Aug 042014
 

SuperCharger
Two weeks ago I went to TMC Connect, the Tesla Motors Club conference and expo. If you’ve followed this blog, you’ll know that a lot of the draft root beers have been found while I was at conferences related to electric cars, being the expert that I am. So anyways, I was a panelist at TMC Connect and I had to find a way to Monterey, CA. I posted on the forum that if anyone wanted to carpool down, I would buy all of the electricity needed to get there. This was a joke, since Teslas can charge for free at the Superchargers. Either way, a fine fellow by the name of Paul driving from Vancouver, BC agreed to take me down.

The road trip experience in a Tesla is far different than what I was experienced with while growing up. In my youth we’d push and push, stopping only for gas and ten minute bathroom breaks. We’d cover a lot of miles but never really know much about what was in between Point A and Point B. Interestingly, for much of those trips Point A was in Washington and Point B was Sacramento. On this particular trip Sacramento was also our first stop over and I was thus fully able to appreciate the differences between the traditional road trip experience and the Tesla road trip of the future. Instead of pushing though, you need to stop every 150 miles or so to get a 30 minute charge. It was then that I realized that a Tesla with supercharging is the perfect for root beer hunting. Many of the superchargers were in places where craft root beers could be found.

Hop Valley Brewing Company near the Tesla Supercharger in Springfield Oregon

Hop Valley Brewing Company near the Tesla Supercharger in Springfield Oregon

Not far from the Centralia charger is Dick’s Brewery. Further south in Springfield the Hop Valley Brewery right next to the supercharger had their own root beer. There are several other breweries in Springfield and though I didn’t look to see if they had their own since I had already found one. In Grant’s Pass I was told that Wild River had their own root beer, and at the next stop in Mount Shasta I found Etna Brewing Company Root Beer at the supermarket near the supercharger. And these are just a few that are in the towns connected by superchargers on I-5. I’m sure that there were more places I could have found along the way, but root beer hunting was not the main objective of the trip, and I’d already had good success. None of these places we’d ever even stop in when I was a kid driving to Sacramento, and many cool experiences were likely lost. While it does take longer to road trip in an EV, I think the experience is far superior, as it forces you to enjoy everything in between.

Additionally, the idea of extremely cheap to free travel suddenly makes root beer questing guilt free and enjoyable. There are numerous breweries and root beer stands only a few hours from me but the cost doesn’t seem to justify a solo trip. With an EV, especially a Tesla, that isn’t a concern. It is my opinion that the future of automobiles is EVs, and as far as root beer questing is concerned, it’s going to be a great future indeed.


Dec 162013
 

Root Beer cans and bottles in Saudi Arabia
This last week I had the immense pleasure of traveling to Dhahran in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to do more electric car academic things, presentations and a thesis defense. I of course was on the look out for the greatest soft drink the world has and ever will known/know. I was simultaneously hopeful and worried. Hopeful, because all alcoholic beverages are banned and so many beer companies make 0.0% malt beverage to sell there, and worried because none of my Saudi friends have ever liked root beer. And also because the internet filter put on by the government blocked my site. I assume it is due to the “beer” in the title of Eric’s Gourmet Root Beer Site and all of the talking of root “beer”. I did send an unblock request explaining the misconception so hopefully it will be taken care of soon. Either way, it didn’t bode well for root beer finding.

I searched in every grocery store and cafe I encountered, and while I did find many new and strange sodas and malt beverages, root beer eluded me until the second to last day. I had gone to Safeway in search of a post card (also something nigh impossible to find). In the soda section I saw cans of imported A&W, my heart was swollen with joy, but not as much as when I turned the corner and saw another display with bottles of IBC. A drinkable gourmet root beer in a regular grocery store. A most triumphant win for the good people of the Kingdom this is. With any luck it will catch on and they’ll start making their own version for me to review. Until then, all root beer lovers heading out that way for extended periods of time can rest easy in the knowledge that some gourmet brew is awaiting.


Sep 202013
 

MysteryBrew

I just noticed that I’ve tried 204 root beers at the time of this posting. To celebrate the 200th root beer (which hasn’t posted yet) I decided to have a contest. Be the first person to guess which root beer was my 200th and I’ll send you two bottles of any root beer I have available to me (anything at The Root Beer Store, Pallino, Joe’s, Dublin Texas). Be the first to guess the correct root beer and the date the review will post, and I’ll give you 6 bottles of root beer.

Rules:
1 Guess per person
Guess must be emailed to me at rootbeergourmet@hotmail.com
Guess must include the name of the root beer and the post date

Hints:
While the blog posts only post once a week, bottled root beers are added to the ratings tables as soon as I write up the review and every bottled root beer I’ve ever tried can be viewed there.
Not every root beer that’s in the ratings tables have blog post reviews written for them yet (sorry, I’m working on it)
The 200th root beer may be a Draft or Keg Root Beer, Growler Root Beer, or a Root Beer Stand Root Beer, and if it is, it would have come from the Puget Sound area and not from some random place from my many travels.
All the clues regarding the brew and how to figure out what and when have been previously given on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere on the site.

Happy hunting!