Review: Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer

The Henry Weinhard’s brand was first associated with a Oregon-beer in 1856, brewed in Portland’s Blitz-Weinhard brewery. Miller eventually purchased the brewery and shut it down, now using the brand on a few of their products. However, a gourmet soda division based in Fort Worth, TX, still produces 4 flavors, including Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer.

Henry Weinhard's Root Beer

Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer

This beverage comes in a 12 oz brown glass bottle and features the following storified-callout:

Enjoy a truly great American Root Beer originally crafted by our master brewers during prohibition. This gourmet elixir, brewed with sassafras, vanilla, and honey, proved to be a popular alternative for our beer-drinking loyalists.

Our tradition of providing only the highest quality beverages continues today in each bottle that bears our founder’s name, brewmasters Henry Weinhard.

It should be noted that this current incarnation is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, but does feature vanilla, honey, and sassafras.

Amusing bottle cap design

Amusing bottle cap design

The drink is light brown, as expected for a root beer, with quite the foamy head. There’s a smooth “rooty” scent emanating from the bottle. When it comes to the taste, I’d say that the vanilla is the dominant flavor, as this is quite the creamy root beer. It’s not very bitter, despite the inclusion of sassafras (granted, it’s the last ingredient, so there’s probably not a lot in there).

Overall, it’s a tasty root beer, but unfortunately has a flavor profile that isn’t very distinct from others. Take away the contrived history that is such a strong part of the branding and you end up with nothing special. Don’t be fooled by the higher-priced “gourmet” moniker.

Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, vanilla extract, natural and artificial flavors, phosphoric acid, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), honey essence, acacia sassafras extract.

A 12 oz bottle contains 170 calories, 75 mg sodium, and 43 g carbs (42 g sugars). Caffeine free.