Growing up, one of the highlights of summer was the homemade root beer that my father would brew, bottle and ferment in the garage. It didn't appeal to everyone, in fact, it was an acquired taste. There was even that memorable event when one of my sister's friends took a sip and spit it across the kitchen. I'll tell you something though, nothing tastes better with a bacon and tomato (fresh from the garden) sandwich than that root beer.
This summer, I decided that it was time to revive the tradition of homemade root beer. I didn't have my father's equipment or recipe. Plus, I wasn't sure I was up to making it in quite the quantity that he bottles it in. So, when I ran across this Mr. Root Beer home brewing kit, I thought it was worth a try.
When it arrived in the mail, it engulfed my kitchen in the wonderful smell of root beer extract. The instructions were fairly simple and I was able to brew my first batch during nap time. After letting it ferment for the prescribed amount of time and then chilling it in the fridge, I ventured a first taste. I'll be honest, it wasn't as satisfying as I had hoped. I think I was craving something a bit "yeastier" and because this tasted more like root beer than yeast, it really wasn't what I was expecting. It's funny how a taste memory can be so strong.
Yet, the kids loved it and the taste has grown on me. It made for one amazing root beer float while the kids were again napping (I love nap time). What's great is that it isn't quite as sugary sweet as the root beer you might purchase in the store. It was definitely a worthy experiment. We have bacon and tomato sandwiches on the menu this week.