The Pooj is feeling light-headed.(Rocket Fizz Pasadena, October 2011)
“Baumeister” literally means “master builder” in German, so as an architect, Baumeister Root Beer really should be my root beer above all others. No pressure or anything…
A little research actually reveals that Baumeister isn’t really named for any master builder in particular but for Heine Baumeister, who started the Baumeister Soda Company in 1907 using water from an artesian well in Kewaunee, Wisconsin. While this may get Baumeister Root Beer somewhat off the hook for being my root beer, the fact that it placed 2nd in the Midwest in a recent “Great American Root Beer Showdown” (a panel taste test conducted by the Minnesota Museum of the Mississippi) puts it on another hook entirely. There’s no mention of who took first place in that contest since the web-page for the storied competition (OK, I don’t know how “storied” it actually is, but hey, it’s a root beer tasting, so that should already qualify it as stuff of legend…) shows the last panel occurring in 2003, when Baumeister was absent. It is worth noting that, according to the archives, Baumeister actually finished first in past rounds of the competition.
Initially there’s a slightly licorice scent that may tease at a little bit of clove as well, but the smell fades quickly once the air is let out of the bottle. There’s a decent amount of foam, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it heady. Both “HFCS and/or sugar” are listed as sweeteners, and I’m guessing there is actually sugar in this one, since it’s much smoother than you’d typically get with just HFCS. Either way, it’s pretty sweet, and sweet is really the dominant flavor. Not that it’s devoid of any herby-flavors – there’s a mild root-iness with a slight licorice leaning. Perhaps there’s also a little clove in the aftertaste, but it’s hard to tell since it doesn’t linger long and is also slightly covered up by a sweet aftertaste.
More than anything, I think I would describe Baumeister Root Beer as “accessible,” meaning that it’s just root-y enough for root beer fans to like it, it’s got a better herb-y quality than mass-market brands, but it’s also not so root-y or herb-y that occasional root beer drinkers would have difficulty with it. Definitely above average, so Baumeister gets a 3.5.