Row Hard Root Beer
Weston Brewing Company & O'Malley's Pub

Row Hard Root BeerRow Hard Root Beer
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Herb and Spice Beer
Ranked #231
ABV:
6.7%
Score:
79
Ranked #44,865
Avg:
3.47 | pDev: 25.36%
Reviews:
24
Ratings:
78
From:
Weston Brewing Company & O'Malley's Pub
 
Missouri, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  4
Gots
  27
SCORE
79
Okay
Row Hard Root BeerRow Hard Root Beer
Notes:
Reviews: 24 | Ratings: 78 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of KermitTheeFrog
KermitTheeFrog from Kansas

1.34/5  rDev -61.4%
look: 5 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I'm not going to sugar coat it. This beer tastes like a fart.
I have had hard root beers from many other competitors, and they all range from 3-5 in my mind, but this is God Awful. I really hope this particular beer was just messed up (i did a mix-a-six) so no one else had to deal with what Im dealing with. I hate wasting beer, but I can't even pinpoint what's wrong. It doesn't smell, taste or feel like either a beer OR root beer. I made an account just to rate this beer so I can warn unknowing ppl. The smell is way off from anything I've ever smelled, but no idea what it is. The feel is a soda with a ridiculous taste combo, and the taste is horrific. The look is a 5/5, marketing did a damn good job on the can, and the beer itself LOOKS great.
Im not willing to waste the money to see if this was a one-off. But, if anyone from Weston Brewing wants to contact me or whatever, my opinion stays the same until then. I would rather eat a raw onion than keep the lingering taste in my mouth. It's been 15 minutes, and my mouth tastes like I've eaten raw beef.

Mar 03, 2019
Photo of mvanaskie13
mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

3.23/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a narrow pint glass: dark brown, quick effervescent head that dissipates immediately - the quick dissipation reminds of soda, not beer; no head, no lacing.

Smell is spicy, with prominent root/sarsparilla like notes and birch beer like sharpness; vanilla, ginger, maybe touch of cinnamon.

Taste is similar with big spice component, flavors of vanilla, ginger, mint, roots, sarsparilla, then thin sticky sweetness with no malt character.

Mouthfeel is spicy, dry, then stickingly sweet in the lingering presence.

Overall - this beverage has potential as the spice profile is excellent, but the the lack of barley hurts its depth and presence. i poured some brown ale into to thin out the sweetness.

Jun 16, 2017
Photo of ImbibingInOmaha
ImbibingInOmaha from Nebraska

1.15/5  rDev -66.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This might be the worst thing I have ever tasted. This is not beer, its a soft drink. Reminds me of early college, mixing $6 vodka and whatever soda happened to be laying around at the time. Honestly this makes me long for Karkov mixed with koolaid powder.

Look - Root beer colored, molasses brown

Smell - sugar and root beer. A bit of alcohol, but no botanicals. Nothing medicinal like a good root beer.

Taste - Horrible. I forgot it was meant to be root beer. Like a marshmallow peep dipped in a cotton candy machine. After drinking this horrible soda it becomes exceedingly obvious you've had something alcoholic.

Feel - It is soda

Overall - A friend brought this over as a laugh and I wish it even achieved that. This is not a drink for adults.

Apr 12, 2017
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.78/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I CAN hardly CANtain my surprise & excitement at finding this (admittedly hard) root beer listed on this site! I almost simply Crack!ed it open without giving it another thought. I really must be more diligent about these things, I suppose.

From the CAN: "Root Sellers (tm) Formidable Fermentables"; "Brewed with Botanicals, Molasses & Pure C[AN]e Sugar"; "Root Beer is a quintessentially Ameri[CAN] beverage first brewed by colonists using domestic roots, herbs, and spices. These historic small beers did not contain much alcohol. Root Sellers has created a BIG root beer with an alcohol [CAN]tent that pays homage to its roots ... Yes, it is great with ice cream. [undersigned] Greg & Pat"; "No Wheat, No Barley, No Gluten ... You're Welcome!"; "It's A Jolly Good Day For A Boat Flight!"

