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Real Brew Draft Root Beer

Smucker's Real Brew Draft Root Beer

Today’s root beer is a real francophone Canadian treat!

Real Brew blends tradition and quality; at least that’s how it’s described on the label. I’m not sure why the name and tagline duo puts me on edge. I don’t understand why a root beer drink needs to identify itself as a “Real Brew” based on tradition and quality. Isn’t that a given? Is that supposed to be the convincer?

The other day I was wondering why so many fantastical mixtures exist for alcohol drinkers, but for teetotalers we’re stuck with syrupy sweet or pre-pending the virgin moniker. I think part of the problem is how adult non-alcoholic beverages are marketed. I don’t want chemical combinations; I want the same freedom, without the booze.

Smucker Sweet Birch, Licorice Root, Anise, and Other Natural Flavors

We’re not even in the Ingredients section yet, why is the other tag line mentioning natural flavors? Rage aside, the bottle is actually very attractive. Stout, dark, and with muted brown and beige colors, I can definitely see the attraction to this brew. The off-gold cap is probably the only thing I don’t like. It could have benefited from some art.

Background

Real Brew is the Canadian cousin of Natural Brew, so check out that review if you want to learn more about Smucker Natural Foods, Inc. However, there is a huge difference in that bottle versus this one, and that’s the ingredients.

Ingredients

  • Carbonated Filtered Water
  • Brown Sugar
  • Natural Flavours
  • Colour
  • Phosphoric Acid

In my travels to Canada, I’ve found that they are often far more open about what’s going on inside of a particular food product. Here, however, it seems that Natural Brew offers quite a bit more information that is otherwise concealed with Real Brew. I’m not a big fan of that, but let’s see how it compares.

First Taste

I’m not particularly sure if Natural Brew and Real Brew are the same exact thing, but like Natural Brew, I felt that on my initial taste of Real Brew, the carbonation was perfect, but the flavor was weak. Then again, it’s not actually weak, it is different. I don’t think this brew can be described as traditional. It’s no Towne Club, or what have you. This is definitely for a more adult palette.

Despite this thing being packed with sugar, the sweetness is understated, and the root beer essence appears muted. Like Natural Brew, Real Brew is something that feels cooling, which I attribute to the birch and any mint flavors that might be lurking about. Once again, we’ve got another middle of the road.

After Time

I think that Real Brew is another one of those root beers that grows on you over time, and seems to be more like a birch beer than a root beer. It’s more bitter than it is sweet, which is actually pleasant for this particular root beer. It’s incredibly smooth, and there’s little carbonation to prevent you from gulping it down. That being said, there’s a syrupy texture that I’m not a big fan of. Keep some water nearby. I would say this one is probably better drunk quickly.

Conclusion

Real Brew, like Natural Brew, is totally different than other root beers. Like its cousin, it’s not the root beer that I’m looking for, but it is pleasant. It’s an adult’s root beer, and I think the fact that it’s not sickly sweet lends itself to being a different class. I would have it again, but it isn’t anywhere close to my favorite. Also, I’m disappointed that the Canadian variant has far less transparency than the equivalent from the United States. If you liked Natural Brew, and you find yourself in Canada, pick this one up.

Rating: ♛♛♛♕♕ – 3/5

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