The Minnesota Museum of the Mississippi presents the

Great American Root Beer Showdown

Sparky's Fresh Draft Root Beer

Recently I received an e-mail letter from Kevin Knox of Knox Brewing, the creator of Sparky's Fresh Draft Root Beer, with an offer to send us a bottle to enter in our taste test. I suppose he may have been attempting to sway our judges' opinions with a free bottle, but we welcomed the new flavor addition to the root beer cabinet. Sparky's is not available in stores in the Midwest, only in a small area around Monterey, California (see Sparky's website), so we were fortunate to get our hands on the sample. Knox Brewing seems to be a small-scale, family run affair. Kevin explained that the recipe started out in his own kitchen:

A package arrived on Friday just before Round Eleven of the Root Beer Showdown. I opened the box to find a large 22 oz. bottle and a strong aroma of root beer. At first I worried that the carbonation had leaked under the bottlecap, and that the brew would be flat by the time we tasted it. But in the test it seemed just fine and perfectly frothed in our sample cups. Indeed, the flavor proved to be a favorite of a number of the reviewers, and an extra bonus of the huge bottle was that there was enough root beer left over in the bottle for another round for everyone.

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Copyright 2002 Matt Bergstrom. Text Copyright Matt Bergstrom