By Steve Hill and P.J. Harmer — Rattling Chains staff
As far as energy bars are concerned, I don’t care if the company making it tells me it’s going to make me run faster, have more endurance, or recover from a workout more quickly. If it tastes like crap, it doesn’t matter.
So when I was presented with the chance to review Bearded Brothers’ offerings the ever-growing bar market, I was pleasantly surprised to find not only no claims of superhuman feats if I ate them, but also – more importantly – tremendous flavor.
Indeed, each of the company’s four varieties offer complex, unique, but not over the top flavor profiles. Mighty Maca Chocolate is inherently sweet, but not overbearingly so. Bodacious Blueberry Vanilla mixes the bars titular flavors in a subtle fashion that leaves a pleasant aftertaste, while Colossal Coconut Mango balances texture and acidity in each bite.
The winner of the bunch, though, is Fabulous Ginger Peach. The combination doesn’t sound like it will work at first – for me, ginger brings thoughts of sushi and ale, not energy bars – but opening the package tells a different tale. The overwhelming freshness of the ginger hits the nostrils right off the bat, clearing your senses for the sweetness of the peach to come. Overall, it is an extremely invigorating flavor that mixes sweet and prickly at the same time.
While the taste is all these bars need to be successful, they have a lot more going for them, too. The packaging, for example, is something I wish more energy bars would embrace. It is resealable, so if you don’t want to scarf the whole bar at once, you can save it and keep it fresh. It is also shaped reasonably well so that it can fit in the back pocket of some running shorts, or a bicycle kit, or a small disc golf bag pocket. The outdoorsy background that the creators of Bearded Brothers boast is clearly evident in this detail.
Add in that the bars are made by hand, are 100% organic and gluten-free, and these are a truly unique offering that disc golfers – and athletes in general – can appreciate. As an avid distance runner, I would have no problem packing one of these for nourishment out around mile 10 or 11 of a long run. They are easily chewed and not terribly heavy in the stomach, the perfect fuel for a strenuous workout.
I’m not the only one who felt this way, though. I gave a couple fellow disc golfers some samples, and they were impressed with the taste and texture. My sister, who is a Paleo diet-abiding gym rat, appreciated the fact that the bar I gave her – Colossal Coconut Mango – provided raw energy that fit the constraints of her eating habits.
On the whole, the only con I can find about Bearded Brothers bars is that they aren’t widely distributed across the country. I imagine that it’s only a matter of time before that changes, though, as these snacks are truly winners.
It’s always nice to see outside companies hop into the disc golf market.
It’s good for the sport when this happens as it shows the game is growing. When “outsiders” want a piece of the action, it shows disc golf is becoming more and more marketable.
Bearded Brothers is one of those companies. An organic snackfood company based in Texas, one of the founders is a disc golfer. The company has been smart to jump in the market of a sport where having energy is key. And, having an organic product is an added bonus as many disc golfers are conscious of the environment
In late March, we ran a story about the company and the founders. The company was nice enough to send along some bars for us to review and we have put them to the test.
I have to say this, though. I’ve rarely ever been a fan of energy bars. There have been a few over the years (such as Cliff bars) where I’ve enjoyed a flavor or two, but in the end, I’ve had an issue with the texture or taste. So, though interested in doing this review, I was a little hesitant. But those flavors — Bodacious Blueberry Vanilla? Fabulous Ginger Peach? Colossal Coconut Mango?
These aren’t your old-school energy bars.
I seek simplicity in energy bars. Fill any hunger I have, not make me feel weighed down and give me a little natural energy to push forward. Bearded Brothers passed the test.
Though they sound odd, the flavors worked. My favorite was the Bodacious Blueberry Vanilla, but I really dug the Colossal Coconut Mango, too. The texture was quite good and they weren’t as dry as most energy bars seem to be, to me anyway.
I wasn’t sold on all of them, though and I didn’t enjoy the Mighty Maca Chocolate bar (the company’s fourth flavor). Let’s remember, though, that everyone won’t have the same likes and dislikes in regard to taste.
And though I enjoyed the other flavors, for some reason I could only get through about half a bar in a sitting. That’s not a bad thing as the pouches the bars come in are resealable. But it’s nice to know that half the bar can satisfy me during a round or a hike and the other half of the bar is available when needed.
I used the bars a few times in different scenarios. I ate them during disc golf, of course, but I also kept them handy when out on a long day of geocaching (an outdoor treasure hunting game) and the bars came in handy each time.
As Steve noted above, the bars aren’t readily available. As like many energy bars, they have a higher price tag than, say, a candy or granola bar. A case (12 bars) will cost you a bit more than $40 and a four-pack is about $14. But if you are health conscious and like to support smaller businesses, this price isn’t astronomical and shouldn’t scare you off.
In the end, Bearded Brothers gives a bar that is handmade and healthy. What more can one ask for in a product such as these? I’ll look forward to keeping these energy bars handy during disc golf and other outdoor activities knowing it’s a quality product that delivers in what it’s supposed to do.