My first Crack! & Glug of a CAN in a while & I was anxious. My Glug, while not inverted, was pretty aggro & briefly raised two fingers of fizzy, foamy, light-tan head that quickly reduced to wisps. Color was Very Dark Brown to Black/Opaque(SRM = > 34, < 44) with garnet highlights. Mouthfeel was on the thin side, not precisely watery, but pretty close. Nose smelled like Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer, a local pop that I drank as a kid and had some again in the summer of 2015. Commercial Root Beer pop tends to be more sweet while Birch Beer pop is more spicy. This had a light spiciness, like cinnamon and ginger and the molasses (treacle) gave it a slight bitterness while I would guess that vanilla was also present. I could have easily identified it as a type of root beer if it had been blindly served to me, but I would probably identified it as one of the "off" brands, like Dad's or PA Dutch as opposed to the national brands like Hire's and A&W, which tend to be cloyingly sweet. This was nicely spicy, giving it a semi-dry finish. That said, it was still a bit sweet for my taste. I am not a big fan of ice cream, either, so no float in my future, but if anyone tries that experiment, I would like to hear/read their thoughts afterwards.

Dec 24, 2016
Photo of chilifirebrick
chilifirebrick from Missouri

5/5  rDev +44.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Just how a handcrafted rootbeer should be! If you took the brewery tour you will find out that this is hand crafted from genuine root-beer (sarsaparilla) and pure cane sugar liquor with additional molasses.
The flavor is just as perfect as an old fashioned root-beer barrel and just sweet as can possibly be yet with a great alcohol content. Perfectly balanced and refreshing. Clarity is similar to that of root-beer candy. I have tried several of the mass marketed so called hard root-beers from the store and they are all made with artificial flavorings so none can really compare to this! Perfect for a root-beer float treat in a large frosty mug!

Dec 04, 2016
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Exonumia from Illinois

1.06/5  rDev -69.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

First, this is NOT a SOFT Drink, as some have said. This is ALCOHOLIC Root Beer.

Smelled bad, tasted bad, I could not drink it, and poured out most of it. I love root beer, but this was just not for me.

Rich

Oct 11, 2016
Photo of everyhumanist
everyhumanist from Oregon

1.9/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Very sweet root beer taste at first, but overwhelmed by horrible aftertaste of cheap alcohol, reminiscent of Four Loko. Purchased a four pack of 16 ounce cans for $2 on clearance, and even at that price, I don't know if I would buy this again.

Apr 11, 2016
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot from Louisiana

1.71/5  rDev -50.7%
look: 1.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75

Row Hard has a thick, frothy, beige, quickly-dissipating head, a bubbly, dark-brown appearance, and no lacing left behind. The aroma is of an initial burst of root beer, and then, nothing, really. Taste is of sweet, sugary, flavorings, cane syrup, and cheap wine (Wild Irish Rose?). Mouthfeel is medium and semi-syrupy. The finish is thirst-inducing, making the drinker crave water.

RJT

Jan 26, 2016
Photo of CMIKEHUNT
CMIKEHUNT from New York

5/5  rDev +44.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Flipping great .. Better than not your father's root beer.. Better than Coney island. Better than best damn root beer.
The best of all.
Duh no hops.. No malt. Really?.. Why would ppl rate that?
It's root beer A SOFT DRINK . What is wrong with ppl. Def the best near beer I've had.
Excellent hard root beer out there

Jan 12, 2016
Photo of fredmugs
fredmugs from Indiana

1.28/5  rDev -63.1%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

This is God awful and really should even be allowed on this site. No hops and no barely. This tastes like a junior high science experiment gone wrong. If you're adding sodium bicarbonate to your product you're doing it wrong.

Nov 29, 2015
Photo of dar482
dar482 from New York

3.19/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The beer comes in a dark brown, familiar soda color.

The aroma with root beer spices, vanilla, but also an alcohol and rubbing alcohol note.

