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Best Root Beer

Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 06:50 AM

Anyone have a favorite root beer and know where to buy it--glass only, no fountain. I saw bevmo has a bunch of them, incl. Abita.

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    carter RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 06:58 AM

    Hardly the expert here, but Boylan's is very good - definitive, well, not sure.

    1. sku RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 07:07 AM

      Snake River Sarsparilla, sometimes available at Surfas.

      1. monku RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 07:11 AM

        Check out Galco's.......too many to decide from.
        Root Beer selection:

        Galco's Old World Grocery
        5702 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

        3 Replies
        1. re: monku
          Adsvino RE: monku Feb 7, 2009 07:51 AM

          Steaz Root Beer Green Tea Soda????

          1. re: Adsvino
            monku RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 07:59 AM

            Let me know what its like.

            1. re: Adsvino
              JeetJet RE: Adsvino Feb 10, 2009 12:21 PM

              monku is correct -- Go to Galco’s. You get one bottle of every brand mentioned in these replys, make them ice cold and then have a few friends over for a blind taste – test party. Give a small taste of each root beer to each of your friends. What you all will notice is that each root beer would be fine by itself but when compared back-to-back something happens and one will shine above the rest. I have done this several times now and each time it is lots of fun for just a few bucks and there has always been the same one voted as best in flavor, drinkability and satisfaction. What blows you away is that some formally loved brands (Dr. Brown’s for example, and I am from Brooklyn) are considered undrinkable after doing such a taste test. Oh, one more thing, while you are at Galco’s buy a case of Sioux City Sarsaparilla and Sioux City Root Beer .Note, this stuff is not diet soda -- no, no, no. I found out the hard way and... Enjoy!

              Galco’s (Sioux City Sarsaparilla and Sioux City Root Beer)
              5702 York Blvd.
              Highland Park
              (323) 255-7115
              If you make the drive to Galco’s kll two birds with the same stone and do lunch. My Taco for asada Sope and potato tacos.
              My Taco (try the potato taco and asada sope)
              6300 York Blvd Ste 4
              Los Angeles, CA, 90042
              (323) 256-2698

          2. liu RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 08:10 AM

            Albertson's carries Henry Weinhard's root beer. It pours a soft foam that is a taste of heaven!

            1. Mattapoisett in LA RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 08:13 AM

              My Favorite is Sparky's http://www.sparkysrootbeer.com/ But it is different it is a very Herbal almost Spicy root beer. I've seen it around but I get it from Beverage Warehouse near Marina del Rey.

              My Second favorite if you can get it is a Pony Keg of Thomas Kemper Very Creamy and very good.

              I also Have been experimenting with making my own from Extracts from Culver City Brewing Supply. I Used Trader Joe's Mesquite Honey in the last bach because I thought it would impart some interesting flavors, well it did that now all I can taste is the Mesquite. Oh well back to the drawing board.

              1. Tapeworm RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 10:19 AM

                Thomas Kemper ain't bad. Most big supermarkets have it, but I've been able to find it at Big Lots for cheaper.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Tapeworm
                  Mattapoisett in LA RE: Tapeworm Feb 7, 2009 12:40 PM

                  Yeah Thomas Kemper in the Bottle isn't Bad but it is nowhere near the quality of the Keg. and The last time I tried to get it from Beverage Warehouse They couldn't get it.

                2. The Chowhound Team RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 11:53 AM

                  Just a friendly reminder, Folks, if you do have a favorite root beer do chime in, but please include where you can find it locally.

                  Please take any discussion about root beer in general, or mail/web order sources to a new thread on the General Topics board.

                  Thanks for helping us keep the L.A. board focused on where to FIND great food and drink LOCALLY.

                  1. JAB RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 01:34 PM

                    BJ's. I believe that you can order large glass refillable bottles of it to go like you can for their beer.


                    1. n
                      New Trial RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 01:45 PM

                      Charles Perry recently did a taste test for the L.A. Times and wrote up his favorite brands and where in town to buy them:

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: New Trial
                        nakni RE: New Trial Feb 9, 2009 02:50 PM

                        Good writeup. I like his choices for the most part, although the more I drank Abita, the more chemical it started to taste for me. I wish Stewart's would get off of the corn-syrup kick like all of the other gourmet brands are doing. I also like this page from a root boor enthusiast who's reviewed close to 200 different brands:


                        I wholeheartedly agree with his opinion about Bulldog. It's my favorite. The kick of honey is what does it for me and separates it from the rest of the pack. Beverage Warehouse should have it still, but Cost Plus will certainly have it (a great relief to me as I'm an expat with a Cost Plus in town). Fitz's & Sprecher round out my top 3. I've seen Fitz's at Beverage Warehouse and BevMo, and Sprecher? Try Galco's.

