My second craft soda review is unfortunately a different story than my first, as I wasn’t thrilled with this purchase (I’ll tell you why shortly). Ultimately, I feel like if you are going to get into the craft soda game you need to offer something unique or high quality to cover the inflated price point. Between a lot of faux specialty brands out there and other producers, a surprisingly few number of people have figured out a solid market offering that goes beyond what you can get in cheap can at your local supermarket by the dozen.
Grizzly Paw is a craft brewer and soda maker in Canmore, AB that I visited in the summer this past year on a road trip to Drumheller, Calgary and Nelson to visit family and dinosaur bones. They have an impressive facility in town, a colourful tasting room and a fairly large lineup of soda’s which are available on site and in grocery stores all over the province of Alberta. If I recall correctly, I paid about $2 to $2.50 for this single bottle and drank this a couple months ago to ensure it was fresh when I consumed it.
Aroma and Appearance: It pours a dark burgundy colour with a small head that rapidly dissipated and you can clearly hear audible fizzy bubbles popping out of the glass. The aroma is black licorice, confectionery sugar, candy store and chocolate.
Flavour: It starts off with well balanced notes of black licorice up front and nuances of kola nuts, a rather pleasant start beginning that’s unfortunately overshadowed by an artificial mid palate that’s reminiscent of a diet soda before it finishes with a hint of black pepper bite on the aftertaste.
Overall Impression: My biggest beef with certain craft sodas is they often dress up a typical 50 cent can of cheap, mass produced soda into a fancy bottle with a fancy price and I hate to admit, but this root beer tastes no better than a can of no name root beer that sells for $1 per 2L. It’s ok in flavour, but is vastly over priced for what it delivers in the bottle. I also had their ginger beer, it was a bit better than this a likely a good Moscow Mule candidate, but again nothing compared to other craft soda’s I’ve had in the past.
Rating: I gave it a below average rating of 4/10, and would have preferred to save my coin and picked up a can of A&W rootbeer instead.
Food Pairing: Root beers pair well with fast food, maybe use this to cut into some fries or something. Sorry, I’m uninspired here.