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.

Sep 052018

A glass of Schneider's German Root Beer Still at the Minnesota State Fair, after I’d visited The Root Beer Hut I figured it was time to hit up all of the fair essentials, like roasted corn, big fat bacon on a stick, Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar, etc. After I’d gotten my corn and was waiting in line for my bacon (which I dual wielded for awhile), I saw another root beer stand. Schneider’s German Root Beer. Mind blown, two root beers for me to review when I only expected one! This was going to be an epic fair. I decided that I should walk the whole grounds (since I’d just recently had a 32 oz Challenge Root Beer) and catalog all of the root beer stands at the fair. After about 4 hours of wandering, I was ready for review Round 2. Schneider’s German Root Beer was established in 1947 using a family recipe. Like the Challenge Root Beer, it’s only available at the State Fair from one of two stands. I assume the one I visited was the first such stand.

The Body is very spicy and reminds me of a root beer barrel candy. There’s some vanilla with a slight fruity tinge as well. The Bite is spicy with good carbonation and a relatively smooth finish. The Head is a medium height but lacks staying power. The Aftertaste is a spiced vanilla.

This is pretty good. I better than the Challenge Root Beer, though more expensive. You get what you pay for I suppose. There still was a fruity tinge, and that keeps it from a Seal for me. But it’s yummy all the same and is sure to go well with all of that salty stick food you’ll be buying at the fair.

Three and a half kegs

Schneider's German Root Beer stand.

Schneider’s German Root Beer stand. A bonus root beer at the fair for me.

German Root Beer stand

The other German Root Beer stand.

Aug 292018

Cup of Challenge Root Beer from The Root Beer HutThis past Saturday was the first weekend of the Minnesota State Fair! The Great Minnesota Get-Together! Since it’s my first time being a Minnesotan during the state fair … wait, can I be a Minnesotan? Like, I guess I’ll always be a Washingtonian, despite where my residency currently is … er … My first time living in Minnesota during the State Fair (that sounds more accurate), I had to go. Also, because I knew there was a root beer stand called The Root Beer Hut that makes their very own Challenge Root Beer, only available during the Fair. So I made a beeline to the Hut, through record crowds with root beer first and foremost on my mind, all other fair fun secondary. They serve their brew out of wonderful wooded barrel taps which is very cool. I lament the lack of frosty mugs, but for root beer stands such things can be forgiven.

The Body is very sweet with a fruity tinge that makes me think of brown sugar. It’s got that classic root beer stand flavor with less vanilla than normal. The Bite is pretty mild though spices are present and it has decent carbonation, yet, it isn’t very smooth. The Head is short and doesn’t last. The Aftertaste is a light vanilla with a fruity tinge.

It’s decent, but nothing special. It’s a fine fair drink, and is reasonably priced unlike many things you’ll find at fairs. After my review I found out that the same family runs another root beer stand at the fair, the Red Barn Root Beer which also serves their Challenge Root Beer. Root beer is actually quite a prominent feature of the fair, but I’ll get more into that in the next post.

Three kegs

The Root Beer Hut

The Root Beer Hut

The three root beer taps on the keg dispenser.

The three root beer taps on the keg dispenser.

The Challenge Root Beer Keg

The Challenge Root Beer Keg

My root beer being poured out

My root beer being poured out.