Everyone seemed to think that Bawls latest flavor: dubbed G33K B33R, was a joke. It was scheduled for release on April 1st, 2008 (April Fool’s Day), and also had an interesting name. It turns out that this new root-beer flavored beverage is not only real, but is actually very good.
Bawls’ guarana beverages have been an underground favorite for LAN gamers for many years. Their highly-caffeinated beverages have been rather successful, despite their limited distribution channels. Previously you had to order a case online, but now Bawls is now starting to show up in convenience stores and major department stores like Target.
Root beer is a rather popular soda flavor (taking 3% of the soft drink market), but many of them do not have much caffeine at all. Bawls endows their new G33K B33R with 100 miligrams of caffeine (derived from Guarana), which is similar to a cup of coffee. You can read all about the effects of guarana in our Bawls Taste Test article here. Here’s the Nurtritional info:
Serving size: 1 bottle, Calories 130, Total fat 0g, Sodium 35mg, Total carbohydrate 36g, Sugars 36g, Protein 0g
For those who didn’t know, root beer is made from the roots of the Sassafras tree (hence the “root” part of Root Beer), which gives the beverage its distinct flavor. The sassafras is usually complemented with vanilla, wintergreen, cherry bark, licorice root, molasses, cinnamon, and several other spices. And now we can add guarana to the list of ingredients…
The new 10 ounce bottle has the same bumpy shape as the original Bawls Guarana, but is colored a translucent brown. The twist-off cap is the same as their other beverages, too.
All of Bawls other beverages are completely clear (including their Cherry flavor), so I was half-expecting this new G33K B33R to be transparent as well. To my surprise, this new root beer has the same caramel color as any other root beer, and is just as fizzy. Many root beers form a thicker head than regular soda, and G33K B33R does not produce much of a head, and that dissipates quickly after pouring.
One thing that this new beverage naturally lends itself to is a highly-energetic form of a Root Beer Float, also known as a “Brown Cow”. Basically all you have to do is put a few scoops of vanilla ice cream into a glass and pour the root beer over it. This produces a nice foamy head, and the Bawls G33K B33R pairs quite well, and is certain to be a new hit at LAN Parties.
Bawls has made limited “Bawls snowcones” at special events (like PAX 2006), which are always a hit, but now gamers can make their own caffeinated frozen treats without any special equipment.
We took our new cases of G33K B33R to LanParty Northwest to let our resident geeks wrap their lips around the new flavor. Many commented that they thought the product was just a big April Fool’s Joke, but the joke was on them because several exclaimed how it was the best thing they’ve ever tasted…
Tasting the new B33R IS rather pleasant. At first, it tastes exactly the same as any other root beer, and is very thirst-quenching. There is a slightly fruity aftertaste from the guarana, however subtle, which makes this new soda flavor rather unique. Of all the Bawls flavor lineup, this is the one that is the most “chuggable”, so the small 10 ounce bottle goes down fast…