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Apr 7, 2007 11:18 PM

Root Beer Recommendations?

Hopefully 'all will be able to help me out here.

My darling S/O laments the lack of three foodstuffs (he's not too much of a 'Hound, but he's coming 'round).

1. Brantford, ONT. fries - I agree with him, they're the best I've ever had. We're reconciled that we just need to travel to Brantford more often.

2. Schneider's Oktoberfest Sausage (also from ONT.) - I'm working with his mother to get some shipped south next fall, as a surprise.

AND (the one I'm looking for help with):

3. He swears that Snapple used to make a "clear root beer," which was "the best," I don't recall Snapple making root beer, but I'm willing to conceed that my memory isn't always my strength - I have asked if he's remembering Clearly Canadian's root beer (which was also clear), but he says that it was Snapple.

Anyway, whatever it was, it's apparently no longer available. I asked him what made the root beer that he's craving so special - he says that it wasn't too sweet or syrupy, it had a full, rich flavor, and was well-carbonated (he complains that lots of root beer goes flat too fast).

His birthday is approaching soon and I was thinking that maybe for one of his gifts I'd try to find a couple different brands of root beer that might approach what it is that he's desiring and put together a mixed six-pack or two. (Oh, but if I have to buy full six-packs, that's okay, too.)

Any suggestions will be much appreciated.

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  1. I like Stewarts, but trying going to and check it out they'll ship you various kinds and then he can do a taste test.

    1 Reply
    1. re: paprkutr

      I second Galco's, aka (the link above is incorrect). Since you're in the LA area you really should stop by in person. the owner is extremely helpful and you might end up buying a case or more once you see their selection

      Also, I don't think your SO was hallucinating - I found evidence of Snapple Root Beer here

      and on wikipedia!

    2. Found this site for you.....

      I've tried a Blue Sky Root Beer that I think your BF would like, because I remember it as being very carbonated and not too sweet, but I'm not sure of its availability.

      1. If you have the Stewarts Stands where you live, you will find that the root beer served at the orange diner is the best. If not it's grocery store brands. Like you I do not rememebr Snapple root beer but here's a link that proves you and me wrong and your SO right.

        For me Stewarts is still the best, but I also like A&W and Barq's. Most people tell me that Boylan's is their favorite and i gave it a try. I found it too sweet.

        1. I love rootbeer too and although I'll drink just about any rootbeer, I do have some all-time favorites.

          Virgil's is excellent, and their webpage names all the stores that sell their product. I haven't read their "about," but I know that Virgil's BBQ is in Times Square in NYC and that it's not quite like being in Texas but it's quite good, and they brew their own... I want to say a few types of beer plus root beer.

          Also, the local beer where I live now, Abita, makes a root beer. It's good and very unique (flavored with yucca or something crazy). At this website: if you click "drink me," you can actually order per bottle.

          Finally, in Kutztown I once attended a Dutch festival, and they served amazing sarsparilla there which might make a great addition to your root beer experience gift -- and again this website will let you order it

          Good luck!

          5 Replies
          1. re: Adrienne

            I love Virgils, but it is the Guiness of root beer. You have to really like strong flavors to appreciate it.

            1. re: lulubelle

              And it's almost as low in alcohol content as Guinness :)

              1. re: lulubelle

                Mmmm... Virgils is amazing. And no corn syrup in it! Their cream soda is also REALLY good.

              2. re: Adrienne

                I like Virgil's best for drinking--it's got great, complex flavor, and thick foam, yum! Their other flavors are just as outstanding. Please try at least once.

                I also have to give a nod to St. Louis based Fitz's, who makes a root beer that's on the sweet side, probably a kid's favorite, BUT it makes a GREAT root beer float with vanilla ice cream, also known as a "black cow." This is one of my favorite summertime treats, a must after grilling out burgers or dogs. Sitting on the porch, eating one of those as the sun sets late, reminds me of my grandma's house...

                1. re: Adrienne

                  I cast my vote for Virgils too!

                2. I must throw in a mention for IBC out of Birmingham, Alabama. I used to cart the stuff home by the case when I lived in Atlanta and traveled the US southeast. Their diet root beer is perhaps the tastiest sugar-free soda I can think of. Worth seeking out, as is their black cherry soda. Their cream soda is not so hot...