It makes sense that being in the Midwest, and this being a Chicago brew, I would see WBC around a lot. That’s been part of the reason I’ve been skipping it for the past few reviews. If it’s everywhere, like IBC, could it really be good? I don’t really know, but I intend to find out. Trust me; I’m not going to mix this one up with IBC before I even start. It’s important not to judge a book by its cover, or whether it’s readily available. A&W in Canada is readily available, and it’s pretty damn good. Anyway, let’s get back to WBC.
100% Real Sugar and Made in the USA
WBC is absolutely beautiful. The bottle is dark, it has a tall neck, and the label is clean and modern. The color scheme matches the patriotism, with stars, stripes, and solid colors. The cap is white and gold, with red stars, and solid lettering. It almost seems a bit regal. The presentation actually makes me pumped for that first taste.
On the back, the following description is provided:
Deep Chicago Roots
Our deep Chicago roots began in 1988, when the first Chicago Style Root Beer was formulated in a brew pub on historic Goose Island, Chicago, Illinois. Today, our WBC Root Beer have [sic] remained true to the original recipe, never pasteurized, and continue in a tradition of quality and innovation.
WBC stands for the WIT Beverage Company, and there isn’t a whole lot of information that I could find about their origins. However, I did identify that they’ve been in Chicago for quite a while, and are proud to name drop the “Chicago Style,” but I’m not really sure what that means. Is this the deep dish of root beer; rich and delicious?
- Triple Filtered Carbonated Water
- Natural and Artificial Flavor
- Caramel Color
- Sodium Benzoate And Potassium Sorbate As Preservatives
- And Citric Acid
Look, I don’t care how many times your carbonated water is filtered if you’re just going to throw in “natural and artificial flavor” as an ingredient. Enough said.
After popping the top off of this brew, the first whiff that I got was very mild, but it was definitely spiced in the traditional flavor of root beer. But the first taste? Not really that good. I’m not entirely sure how to flavor this, but I’ve had it before. It’s almost like a bitter, chemically taste, and I’m not a fan. It’s weak, and despite how much sugar there is, you really can’t detect that excess of sweetness.
The carbonation is rough and that’s definitely not a good thing. The flavor, while distinctly in the camp of root beer, isn’t really that traditional. At the same time, it’s not really unique, like Natural Brew. I just do not like what I’m getting here.
Over time, the flavor is marginally better. The carbonation is still harsh, but it has improved. It’s not nearly as painful as it was straight after uncapping. I suppose lasting carbonation is a plus, but not one for me. The taste is still weak. The flavor that is there is still bitter. If you know me, you know I like the sugar to count.
One thing that WBC has going for it is the after taste isn’t unpleasant, and honestly there’s not much of a syrupy texture that’s left behind. I guess that’s one big improvement over other brews that I have disliked.
I know I said I wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I feel like WBC is a slightly better IBC. I honestly had no idea how much I would dislike this brew. I was actually hoping it would be good, because it’s so prevalent around here. I’m not sure what Chicago Style is, when it comes to root beers, but I don’t think this is particularly great. If it’s affordable near you, and you like bitter brews, WBC might be just what you want. But it isn’t for me. I appreciate that it doesn’t stick around, and that the bottle is enticing.
Rating: ♛♛♕♕♕ – 2/5