The Kutztown Bottling Works, Inc. is located in Kutztown, PA. It has the distinction of being one of Kutztown's oldest continually operated businesses.
In 1851, Ed Immel began bottling beverages from an excellent spring near Main St. & Constitution Boulevard. In 1888 he sold the business to Cyrus Rhode and his son John. The Rhodes built a bottling plant at the rear of their homes. The plant was close to the Kutztown railroad terminal, where rail cars carrying beer in barrels from the defunct Barbey Brewing Co., of Reading, PA.. The barrels were unloaded and taken to the Rhodes' bottling plant. This practice was continued from 1890-1905 by Harry B. Sharadin and from 1905-1920 by Joseph Dreibelbis. A
When prohibition was enacted on January 16,1920, following the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the constitution, Keodinger focused more on the production of his soft drinks. He developed a well-liked list of 16 flavors, his most popular item being birch beer, his own recipe. After the repeal of prohibition at the end of 1933, the state assumed charge of liquor enforcement. Kiesinger applied to the state for a distributor license and was granted the 23rd license in the state. Soon after the repeal, production of soft drinks increased and the building at Schley St. became too small.
In 1940 Keodinger purchased the Leibovitz Shirt Factory of New York, New York, located at 78-80 S. Whiteoak St., the current location. The factory was originally a two room schoolhouse, with two additional rooms added later. The schoolhouse was then demolished and the current building erected on the site, the foundation of the school still remains intact.
After World War II Keodinger's nephews, Donald "Barney" Bieber and his brother "Elly" Bieber worked at the bottling works. In 1962, they purchased the business and property from their uncle Percy Keodinger. The two brothers continued operations of the soft drink line. With the growth of the Schmidt's Brewing Co., Philadelphia, PA, distribution rights were acquired in1954, allowing the Kutztown Bottling Works Inc. to become a supplier of soft drinks and beer to a larger area of customers. In 1989, after many years in the business Barney and Elly decided it was time to retire and sold the business to Barney's daughter Audrey and her husband Donald "Spike" Miller.
In 2002 the Kutztown Soda Works was formed and incorporated to focus on the Kutztown soda brands. The new corporation was spearheaded by Spike and Audrey’s son Tom. In December 2007 both businesses were sold to Jeff and Dana Taylor who continue to carry on the tradition.
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: Triple Filtered Carbonated Water, Pure Cane Sugar, Caramel Color, Citric Acid, Sodium Benzoate (Preserves Freshness), Natural & Artificial Flavors, Acadia and Yucca Extractives.
Nutrition 12 oz. serving (from the bottle)
25 mg Sodium.
36 g (13%) of Daily Carbohydrates
0 mg Caffeine
Aroma and Flavor – 2.2 out of 3 mugs
The aroma is solid root beer. A great way to start the beverage! At first sip this is a root beer. Not a commercial root beer a home brewed flavor. After more sips the flavor becomes interesting and hard to place. It has a slight birch beer taste and a touch of Coke. The birch beer may be a holdover as Kutztown has been known to produce one of the best birch beers.
Head –1.5 out of 3 mugs
This isn’t a trademark for this beverage. While it does have a head, it is fast to dissipated with little remint.
Zip – 2.2 out of 3 mugs
This has a strong herbal root beer zip. Lacks the sarsaparilla dominance I would expect. The blend is pleasing and unique.
Post Consumption Impression – 2.2 out of 3 mugs
This is a unique beverage. Searching other reviews, I found no review that hated the brew. It was either loved or middle of the road. This is one if I was in the mood, would crave significantly yet I can’t get over the slight Coke taste.
Would I recommend this at 8.1 out of 12 mugs?
This root beer is worth a try. Again, it is a love / like beverage to me as opposed to some which are love / hate.