Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Exotic/Disgusting Foods and Beverages Forum--German Soft Drinks

     Right off the bat I should admit that I'm not positive about the true home of the soda I'll be discussing in this post (Burg).  The bottle states, "Made in Germany," and "burg," of course, is a German word which informally means "town" or "city."  (Formally it means a medieval fortress or walled city, I just learned.)  However, the company that makes it, IMI International, appears to be based in England.  I wasn't able to learn whether IMI bought out a German soft drink company, or if it's purely English, and just has a subsidiary plant in Germany.  Also, to add to the fun, Burg is distributed by a Canadian company, Agt Clic, out of Montreal.  Additionally, on the bottle there is Arabic script (to go along with the French and English).  As I noted in my posts about Lebanese soft drinks (see August 15, 2015 post) and the one about Danish health beverages (see March 23, 2016 post), non-alcoholic malt beverages tend to be popular in predominantly Muslim countries, since consumption of alcohol isn't permitted.  So I'm guessing the Arabic script is because people who read this writing are one of Burg's main target audiences.  But, as I said, I'm not 100% sure about Burg's real home, and if any readers can provide me info about this I'd appreciate it.  But Burg sodas seem to be truly an international product.
     Burg is evidently different from other typical non-alcoholic malt beverages.  One website noted that unlike these, the manufacturing process is different.  It's not brewed, with the alcohol later removed in various ways.  No alcohol is even made in their process.
     Burg comes in multiple flavors.  There's Burg Classic, and then apple, lemon/mint, peach, strawberry, and even an energy drink variant.  I was able to score the first three kinds.  They came from the Union Market in D.C. once more.  (Almost, but not quite out of these, and thanks again to Keith.)  As I often do, I'll use the U.S. scholastic grading method, of "A" for excellent, "B" for good, "C" for average, "D" for unsatisfactory but barely passing, and "F" for failing, with pluses and minuses as necessary.

Burg Classic:  D-.  Weird, flat, unpleasant taste.  Like a regular non-alcoholic beer, or most light beers (Zing!)

Burg apple flavor:  C-.  Okay, but not awesome.  Tastes like apples, but a little weak.

Burg lemon/mint flavor:  B+. Much better than the others.  You can pick up the lemon and the mint flavors.  These combine pretty well.  And the overall taste is strong enough.

     So, as you can see, I wasn't that impressed with the Burgs overall.  One was terrible, one was "meh" (as the expression goes),  and one was good.  I might try some of the other flavors if/when I get the chance, and I would buy the lemon/mint one again.  They were at least reasonably priced--about $1 for each 11 ounce (330 ml.) bottle.
     I was intrigued by the "classic" name of the original Burg flavor.  I was sort of hoping it was like the New Coke debacle in 1985, when Coke changed their formula, and called it "New Coke," and then restored the original formula under the "Classic Coke" name after American consumers basically lost their minds.  (Even though, interestingly enough, significant amounts of these same consumers preferred New Coke to Coke Classic in blind taste tests leading up, and even after, the soda's release.)  But, alas, I don't think there was any drama or semi-rioting in Burg's case.

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