I've has this bottle of A.J. Stephan's Birch Beer in my fridge for a while now. It's something Mr. Brown bought from one of the shops on the marina in Long Beach. He and I were going to share it, but never got around to it. This was a particularly bad week and I decided it was the right time to open it up.
First of all, this was the first birch beer I've ever had that was clear and it was crystal clear. After pouring it out into my beer tasting glass it only took a few seconds to clear the bubbles and then it was just like a glass of water. I don't know why that bothered me so much, but it did. Maybe it's because it got my brain thinking of all the bleaching chemicals that went into it that made it clear, or even worse, all the dyes that went into all the previous birch beers I've had to make them brown. Either way, this wasn't an easy beverage.
The taste was a that of birch beer, which if you don't know is kind of like root beer, but with a splash of a medicinal, Pepto Bismo-like flavor. An important fact to note: I like the way Pepto Bismo tastes. In fact, after some research, I discovered that the original Pepto Bismol formula is flavored with wintergreen, a flavor which can also be derived from teaberry and birch bark!
So with that in mind, this one was a little too sweet for my tastes. I don't see myself buying another bottle of this stuff. Sorry, Mr. Stephan. You wouldn't happen to have a plumber in your family? Just a thought.