Dec 012021

Potosi Root Beer BottleSeal of ApprovalI’ve been searching for this for a long time. I’ve known about it for years but could never actually get a hold of it. Then finally, when I went to the Museum of root beer grand opening, they had it on tap, but I wanted to drink lots of other root beer there as well, so I didn’t drink it. But they also were selling bottles which solved everything. I bought two. Potosi is made in Potosi, WI, where the National Brewery Museum is, evidently. I’ve never been there but I assume they give this to non-beer drinkers who go visit the museum. It says on the bottle that all profits go to charity. I assume that means the Brewery Museum, but maybe there are also other charities. It doesn’t say. I don’t really care. I just want good root beer.

The Body is full flavored with honey, sarsaparilla accented by a bit of vanilla. It’s super sweet and sticky as well. I like it. The Bite is spicy with a decently smooth finish. The Head is supremely tall and foamy so pour carefully. The Aftertaste is honey and aged sarsaparilla. I wish there were a bit more vanilla to it, but it’s still really good.

This is quite nice. I like it. Good honey, smooth finish. Shame there isn’t more creamy vanilla but I could drink this, a lot. Now I feel I should visit that brewery museum, or at least just drink this on tap next time I see it. See how it rates against other root beer.

4 kegs

Nov 172021

A mug of Nutty Bar Stand Root BeerSeal of ApprovalBack in July I took a road trip down to Okoboji, IA in part because I’ve never been down there and in part because I had learned about The Nutty Bar Stand. The Nutty Bar Stand is a sweet shop/concession stand in Arnolds Park, the oldest amusement park west of the Mississippi river. Arnolds Park has all of the rides you’d expect albeit it they are rather smaller and old. But it’s still good fun and the lines were short and the children and I had a blast running around to different rides until it started raining on us. It was lunchtime anyways so we took a break and then went for dessert at The Nutty Bar Stand. They serve two primary things there. Nutty bars, which are a cube of vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and then rolled in peanuts, and frosty mugs of root beer, for only $1 a mug. Now that I like! Especially because it’s good root beer.

The Body is sweet and creamy and rich. There’s that classic root beer stand flavor with a hint, of nutty? Something almost nutty in there, and it works and it’s good. The Bite is nice and spicy. The Head is what you’d hope from a stand like this, tall and foamy. The Aftertaste is vanilla with a slightly nutty finish.

Yum! A slightly more complex, nutty take on the classic root beer stand flavor. I don’t know if they nutty is intentional or just the result of mixing the root beer in a place that also has a lot of nuts, but it really added a uniqueness to the whole thing. Even without that it was a fine brew and the makers should be proud. So head on down to Okoboji if you can, get some cheap yummy brew and ride some rides and feel like a kid again.

4 kegs

The Nutty Bar Stand Root Beer Barrel

The Nutty Bar Stand Root Beer Barrel

The Nutty Bar Stand

The Nutty Bar Stand at Arnolds Park

Nov 032021

Saint Paul Brewing House Made Root Beer
Last week that esteemed root beer collector Vince was in town and had some brews to trade with me. He was staying near Saint Paul so I did a quick search and found that Saint Paul Brewing made their own root beer, so we could meet there and give it a try. I don’t know why Saint Paul Brewing calls it House Made Root Beer! with that exclamation point, but that’s what’s on their menu so I dutifully call it so. They also say that it is root beer with bite, so maybe it’ll be spicy. The brewery (brewing?) itself is made in the ruins of the old Hamm’s Brewery, which was closed in 1997. They’ve reinvigorated it and turned it into the sort of trendy place that’s all the rage these days. They even have a sweet pizza oven but I wasn’t there for pizza so we got our pints and gave it a try.

The Body has a very strong wintergreen flavor in the old fashioned style. There’s a bit of vanilla and a lot of spice. The Bite is sharp, which seems to be their goal. The Head is quite short, but it is there. The Aftertaste is bitter. Too much wintergreen so it ends quite bitter indeed.

Wow, a lot of Bite, but very bitter for a root beer. Maybe beer drinkers would appreciate that but I certainly did not. This isn’t really a brew I’d ever drink, not even with pizza. Which sadly, we didn’t have time to try due to tight schedule constraints. Maybe I’ll go back there some day, probably not, but at least it looks really cool.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs
Saint Paul Brewing
The root beer tap
The outside seating area with the pizza oven in the back of an old truck. It’s got atmosphere for sure.