May 012024
Seal of Approval

Last month I set out on a quest to view the total solar eclipse. If you’ve never seen a total solar eclipse, I cannot recommend it enough. Partial eclipses are neat, but really, absolutely, nothing like a total eclipse. Having that proper understanding, yet living outside of the path of totality, I determined that a quest must be had. I pragmatically picked the closest major city I could drive to without having to pay exorbitant hotel fees. And thus I decided on Indianapolis. Once that was decided the next objective, root beer. I stopped in Wisconsin Dells on the first day to visit the National Root Beer Museum. The second day the family and I had the lunch destination of the Triple XXX Family Restaurant. The last official Triple XXX root beer stand in existence and the first Drive In to open in Indiana, in 1931. The place was packed but we got in after a 30 minute wait and ordered food and brews. The place has the classic diner feel you’d expect, with waitresses with big pitchers of root beer filling up anyone in need. And a good thing too because that root beer is great.

The Body is sweet and rich and creamy with a nice vanilla flavor accenting the classic root beer stand taste. I almost want to say there’s some honey in it? The Bite is mild and smooth, could use a bit more spice but I still like it. The Head is medium and frothy. The Aftertaste is a nice sweet vanilla.

It’s that classic drive-in style I love. I know that the bottled version I tried way back when was kind of an inconsistent mess, but every mug (2 and a half of them this trip) I tried was spot on. The food was amazing as well. I tried a really different burger with peanut butter that was featured on Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives. It was surprisingly good. This place alone would have made the eclipse quest a success. The fact that the weather was basically perfect on eclipse day made this hands down one of the most successful road trips I’ve ever done.

4 kegs

The Triple XXX Family Restaurant
You can see how packed it is on the inside.
Some historic pictures on their wall
A menu from the 1940s

My burger (chopped steak) with onion rings and a root beer.
Apr 032024

Another trade with anthony. Bowl & Basket is a ShopRite brand, which was something I didn’t know about before I went looking. They don’t have Shoprite anywhere I regularly visit so I’m rather out of the loop when it comes to what they offer. They’ve got all sorts of taglines on their label, “Quality Assured” “Small Batch Crafted” “Cane Sugar Soda” and more, which is ironically typical of generic store brands. Each bit of text has a different font and size for some reason, I get not trying to be monotonous but it is a little all over the place. But they at least put it in glass so I can’t really complain because I get to review it.

The Body is sweet with a classic, yet generic flavor. There’s some vanilla and wintergreen though it isn’t very creamy. The Bite is prickly yet mild on spice. The Head is medium tall and fizzes away at about a medium speed. The Aftertaste is a sweet vanilla.

It’s a generic but pleasant and refreshing brew. As expected from a store brand with a bunch of generic taglines. But it isn’t unpleasant and assuming it’s cheaper than the other gourmet root beers, it could be what you get in a pinch if you’re stocking up for an event where you don’t like the people that much? I don’t really know. It was fun enough to drink. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs
Mar 062024
Seal of Approval

I do love a seasonal root beer. I love root beer in general and then that variation that is flavored root beers, but seasonal flavored root beers are much more rare so they make me happy in a way that few things can. Parlor I’ve reviewed before. They do a fine job with their original and butterscotch root beer. Every fall they also release their pumpkin root beer, which is done in partnership with Blackcraft Clothing. They specialize in goth, cult, witch type clothing stuff, which fits the theme of Halloween. I got this in a trade with anthony, which is good because I didn’t want to mail order a whole case and they don’t sell it local at all. While I’ve had good experiences with Parlor, the only other pumpkin spice root beer I had didn’t turn out too well, so I was cautious coming in.

The Body is sweet and rich with a strong pumpkin spice complimenting a solid classic root beer core. It’s really delicious. The Bite is amazing with that aforementioned spice, clove being the prominent but others backing it up. The carbonation is good and it finishes smooth. The Head is great, tall and frothy. The Aftertaste is vanilla and clove and really quite pleasant.

Wow! This is a fine brew. I really love that pumpkin spice they’ve got. Parlor has done it again, took their classic, solid root beer flavor and amped it up to a work of art. The subtle pumpkin and the strong spice really make for my now most recommended Halloween brew and my favorite Parlor offering yet. Shame I can’t get it year round. See how it rates against other root beers.

4.5 Kegs