Fitz’s Root Beer

Bottled, purchased, and consumed in St. Louis. This was pretty sweet and very fizzy, but it didn’t have a whole lot of flavor otherwise. I can definitely see getting excited about it if I had grown up drinking it, but speaking as someone who lived fifteen years or so without going to St. Louis Fitz’s isn’t that special to me. Still, it goes great with a black bean burger and I’ll definitely buy a bottle or two the next time I go back there.

Dad’s Root Beer

Dad’s was my favorite brand of root beer when I was younger. I don’t really remember why that was, just that I thought the stuff was awesome. This is the first time I’ve had it in who knows how many years, and while it’s not the best root beer I’ve ever had I can see why I liked it so much. It’s nice and fizzy without the carbonation getting annoying, and the flavor tastes like some combination of nutmeg, liquorice, and caramelized brown sugar.

I don’t know if any of those are actually ingredients in Dad’s, but the point is that it tastes good.

Dog n Suds Root Beer

I don’t have a ton to say about Dog n Suds. I’ve never been to one of their restaurants, but as far as the root beer goes it’s simple and good. It’s not all that flavorful or sweet, but the creaminess is pretty cool. Overall this didn’t stand out compared to other root beers but that doesn’t mean it’s not good.

(photo taken by Fabi)

WBC Root Beer
This is kind of sad, but I didn’t know anything about WBC/Goose Island’s roots in Chicago. I guess that’s what happens when a company is known for its beer more than its soda. Oh well, I’m glad to have found this. I think it’s one of the fizzier root beers that I’ve had, but the flavor still comes through clearly.I’m not really sure how I would describe the way this stuff tastes, but it’s definitely unique in a way that I really like. It might be better to ignore this comparison, but it kind of reminds me of the feeling I get when I drink a cheaper root beer right after eating a bunch of greasy fries from Al’s Italian Beef or one of those Maxwell Street hot dog shacks.I just remembered that WBC also stands for Westboro Baptist Church. That’s an unfortunate similarity.

WBC Root Beer

This is kind of sad, but I didn’t know anything about WBC/Goose Island’s roots in Chicago. I guess that’s what happens when a company is known for its beer more than its soda. Oh well, I’m glad to have found this. I think it’s one of the fizzier root beers that I’ve had, but the flavor still comes through clearly.

I’m not really sure how I would describe the way this stuff tastes, but it’s definitely unique in a way that I really like. It might be better to ignore this comparison, but it kind of reminds me of the feeling I get when I drink a cheaper root beer right after eating a bunch of greasy fries from Al’s Italian Beef or one of those Maxwell Street hot dog shacks.

I just remembered that WBC also stands for Westboro Baptist Church. That’s an unfortunate similarity.

Boylan Root Beer

Boylan apparently really wants us to know that they use cane sugar in their sodas. Not that that’s a bad thing; the sugar is definitely on of my favorite parts in their root beer. There’s sort of a faint sarsaparilla taste, but it doesn’t stand out compared to the sweetness. Usually I like root beer to have a stronger flavor, but overall I’d say it’s pretty well-balanced in this case.

Virgil’s Root Beer

I first had a bottle of Virgil’s two or three weeks ago, and I’ve had it as often as possible since then. In my experience it doesn’t always taste the same; sometimes it’s the liquorice that stands out, sometimes it’s the vanilla, and sometimes it’s the nutmeg. And damn does it taste good, especially considering that I normally don’t like strong liquorice flavors.

I highly recommend Virgil’s. To everyone. Bonus: They use unbleached sugar and I don’t see any mention of honey in the ingredients, so I’m pretty sure that even the strictest of vegans can drink it.

Henry Weinhard’s Root Beer

Last night I praised this brand in a review of their black cherry cream soda, but that stuff is only decent compared to their root beer. The flavor isn’t the strongest thing in the world, but that doesn’t really end up being a bad thing. The vanilla makes it awesome. It’s also really cool if the bottle ends up getting knocked around, because the froth from this stuff is delicious.

It’s probably not the healthiest thing in the world considering that it uses corn syrup instead of sugar, but seriously, try this stuff if you can find it. In Chicago I know you can buy it from Mariano’s (at least the one in Greektown).

Henry Weinhard’s Black Cherry Cream

This brand does pretty much everything right. So far every soda of theirs that I’ve had (I still need to write reviews of the others) is excellent. This one actually tastes like real cherries, so that’s pretty awesome. It’s also just sweet enough without taking away from the flavor.

It does seem a little watery toward the bottom of the bottle, but it’s still overall a good soda.

Stewart’s Root Beer

I’ve never heard anything bad about this stuff, and with good reason. The taste is definitely good, but it doesn’t really stand out to me. The fizziness, on the other hand, is perfect.

Shasta Root Beer

Some context on my experience with Shasta: I first encountered this brand when some friends and I bought a four pack of their cola from a dollar store. I don’t remember much about it other than that it was some of the worst soda any of us had ever tasted and that it was hilariously cheap. But when I found out that they made root beer, and that I could buy a can of it for 39 cents, I couldn’t refuse.

Anyway, this stuff tastes pretty weird. First it had a nutty taste that actually wasn’t all that bad, then it started tasting like sulfur. I don’t know that this stuff is actually safe, but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Basically though I don’t recommend it unless you’re looking for a pretty goofy experience.