Sioux City is known for its incredibly sweet, minty birch beer. It’s a solid reddish amber drink, and I’m a big fan. However, birch beer isn’t root beer, and I’m not reviewing that. Today, I’m giving Sioux City Root Beer a chance, and I’m really excited to sink my taste buds into this brew, especially after the last one.
Old West Brew
Sioux City is a totally stout root beer. It’s dark and wide, and looks like it has a bite to it. The bottle is embossed with the Sioux City name. The label is colored in muted blue and off-white yellow. It’s not particularly appetizing, but just look at that cartoon old west sheriff. I mean, you can’t go wrong with that. Can you? Plus, the label says “Made with Cane Sugar.” I think root beer organizations really want to push that the sugar is real, rather than letting us know what’s actually in the brew.
Sioux City Beverages, otherwise known as White Rock Beverages, Inc., or White Rock Products Corp. put forth their line of brews in 1987. They claim their products are premium beverages designed to capture the flavor of the old west. The story behind the company, however, seems to be a bit more interesting. White Rock gets its roots from pharmacist H.M. Colver, who sold local spring water in 1871. In 1952, Morgan Beverages, founded in 1858, bought out White Rock. The rest is apparently history.
- Purified Carbonated Water
- Pure Cane Sugar
- Caramel Color
- Sodium Benzoate (As a Preservative)
- Natural and Artificial Flavor
- Citric Acid
How much does pure cane sugar really matter when the brew itself isn’t willing to list its actual flavoring? I mean, the website says they only source the best ingredients, but they’re not willing to tell us what they are. That doesn’t feel like the best to me.
Sioux City doesn’t have much of a strong smell after opening the cap, but it did have a bit of a kick. The flavor is definitely nowhere near as sweet as its birch beer counterpart, and thankfully the carbonation is about the same. That is to say, it’s not overwhelmingly carbonated. The flavor, however, is pretty weak. There’s definitely no hint of mint, though, because there is plenty of mint here. Maybe there’s too much? I can tell that there’s sweetness here, but it’s not really that sweet. It’s not bitter though. At least it’s a fuller body than past brews. Maybe the recent disappointments have gotten into my head a bit, but this isn’t as bad as past stuff.
Over time, Sioux City retains its carbonation, and I believe that the flavor gets a bit more prominent. Because it’s not a hard carbonation, it’s actually pleasant to drink.
However, the mint flavoring appears to overwhelm any traditional root beer flavor that may exist. With birch beer, the sweetness works in tandem with that mint, but in root beer, that just doesn’t appear to exist. On top of that, this brew sticks around. I mean, it really sticks around. The after taste is strong, and it’s almost syrupy in terms of how it sticks to my teeth. Water can’t help me here.
This brew is initially an interesting experience. There are not many root beers like it that I’ve encountered. Eventually though, it gets insufferable. The carbonation is good. The flavor is mild and not too bitter. But the sweetness, and the root beer flavor, is completely drenched in mint. Even at only 12 ounces, I end up liking about half of it before I get sick of it. Do you like mint? You will like this brew. All that being said, give Sioux City Birch Beer a chance, because it’s much better than this.
Rating: ♛♛♕♕♕ – 2/5