It’s episode 20 and that means that by the time you’ve finished reading/watching this I’ll have drunk 60 different roots beer for this project and that is heaven.
Route 66 Root Beer/ Route Beer 66
Route 66 Sodas, Lebanon, MO (on bottle) Mokena, IL (on website)
Named for and sold along the Mother Road, Route 66 Sodas got their start back in 1996, which was 20 years ago so I suppose I can’t call all the eBay listings for “vintage” Route 66 Beer bottle completely asinine. Just mostly asinine.
The sweetness to this tastes a bit chemical, though the bottle says its Real Cane Sugar. It has good herbals to it, with a little bit of birch/wintergreen underneath. Also very creamy with a decent bite.
Sioux City Root Beer
White Rock Beverages, Whitestone, NY
While pharmacist H.M. Colver started White Rock in Waukesha, Wisconsin, in 1871, it wasn’t until 1987 that the company started its line of Sioux City beverages. While some folks think their sarsaparilla is “a good one”, I’m not a huge fan. We’ll see how I like their root beer.
Has a very heady caramel nose. Very deep herbs, but muddled and balanced so there’s nothing really overpowering. A very good bite to it, but there’s a certain emptiness to it on back of the tongue, like mineral water.
Triple XXX Root Beer
Triple XXX Root Beer Co., Lafayette, IN
The company that would become known for Triple XXX Root Beer started as a brewery in Galveston, TX, in 1895. They started making soda in 1908, but really stepped it up when Texas outlawed alcohol production in the lead up to prohibition. Before World War II about 100 Triple XXX Thirst Station drive-ins dotted the landscape, two of which still exist. The company’s got a rich and complicated history that involves being owned by Anheuser Busch and Dr Pepper at different points, so check out their rather expansive wikipedia article if you’re interested.
Richly creamy and herbal, though it’s the vanilla that sits in the throat. The apex of what a draft-style root beer should be. The label says it “Makes Thirst a Joy,” and I can’t disagree.