I love the mentality of the Jones family brewery; include everyone and have fun. A lot of big drink companies claim to have ways to include their consumers (pick the new flavor… out of these 2 we already pre-tested), or prizes under the cap, but it doesn’t come near the great things Jones does on a regular basis.
I keep a collection of bottles for each root beer brew I’ve tried, and that task is very difficult with Jones because almost every bottle is different, literally. Jones encourages their fans to send in their own photos, of anything, and if they like it they’ll put it on their bottles and give you credit. The photos they choose don’t have a pattern: old cars, close-up of a tiger, deck at a lake, to a picture of a girl with a lamp shade on her head; they’ll use it so long as it’s interesting.
In addition to the photos, they also put something under each cap, but it’s not “Sorry try again,” instead its fortunes, and not just ones they made up, but ones that fans have submitted straight off fortune cookies. They include fans in their product so much, you’d almost think they’d let you help brew the stuff if there were a feasible way to pull that off, it truly lives its slogan: “Your photo. Your soda. Your brand.”
Jones – Root Beer – 3/5
So while Jones makes over 12 different regular sodas (plus plenty seasonal and crazy ones like ‘bacon flavor’), I’m focused on the Root Beer, and what a nice brew it is. As all Jones brews are, it’s made with pure cane sugar, and the taste shows with a nice smooth beverage with great flavor. It seems to have a bit of a vanilla to it which I’ve always liked as the kicker, but that brings me to my one complaint about Jones. I can’t be completely sure on the vanilla, because they don’t fully list all their ingredients, instead opting for: “NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS” which to me is a cop out in the world of root beer. Obviously some parts of recipes need to stay secret, but at least tell me what the main show is (though as a beverage I can’t dock points for that).
On the 5-point smoothness scale it’s a solid 4 with just that little bit of zip, but nothing to shock you. The other great thing is that Jones is popular enough that you can actually order 12-packs off the website, and that is a most definite worthy endeavor you should do if you can’t find this brew in a local store.