The flavor hits of similarities to root beer with vodka. The root beer flavor hits upfront, but lacks sweetness. Instead, vodka and liquor like alcohol notes take over the beverage with the finish offering lingering spice.

Nov 22, 2015
Photo of BeerWithMike
BeerWithMike from Nebraska

3.73/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Sampling right now though my friend and I split one last night. Comes in a 16-ounce can in a 4-pack for around $8.50 or so. Can chilled down to 36 degrees and poured in to a vintage "7 up -the Uncola Glass" that looks like a upside down Coke glass.

Drink pours darker in color than most other root beers and very close to pitch black actually. A 1-finger fizzy beige head is seen when first poured but disipates to just a thin layer around the sides of the glass in no time. Some minor lacing is seen sticking to the sides. Aroma is of alcohol (like vodka) with a good dose of molasses and spice. Bit more going on the taste as there is some vanilla, clove, 'root beer barrel candy' also in the mix. Different than "Not Your Father's Root Beer" and the others. Lots of calories in this one at 400 (200 per 8 ounce serving). Lighter-bodied with good carbonation. Overall, not a bad root beer.

Nov 06, 2015
Photo of hoptheology
hoptheology from South Dakota

3.35/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This (root) beer has a ridiculous amount of calories due to both ALCOHOL and SUGAR. I vow to not drink these very often and I'm doing this for science :-)

Appearance : Looks like root beer, maybe a shade darker at 100% opacity. Dark brown-black. Head actually forms (much to my surprise) but dissipates about 30 seconds in.

Smell : Rubbing alcohol/antiseptic notes come out immediately, letting you know this is indeed an alcoholic beer. It actually smells a bit like Vodka and A&W. Beyond that, there's vanilla extract, a bit of molasses, sassafras, and a touch of medicine. Bouquet is medium to strong.

Taste : Starts like a Root Beer Schnapps, ends like a malt liquor. Sugary sweetness with alcohol burn, fit for a shot glass...vanilla, sarsaparilla, root, clove, honey glazed carrot, root beer barrels, with caramel malts and dank grain smoothing out the finish.

Feel : As carbonated as a soda, with a slight smoothness to it thanks to alcohol and a hefty pitch of vanilla. No ending to speak of.

Overall : Not my type of beer. It was interesting to try, but overall it's too sweet to be a beer, and too heavy to satisfy the palate wanting a pop. A happy medium for some? Sure. But for me, it's just two categories that don't mix.

Oct 08, 2015
Photo of Gear54
Gear54 from Indiana

3.67/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

From a can into a pint glass.

This is more closely Related to an alcopop than a beer. Smell is very sweet with sugar and vanilla in the nose.

Taste is a bit boozy for the style. Root beer float and alcohol are the main flavors. I guess this is what alcoholic root beer would be. Not bad overall.

Sep 21, 2015
Photo of AlexR
AlexR from Missouri

3.33/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Not the best root beer-beer I have ever had, but not bad. If Not Your Father's Root Beer isn't available, I will settle for this.

Look: It is very dark, but with not much head or lacing.
Smell: It actually smells great. Nice vanilla scent going on.
Taste: It's a bit boozy, especially for a root beer. The vanilla is kind of a let-down compared to the way it smells.
Feel: Definitely not as smooth as others I've had. It's still very easy to drink, though.
Overall: Pretty decent. I would say it's much better than their ginger beer, but not as good as some other root beers I have had.

Sep 14, 2015
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morimech from Minnesota

2.83/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Not really a beer but alcopop. Lacks any head or lacing despite the dark color. Acts like any other one of those malt beverages. A weak smelling and tasting root beer is what we have here. NYFRB has much better flavor. Maybe Row Hard is not as sweet. Body and carbonation is done well enough.

