For the uninitiated, this is root beer:
It is traditionally tapped directly out of the keg into a heavy glass mug that has been deeply chilled, although under some conditions a plastic container must be used. If it must be transported long distances it is sometime necessary to bottle it in glass bottles, in which case it can be drunk straight or poured into a chilled mug or glass. Under no circumstances is it to be adulterated with ice. Note that while there are some bubbles to be seen, it is not fully carbonated.
The fizzy horror that you find in cans is not root beer. It is root beer flavored soda. You may like the canned stuff or you may not, but if that’s all you’ve ever had you have no idea whether or not you actually like root beer.
The good people at Birky Farms (www.birkyfarms.com), best known locally for their food truck setup featuring first class barbecued pork in all its glorious variety, also turn out a very fine root beer. It’s rich and dark and full of wintergreen, with that odd thickness that coats the tongue that only the best genuine root beer has. There is no finer beverage on a hot summer day than a good root beer. At the fair yesterday, I refilled my Birky mug twice,and I’ve spent all day today sorry that I didn’t drink a second quart while I had the chance.
all images ©2012 Pam Bliss