                      2. J.L. RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 02:32 PM

                        I've heard good things about Stewart's root beer (sold at Bristol Farms), but I haven't tried it myself.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: J.L.
                          CucinadiNana RE: J.L. Feb 9, 2009 02:59 PM

                          I like Stewart's Root Beer - icy cold, right out of the bottle. I am not a fan of any of the Thomas Kemper flavors - they just taste "off" to me. I know this thread requested bottled root beer, but FYI - if you are ever at the Bedford Springs Resort, they have their own root beer on tap using the original recipe from 1915. That, I think, is my favorite - - good reason to go back, right?

                        2. h
                          hungryhyena RE: Adsvino Feb 7, 2009 07:22 PM

                          I buy mine from Galco's. There is a man who works there (I think he might be the owner) and he can really help you hone in on a root beer that will suit your taste.

                          My fave's from there are: Americana, Bulldog and Dad's (but only the one made with cane sugar). They also have quite a few interesting Sarsparilla drinks, Snake River that sku mentioned is pretty good.

                          Also, The Hungry Cat sometimes makes an alcoholic drink with root beer that tastes like a root beer float, it's great!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: hungryhyena
                            Feed_me RE: hungryhyena Feb 8, 2009 08:31 PM

                            I'm with "liu," I think Henry Weinhard's is the best root beer I've had. When I gave a bottle to a friend he took a sip, looked at the bottle and said "Why do they bother making regular beer?" He thought it was very good too. I've seen it at Albertson's, Bristol Farms, Galco's and a small market next door to Tacos Don Jorge on Venice a few blocks west of LaCienega. Marukai (Western/Artesia) in Gardena had it, but I'm not sure they do now. A.J. Stephens from Boston makes a good root beer and so does Bundaberg an Australian root beer in a squat brown bottle. They both used to be at Galco's, but I haven't driven out that way in a long time. I used to find the Bundaberg at the Guiliano's in Torrance, but I haven't eaten there in quite a while (the sandwiches were not up the better places I frequent). Anybody recall a clear rootbeer from years ago (like 20 years ago) called Ali's made in Torrance? That stuff was amazing. I kept tracking the guy down, but he finally disappeared and that was a sad time for me.

                          2. f
                            foodie21 RE: Adsvino Feb 9, 2009 01:43 PM

                            I just bought a big can of IBC root beer from the .99 cent store on Sherman Way near Coldwater, and it was really good. Had a very strong, spicy taste to it, much different from the version that comes in a bottle. Not sure why it's there (I'm guessing the can was an experient that didn't pan out), but I'm gonna go back and buy a bunch more.

                            1. d
                              duke_of_mildew RE: Adsvino Feb 10, 2009 10:44 AM

                              Sioux City Birch Beer, available at Galco's. We had a tasting of root beers, birch beers, and sarsaparillas a couple of years ago and that one came out on top.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: duke_of_mildew
                                Jeryy RE: duke_of_mildew Feb 10, 2009 01:20 PM

                                My favorite is a local brew, Rat Bastard. Did a tasting a while ago and it won, hands down. It's available at Beverage Warehouse.

                              2. sbritchky RE: Adsvino Feb 10, 2009 02:57 PM

                                On a related note for root beer fanatics: every one of Michael Mina's restaurants in California and Vegas that I've been to (see http://michaelmina.net for a full list of his places) offers for dessert a great root beer float. It includes, in addition to the root beer and a chocolate straw, excellent sassafras ice cream, sublime root beer sorbet, and those wonderful warm chocolate chip pecan cookies, which I always save for the (often very good) espresso afterwards.

                                1. p
                                  ProfessorRootBeer RE: Adsvino Feb 15, 2009 11:44 AM

                                  Wanted to second the vote for bulldog root beer. In my opinion this is an amazing root beer and it's made in CA.

                                  The Professor is Back

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ProfessorRootBeer
                                    Frommtron RE: ProfessorRootBeer Feb 15, 2009 03:13 PM

                                    Wow! A "ProfessorRootBeer" comes back from nowhere just in time to answer the OP's query. You have to love this board sometimes.

                                    I'm compelled, even coerced, to try bulldog root beer now.

                                  2. l
                                    latindancer RE: Adsvino Feb 15, 2009 06:19 PM

                                    My favorite is Stewart's...
                                    I buy it at Bristol Farms on Beverly and it comes in a six pack....bottles.

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