Phillips Brewery is no longer catering solely to adults; they have now branched out in to soda making. So far they’ve launched their Intergalactic Rootbeer and their Sparkmouth Ginger Ale, which are available at their Brewery in Victoria. Perfect for me as I’ll be there for Chrismas to visit family and friends!
What I liked about their sodas is the fact that they keep it real and use ingredients that you can easily pronounce and understand, unlike some mainstream sodas. Everything is listed on the bottle and instead of reading “natural flavours” and “color” you’ll see cane sugar, carbonated water and natural herbs and spices. Their approach to the craft of soda mirrors their approach to brewing beer, as the recipes were designed from the ground up using only natural ingredients.
But while the team was committed to this approach in the soda program, it wasn’t a challenge-free adventure. Who likes it too easy anyway?
As recipe developer Ben Schottle put it: “Choosing to use natural ingredients made some decisions easier, but a lot more decisions harder since many ingredients were ‘off the table’ because of their artificial composition.” Because of this Schottle spent months tweaking recipes and sourcing ingredients to eventually arrive at the balance of flavours he was after.
In the end though, the folks at Phillips would have it no other way. “Yes there were certainly challenges, but it was also fun!” said owner Matt Phillips, “plus our commitment to the craft of brewing isn’t something that we do, it’s who we are.”
The Intergalactic Root Beer is represented by a Spaceship. Does that mean that it is out of this world? That’s for you to decide. It’s not your average root beer though, I can tell you that much. Mimicking the bartenders who served Yosemite Sam as he trounced in, yelling “Sarsaparilly, make it snappy”, they too use sarsaparilla to create the flavorful, carbonated beverage. This root-derived ingredient gives it that authentic root beer taste that is often neglected in common root beers. As I drank it, I noticed the sweet, velvety taste of the Madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extract and the thick, slightly spicy molasses.
Sparkmouth Ginger Ale is represented by a dinosaur/Godzilla-like creature. I associate the mascot with the spicy taste this soda leaves in your mouth that may make you feel like you’ve just blown fire. Dinosaurs do that right? The ginger in the soda is strong, and not for the “I sort of like ginger” types. This was the thickest ginger ale I’ve ever had, largely due to the unfiltered mouthful courtesy of the hand mashed ginger inside. You can see it, and you can taste it. To balance the spice, the raw cane sugar sweetens it up naturally like you’ve stirred it up with actual sugarcane.
While I liked the sodas I still think I prefer their beer; I’m a sucker for their Blue Buck and Chocolate Porter.
Have you tasted the sodas? I would love to know what you thought of them. Leave me a comment! Also enter the contest at Eat Drink Be Local to try them for free as part of the 12 Gifts of Christmas campaign.