Jun 242020
 

A pints of Barney's Drive-In Root BeerSeal of Approval This past Saturday I had to get out. This lockdown stuff since March, I’m going a little crazy not having the life of travel adventures anymore. At the same time, I recognize that I need to be safe about things and stay away from people as much as possible. I know restaurants are starting to open but only for take-out, and I thought, there’s gotta be some root beer stand out there where you can just grab your food, eat on a picnic table or something. A little searching and sure enough, an hour an a half south of me, in the town of Waseca, I found Barney’s Drive-In. They still do car hops and have some picnic tables out in the sun for those who don’t want to eat in their cars (I for one am not eating in my new Tesla). Plus they make their own root beer and serve in frosty mugs. Exactly what I was looking for. So after walking around some lakeside parks in Waseca for a bit, I pulled into the drive-in and ordered root beer and a Coney dog. Now they have three sizes of root beer, but only the medium comes in a glass pint mug, the small and large come in plastic mugs, for some reason. They also let you order half gallons and gallons to take home. This is a root beer stand in every sense of the word. I, of course, got the medium glass mug.

The Body is extremely sweet with that classic root beer stand flavor which entails a lot of vanilla and some spices. Those spices make for a nice Bite when coupled with the good carbonation. It also finishes quite smooth. The Head is medium height decently frothy, if you ask them to make it that way. The Aftertaste is sweet, creamy vanilla that lasts and lasts.

Excellent brew. Just what I have been missing in my life lately. It might be a little too sweet, and could use some more complexity, but still, amazing stuff that I’d quaff to my heart’s content. Thankfully (sadly?) they don’t give free refills or I’d probably have drank myself sick. The foot long bacon cheese Coney was amazing too. This place is a must visit for all root beer and classic fast food lovers.

4 kegs




Barney's Drive-In

Barney’s Drive-In

The Barney's Drive-In Sign

The Barney’s Drive-In Sign

A bacon cheese foot-long Coney dog with a mug of root beer

A bacon cheese foot-long Coney dog with a mug of root beer. There is no better summer road trip food.

Sep 252019
 

A frosty mug of The Drive-In Root BeerSeal of Approval This past weekend was my Birthday! To celebrate I wanted to go get root beer and since it was my Birthday, I could pick that for my party. So I piled the family in the car and we drove up to Taylor Falls to visit The Drive-In. It’s an old root beer stand that got its humble beginnings as a Frostop stand. While no longer affiliated with Frostop and with their own house recipe, they didn’t repaint the big Frostop mug eternally spinning in their sign. I think it’s kind of funny. But anyhow, they got car service and carhops in poodle skirts and serve that classic root beer drive-in fare with their brew served in nice frosty mugs. They also have a mini-golf course and they are a short walk from a beautiful state park with glacial potholes. But I was there first and foremost for root beer.

The Body is very sweet, and rich and creamy with some nice vanilla. It’s got that classic drive-in flavor which I love. The Bite has good spice and carbonation. The Head is very short and doesn’t last very long, sadly, which is its biggest flaw. The Aftertaste is a strong vanilla with a little sassafras.

Yum, yum. The classic creamy root beer stand brew. I love it. Though this doesn’t really stray from that classic formula in any way, the execution is near flawless so it’s a real treat. The biggest flaw is that tiny Head, which almost kept it from a Seal until I asked them to specifically make it foamy on my second mug, which they were able to. The food is great too. Locally sourced and fresh made. Their signature Drive-In Burger is much like their root beer. Classic, traditional, and very delicious. This place is well worth the visit and was a great birthday present.

4 kegs




The Drive-In

The Drive-In. A wonderful 1960’s style root beer stand.

The Drive-In Burger

The Drive-In Burger. Two 1/3 lb patties with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. Best crinkle cut fries I can remember.

Jun 262019
 

A frosty mug of Big A Root Beer Drive-In Root BeerSeal of ApprovalFresh off my weekend in Duluth, I found myself in Sacramento, with another root beer target on my mind, Big A Root Beer Drive-In. I’d known about it for awhile but this trip saw me with enough time to make the hour and fifteen minute drive up to Grass Valley. Their website doesn’t give a lot of information about them, other than they make their own root beer fresh and it’s creamy and real and draft and seriously, that’s a little long for a name. Anyways, the building itself looks like an old A&W Drive-In, which makes sense. Sharing my adventure was my grandma, some aunts, and my mom, who happened to be in Sacramento that day.

The Body is sweet and rich with a classic flavor that is overflowing with delicious vanilla. It’s so sweet and smooth you feel you could just take a bath in all that vanilla. The Bite is subtle, with a nice blend of spices complimenting the Body and it finishes very smooth. The Head is excellent. Tall and foamy. The Aftertaste is a sweet vanilla that lasts and lasts.

Wow! After nearly 420 root beers, it takes a lot to impress me, yet, after my first drink, I was so overcome that I blurted out “Oh wow! It’s good!” The free refills are bad news, because before I knew it, I’d downed three 20 oz mugs of the stuff. I couldn’t help myself. It was so amazing. If there’s anything at all lacking in this brew, it could use a little more Bite, just a little, and it would achieve perfection. As it stands, I’d say that this is probably the 2nd highest rated 4.5, just a hair below 5. The food at the place is top notch as well. I asked for recommendations, and took the deluxe bacon burger with avocado and a side of pesto garlic fries. I was in heaven. This place is a must visit, if you are a root beer fan. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and plan a trip to Big A Root Beer Drive-In right now!

4.5 Kegs




The Big A Root Beer Drive-In

The Big A Root Beer Drive-In

Deluxe bacon burger with avocado, pesto garlic fries, homemade ranch dressing, and one of the most amazing root beers you’ll ever have.