. Kevin Knox got hooked on home brewing and his beers won many local, state and national awards. He also wanted to make soda to give away to friends and family. After experimenting unsuccessfully with various flavors of soda, he began developing a recipe for his boyhood favorite, root beer. It took many years and many five-gallon batches before the recipe became fine-tuned. Throughout that time, Sparky’s was hand bottled in the same type 22oz. bottles used for his beer and gave both away as gifts, especially at Christmas. After much encouragement from friends and family to offer Sparky’s Root Beer to the public, it was on April 1, 2000 this brew was born and debuted in Pacific Grove, California at the annual Good Old Days Celebration.
To make Sparky’s, a small commercial kitchen was rented and converted into a root beer brewery. The original plan was to produce Sparky’s on draft only, in 5 gallon kegs, for use in restaurants, private parties and other special events. Now in bottles and distributed, which is why I have this to review.
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.)
Carbonated Filtered Water, Pure Cane Sugar, Honey, Caramel Color, Natural and Imitation Flavorings, Spices, Sodium Benzoate as a Preservative, Phosphoric Acid and Caramel Color.
Nutrition 12 oz. serving (from the bottle)
45 mg Sodium.
42g ( %) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine
Aroma and Flavor – 1 out of 3 mugs
Immediately upon opening the aroma was one of cough syrup or overly fermented. I have long questioned if soda can just go bad. I will need to try this again just like Sassy Lil’lass which I tried three times and found very disliked by me. The taste had a strong birch, wintergreen and honey flavor that really are not to my liking. I am not much of a birch flavor lover.
Head – 1 out of 3 mugs
The head was rather small and what did appear was gone just as quickly.
Zip – 2 out of 3 mugs
The carbonation was on the lower side and the flavor an interesting mix. Although I was not pleased with the flavors, it scores high for the combination and zip.
Post Consumption Impression – 1 out of 3 mugs
I will try this again in case I have a bad bottle. Although, based on this experience, I have a hesitation as it was not one I enjoyed at all.
Would I recommend this at 5 out of 12 mugs?
If you like birch flavor and high sweetness, maybe give it a try. It really should be a 4 total score yet the zip was unique and prominent, just not to my liking.