While keeping my push to find breweries producing their own unique root beers I came across the Double Mountain Brewery while on a work assignment in Hood River, Oregon. Hood River gave a terrific first impression and I look forward to visiting again someday. This brewery certainly contributed to the experience.
To begin, this root beer has a back story. Rather than paraphrase I’m going to put a direct quote from their menu:
“Keeping a long standing promise to our friend Owen, the brewers bring you Oh Man! Draft Root Beer. Our turn of the century Root Beer blends Sarsaparilla, Ginger Root, Anise, Vanilla, Wintergreen, and Licorice with Oregon Clover Honey to create the perfect first Double Mountain soda. 50% of all sales are donated to local organizations and families battling cancer.”
Cancer is horrific. Thank you Double Mountain for doing something to help.
On to the review…
I didn’t read the description of the root beer prior to tasting it. What I noticed (blind) was a very reserved sweetness, a strong bitter profile with a bit of licorice and wintergreen, and some funk. I couldn’t identify the funk. Once I read the menu and saw that they add hops to the brew it all made sense. I made root beer once from scratch and used hops and it had a DEFINITE funk. So did my garage until I threw away the rest of the bag.
This is a bold root beer. From the reviews I read on Yelp it seems like kids enjoy it, but I think these are pretty refined kids. You have to appreciate root beer to appreciate this one. It’s not mainstream, it’s not something you’re going to drain quickly, it’s a sit and think sort of drink. You don’t find that too often in a root beer and I appreciated its uniqueness.
So, overall I liked it. I give it an 8 out of 10, but I wouldn’t question someone who’d rate it lower. Not everyone will like the earthiness to this brew, but I can almost guarantee it’d pair well with some of their amazing-looking pizzas. I had just come from a large dinner and had zero room for food, so you’ll have to check it out and let me know.
Like I said, I visited the Hood River location. That’s a ways to the east of Portland along the Washington/Oregon border. There’s another location closer to Portland if you’re not committed enough to visit a small funky resort town.