Root Beer Review: Hank's Gourmet Root Beer

I have only one issue with Hank’s Gourmet Root Beer:

When I visited Hank’s website, the main page’s short introductory paragraph leads off with “Hank’s Gourmet Beverages Takes a great deal of pride in it’s dedication to quality.” If Hank’s “Takes” so much pride in “it’s” dedication, you’d think they’d find more dedicated grammar-checkers (if you find similar errors on this page, keep in mind that I have never stated any such dedication). The rest of the website is similarly spotty.

Naturally, I sent them a pleasant e-mail to inform them of their shoddy work.

Fortunately, there’s no such lack of quality control in Hank’s soda line. A smooth, creamy root beer, you only need to take a sip to realize that this is a high-quality product. The product decision reads “pure cane sugar and gourmet quality ingredients enhance the body, head, mouth feel, and flavor. Hank’s has created the richest, smoothest, and creamiest soda possible.” As a connoisseur of root beer, I have to say: the makers of Hank’s seem to be the only ones who recognize that that switching away from corn syrup isn’t an end to itself – adding sugar doesn’t make anything a quality beverage, it’s just one more ingredient. What’s more, the bottle doesn’t advertise “Cane Sugar!”  as if sugar has suddenly become a healthy ingredient and consumers need to know about it.

Speaking of the bottle, Hank’s is one of the finest-looking sodas I’ve ever purchased. From their embossed metallic label to their classic logo and design, it’s as good a glass bottle as I’ve ever seen. Apparently, it was the winner of the Glass Packaging Institute’s “Clear Choice Award,” so bully for them. It’s a well-deserved award.

Plus, Hank's is a readily available soda - you can find four-packs stocked in a lot of grocery stores across the country. It's no fun being a fan of a regional soda that's hard to get ahold of. That's why I treasure it whenever I get a chance to get Kentucky's "Ale-8," or New England's "Moxie." It's not available anywhere down here.

Of course, none of that matters if the product inside isn’t top-of-the-line, but this time that’s absolutely the case. Hank’s gives credit to its “Philadelphia Recipe,” as apparently Philadelphia is the birthplace of root beer. I had not known this fact and can find nothing on the internet to either prove or disprove it, though in my search I did learn that December 4th is “International Root Beer Day,” an ironic occasion when you remember that root beer is a distinctly American phenomenon.  With my luck, this December I will remember Root Beer Day, and forget my mother’s birthday the day before. Again.

Grade: A