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Gold Maple Leaf Lake root beer beer: It’s like cake and syrup in a bottle

21 July 2009 1,588 views No Comment

I’m not much of a root beer drinker. However, while traveling through the south end of Milwaukee, I happened to notice and pick up a plastic bottle of Lakefront Brewery’s Golden Maple Root Beer from the refrigerated cooler of a local cider mill. Immediately, I was intrigued: one of my favorite breweries had decided to make a root beer, and not only that, but had decided to add in maple syrup!

Lakefront Brewery’s root beer had the light amber hue of honey instead of the dark brown color that is traditionally asserted in root beers. I looked over the ingredients of the beer (yes, even though it’s non-alcoholic, I’m calling Golden Maple a beer): carbonated water, pure cane sugar, pure Wisconsin maple syrup, caramel color, natural root beer flavor, gum acacia, preservatives- sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate. I was relieved; Sprecher, my other favorite Milwaukee brewery, makes root beer but adds in high fructose corn syrup. With Lakefront, there wasn’t a high fructose corn syrup molecule in sight. However, the intense golden color of the beer did make me a bit antsy.

I paid $1.60 for the 20 ounce bottle and unscrewed its plastic cap. The level of carbonation was not intense, as you sometimes get with root beers. As is my custom with beers, I took a sniff of the brew. Yep, there was definitely some intense maple aroma here. Taking a drink, I noticed immediately the sweetness of the maple syrup in my beer, followed by a (very) mild finish of root. In fact, there seemed to be very little “root beerness” associated with my beverage at all. As I continued to drink it, the maple flavor intensified.

I was traveling on a rather hot day in July, and while the root beer was cold, its sweetness did not assuage my thirst very much. I put the beer aside and took a long draught of water instead. However, the beer worked out splendidly at my destination, when I used it as the ideal topping for my vanilla ice cream.

Overall, for originality, I give Lakefront Brewery a 10 out of 10 on its Golden Maple Root Beer. As for drinkability, I would say that the beer hits a 7 or 8; this is more of a sipping drink, and made to tickle one’s palate with the intensifying flavor of maple compared to the subtle hint of brewed root. However, it works well as a dessert in itself or with other sweet items.

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