Jul 042018

A frosty mug of Ace Drive-In Root BeerBack in Chicago this past week with a rental car and no coworkers coming with me to dinner. This was a perfect time to venture further off the beaten path in search of root beer excellence. About 40 miles south west of Chicago lies the city of Joliet, which I think is still technically a suburb. There, one can find the tiny Ace Drive-In, owned and operated by the same person for the past 38 years. This place is a classic root beer stand in every sense of the word. They still have car service, which was the first time I’ve ever had the waitresses come to my window with a tray. They still make their root beer in house, poured from a tap and served in frosty mugs. They only take cash and they don’t give receipts. The whole place is beautiful and wonderful and a true blast from the past.

This has a classic creamy root beer Body but with only a little spice and nothing prominent to jump out at you. It’s well balanced, but seems a little lacking. There is a similar situation with the Bite, which is mild yet also not overly smooth. Some more spices could really improve this. It also has a decent Head, both in height and frothiness, but alas, it is a little shorter and fizzes away a little faster than ideal. Such it is with the Aftertaste as well, which gives but the slightest bit of vanilla to remind you of what it could be.

So the root beer is good, but I guess disappointing because everything else here was so amazing, I was hoping for a blow-me-away-amazing brew, instead of a solid standard type. I ordered a Chicago style hot dog and cheese fries and they were delicious. I should have ordered a second dog probably because it wasn’t huge. All and all, this is a great place, well worth the trip, even though the root beer on it’s own doesn’t quite merit it.

Three kegs

Pierson’s Ace Drive-In. A classic root beer stand in every sense of the word.

The menu on the wall. I would love to try it all.

A happy root beer reviewer, getting car service for the first time in his life. Yummy hot dog and cheese fries with a frosty mug of brew.

Jun 272018

A pint of Logan's Root BeerLast week I was in sunny hot Phoenix for sales demos with some Phoenix companies. It was my very first time there (as with most of these trips of mine) and the thing I was amazed the most by were those saguaro cacti (catuses?). I’ve only really ever seen them in movies, and suddenly they were everywhere, just like in the old Western movies. What fun! But wait there’s more to this trip then just DERMS and cacti (cactuseses?). There was root beer! Several places actually showed up on my initial search, but time was limited (as was the patients of my coworkers I imagine), so I could only hit up one. I chose Sunup Brewing Co, the makers of many a brew and mead and Logan’s Root Beer. I don’t know why it’s called Logan’s, I didn’t ask and their website is devoid of any mention. I’ll postulate that Logan is some teetotaler or child who either made or inspired the creation of the brew. Either that or they just love Hugh Jackman movies… Anyhow, the root beer!

The Body is sour and fruity on the initial contact. Very fruity. After a bit that gives way to a rather generic creamy root beer flavor lacking in spices. The Bite is smooth and without much complexity. It has a nice Head that is very foamy and tall. The Aftertaste is some nice, smooth vanilla.

Ugh, that sour fruity. I can’t get past it. I mean, it’s a decent brew underneath that, but when the whole package is considered, that just ruins it. Sorry guys. We had some spicy artichoke dip and chips there, and it was yummy, but went elsewhere for our dinner so there’s nothing else to say about this place other than it’s got some character.

2.5/5 Root Beer Kegs

Some awesome barrel in front of their restaurant.

The Sunup Brewing Co. taps.

The Sunup Brewery. It’s pretty big. Hard to fit into one photo.

Jun 202018

Mr. D'z Root Beer Bottle More Route 66 root beer, though this time they decided to dispense with the puns. They are probably all taken anyways. Mr. D’z is a diner on Route 66 in Kingman, Arizona. They’ve been there since the year 2000 and they do all of the things you’d expect from a Route 66 diner like hosting car clubs, having a gift shop, and of course, making their own root beer. The label is an embodiment of the diner, with the classic food, cars, and root beer itself. The “D” is for somebody by the name of Dunton, from Dunton and Dunton, but the website doesn’t explain this connection. Additionally, I don’t know who actually bottles this stuff, as that detail has been left out as well. Many a mystery with this brew, perhaps it’s worth dispatching my favorite detective. My good pal Sagai, The Root Beer Tracker sent me a bottle to review, which is fortunate since it doesn’t appear to be sold online anywhere. And, though I love a good road trip for root beer, Arizona is a little too far.

The Body is creamy with a nice caramel flavor but also a hint of fruity. There’s a nice Bite from the spice that isn’t too assertive. The Head is short but not “two-second” so. The Aftertaste is a light vanilla with some caramel and fruity hints.

Shame about that fruity. It really takes away from a pretty decent brew. It’s not so bad as to make me recommend avoiding this altogether, but I think it’d be best to have this with your food down there. See how it rates against other root beers.

Three kegs