A friend of mine gave me this bottle of birch beer from the AJ Stephans Beverage Company. I have great friends. Birch Beer is a somewhat native to the Northeast United States, and AJ Stephans is based out of Boston, Massachusetts. That makes sense.
Birch Beer isn’t root beer, but it can tastes similar to root beers that emphasize wintergreen as a dominant flavor. That whole situation seems very odd. You’d think that something made from a tree would taste more like a sarsaparilla, but this is the world we live in. Accept it. Birch beer is made from distilled birch sap (becomes birch oil) which is added to sweetened carbonated water. Different species of birch trees will produce different colors and flavors but I have no clue what species of birch tree the AJ Stephans company uses for this product.
I was impressed with this drink and not just because of my deep respect for the person who gave it to me. Like I mentioned above, the flavor is similar to a deep wintergreen, but if you had a childhood like mine it’ll remind you even more of the Certs mints that your mom always carried in her jacket pocket.
I liked those mints and I liked this Birch Beer. It’s a very clean and refreshing flavor enhanced by a good amount of carbonation and mid-level sweetness. The funny thing about that comparison is that Certs don’t contain anything resembling natural mint, let alone birch sap. AJ Stephans can be tricky to find in my corner of the US but I’ll keep my eye out for their other flavors. This bottle earned a 7 out of 10 on my rating scale.
Assuming I can find bottles of other AJ Stephans sodas, click here to read those reviews. To read reviews of other birch beers, click here.
Sampled in March of 2017