Reading Draft and Universal Carbonics is found in Reading, PA, with a company heritage that dates back to 1921. We picked up Reading Draft Birch Beer on a road trip through through Pennsylvania and the vintage-style label was intriguing. So let's take a sip, shall we?
Reading Draft Birch Beer comes in a 12 oz brown glass bottle, with a retro-styled paper label proclaiming this drink is "handcrafted" and a "premium reserve soda." Sweetened with cane sugar, the company notes that they don't use a flash carbonation process, but rather their "carbonation process occurs in Grundy tanks which contain a stainless carbonation stone through which the CO2 introduced under low pressure."
Light brown in color, when you pop the cap, you are greeted with a root beer-like drink that features a distinctive wintergreen scent. Wintergreen is a strong theme with this drink, as it dominates the taste throughout.
The drink starts out like a standard root beer, but the minty flavor dominates the midtaste through the finish. Unlike most birch beers, this drink isn't harsh or edgy, but overall rather sweet. However, it may also feel like drinking a pick of chewing gum, as the wintergreen mint flavor is just too strong for my tastes. Not a huge fan.
Reading Draft Birch Beer
Triple filtered carbonated water, pure cane sugar, natural and/or artificial flavors, caramel color, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness).
Nutritional information not provided on label. Caffeine free.