Sep 05, 2015
Photo of BradSmith
BradSmith from Kansas

2.84/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I'm rating a bit better than individual number would suggest for a couple reasons. My First experience was at the brewery at probably from tap, we liked it so I bought a case, definately a weaker kinda weird taste out of the can. Secondly before you knock it try a root beer float with it, the couple other "root beers" I've tried didn't work, one even kinda clumped for lack a better word. Not its not perfect and the flavor is off some but try it at O'Malley's and ask the waitress for ice cream (they have soft serve).

Sep 05, 2015
Photo of Jaddict
Jaddict from Indiana

2.29/5  rDev -34%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.5

If you you screw up making root beer, why put alcohol in it. Worst tasting root beer ever! I'd rather drink my own urine! Don't waste your money, like I did. Thought maybe it was just me, had multiple people try it. No one likes it. Had to dump it down the drain. Stick with NYFRB

Aug 21, 2015
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jigglymig from Missouri

1.82/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Look: dark cola with some red, had a 2 inch head that dispersed almost instantly.
smell: liquor, liquorice, sweet molasses
taste: putrid, old root beer + a strong vodka, sweetner
feel: felt like I was drinking a mixed drink, goes down very smooth

I mix Everclear with diet A&W when I diet so I thought I'd like this drink much more, especially since it had 400cal per can (I can get double the alc with diet+ever). So I picked up 2 16oz cans for about 2.50ea thinking it would be an above average beer at that price range. I was sorely mistaken. It taste more like a mixed drink that used expired root beer. Just imagine taking a low end root beer and adding beer, sugar, and vodka to it. This is what you get. I poured out the rest of the first can and will give the other one away. A waste of 5 dollars.

Aug 17, 2015
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LloydDobler from Indiana

4.3/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is a nice alcoholic Rootbeer. Looks like a cola with a sizzling head that faded rather quickly. Smell was that of traditional Rootbeer with light scents of licorice and molasses. Tastes like alcoholic Rootbeer barrel candy. Very tasty without the the syrupy sugar-bomb that you get from NYFRB. I could actually drink multiple cans of this without the stomach ache! The feel was kinda thin, but acceptable in this case. My favorite bar just picked this up yesterday, so I will be getting back to these this weekend.

Aug 06, 2015
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CiderIsLife from Kansas

3.05/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I bought it hoping it was more root beer with alcohol and it's more some root beer with a really strong beer flavor. The beer flavor overrides the root beer hardcore. Severly let down

Jul 16, 2015
Photo of zeff80
zeff80 from Missouri

3.49/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

16oz can.Poured out a semi-opaque, light brown color with a fizzy, white head. Smelled like a good root beer. Tasted like a root beer with hints of spiciness. Sweet and refreshing.

Jul 13, 2015
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hophead723 from California

2.94/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Poured a dark cola color with a subtle reddish glow when held up to the light. There was no head whatsoever even when poured with vigor into a goblet. There is for some reason zero carbonation in this. Strange.

Smell: Anise, molasses, licorice, and vanilla throughout the aroma. The smell is reminiscent of Jägermeister and contains traces of the alcohol within.

Taste: Much like a normal root beer but with low-humming hints of molasses, vanilla, and anise. The alcohol is somewhat detectable but is swiftly overpowered by a sweet vanilla-like flavor that dominates. The back end is entirely molasses and lingers on the palate.

Feel: Zero carbonation! Much lighter than expected, I wish it had a thicker and creamier body. Overall quite loose.

Overall: In general a pleasant drinking experience but if you can make a really good root beer without alcohol than one with alcohol should be exceptional. There is no carbonation whatsoever in this. Mug root beer has more depth and character so this was a mild disappointment.

Jul 08, 2015
Photo of JeepCop
JeepCop from Kansas

4.54/5  rDev +30.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

For what this beer is, I cannot imagine finding a better representation of the style. The alcohol is dangerously hidden. I would highly suggest trying this before the word gets out and it begins flying off the shelves! Well done Weston Brewing Company, well done indeed!

Mar 21, 2015
Row Hard Root Beer from Weston Brewing Company & O'Malley's Pub
Beer rating: 79 out of 100 with 78 ratings