T.F.A.Q.

That stands for “Theoretical Frequently Asked Questions.”  None of these have actually been asked yet, of course, but now none of them have to be.

Really?  Another root beer review blog?

As far as I can tell, there are only a handful of dedicated root beer review sites on the web.  Anyway, when you consider how many movie reviewers are out there, another root beer reviewer is a comparative drop in the bucket.  And if you’re in any way serious about reading root beer reviews, wouldn’t you like a few different opinions before you shell out to have some microbrew shipped in from the other side of the country?

What qualifies you to review root beer, anyway?

I’m not aware of any formal certification – although let me know if there is! – but I love root beer and I think I have a decent sense of taste and smell.  Obviously, my opinions on here are my own and as with anything involving a sensory experience, particularly with taste, your mileage may vary.

I didn’t agree with your review.

That’s not a question.  But feel free to add your two cents in the comments.  Just try to keep it civilized, will ya?

Why haven’t you reviewed [x] yet / Are you going to review [x] / Can you review [x]?

Although my plan is to review as many root beers as possible, I’m obviously somewhat constrained by time and expense.  If I haven’t reviewed a major brand yet, rest assured I’m getting to it eventually.  If I haven’t reviewed a more obscure microbrew that’s only available within 50 miles of its production facility… well, that’s trickier, of course.  If a root beer is bottled and available over the internet, I will likely get to it at some point.  If it’s sold at a restaurant and three grocery stores in Spokane, WA or something… let’s call that a “stretch goal.”  Maybe if this thing takes off, someone will pay me to go across the country sampling local root beers.  (God, would that ever be the life.)

What’s your favorite root beer?

In the past, I’ve conducted (with help from my wife and a friend) several blind taste tests of different root beers, encompassing more than sixty different brands.  Of those, I would say that my favorite nationally available brand is IBC, while my favorite overall is a Wisconsin brand called Blumer’s.  Bear in mind, however, that the latter in particular is based on a single tasting.  It’s entirely possible that as I work on this blog, my answers will change!

What do you look for in a root beer?

Hard to question to answer, though it will probably become clear as you read my reviews.  But I think my primary interest, if I had to narrow it down to a single word, is complexity.  Root beers that are dominated by a single prevailing flavor don’t usually rate that highly with me.  I like to get a few different hits.  I also like a decent fizz; the one thing about root beer is it seems to go flat a lot more quickly than most soda varieties, but you’ll also see brands that just start with a super thin fizz to begin with, and that doesn’t usually impress me.  But good flavor will overcome thin fizz unless the thing is just totally flat.

How often can we expect updates?

This will depend quite a bit on how easy it is for me to get my hands on more exotic/far-flung root beers that cannot simply be purchased at the stores nearest my home base.  At the start, I may update every day or at least a few times a week; as the supply of new root beers at hand dries up, so may the updates.  But of course most people will probably come across this once the blog is really up and running and probably already stocked with a decent selection of reviews, so this may not matter so much.  Depending on how it goes, I may also add some special reviews, such as seeing which of the major national brands makes the best root beer float.

What if my question wasn’t answered?

It’s because I wasn’t smart enough to anticipate it, obviously.  So feel free to add it in the comments and I’ll get back to you!

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