May 012024
Seal of Approval

Last month I set out on a quest to view the total solar eclipse. If you’ve never seen a total solar eclipse, I cannot recommend it enough. Partial eclipses are neat, but really, absolutely, nothing like a total eclipse. Having that proper understanding, yet living outside of the path of totality, I determined that a quest must be had. I pragmatically picked the closest major city I could drive to without having to pay exorbitant hotel fees. And thus I decided on Indianapolis. Once that was decided the next objective, root beer. I stopped in Wisconsin Dells on the first day to visit the National Root Beer Museum. The second day the family and I had the lunch destination of the Triple XXX Family Restaurant. The last official Triple XXX root beer stand in existence and the first Drive In to open in Indiana, in 1931. The place was packed but we got in after a 30 minute wait and ordered food and brews. The place has the classic diner feel you’d expect, with waitresses with big pitchers of root beer filling up anyone in need. And a good thing too because that root beer is great.

The Body is sweet and rich and creamy with a nice vanilla flavor accenting the classic root beer stand taste. I almost want to say there’s some honey in it? The Bite is mild and smooth, could use a bit more spice but I still like it. The Head is medium and frothy. The Aftertaste is a nice sweet vanilla.

It’s that classic drive-in style I love. I know that the bottled version I tried way back when was kind of an inconsistent mess, but every mug (2 and a half of them this trip) I tried was spot on. The food was amazing as well. I tried a really different burger with peanut butter that was featured on Diner’s Drive-Ins and Dives. It was surprisingly good. This place alone would have made the eclipse quest a success. The fact that the weather was basically perfect on eclipse day made this hands down one of the most successful road trips I’ve ever done.

4 kegs

The Triple XXX Family Restaurant
You can see how packed it is on the inside.
Some historic pictures on their wall
A menu from the 1940s

My burger (chopped steak) with onion rings and a root beer.
Mar 062024
Seal of Approval

I do love a seasonal root beer. I love root beer in general and then that variation that is flavored root beers, but seasonal flavored root beers are much more rare so they make me happy in a way that few things can. Parlor I’ve reviewed before. They do a fine job with their original and butterscotch root beer. Every fall they also release their pumpkin root beer, which is done in partnership with Blackcraft Clothing. They specialize in goth, cult, witch type clothing stuff, which fits the theme of Halloween. I got this in a trade with anthony, which is good because I didn’t want to mail order a whole case and they don’t sell it local at all. While I’ve had good experiences with Parlor, the only other pumpkin spice root beer I had didn’t turn out too well, so I was cautious coming in.

The Body is sweet and rich with a strong pumpkin spice complimenting a solid classic root beer core. It’s really delicious. The Bite is amazing with that aforementioned spice, clove being the prominent but others backing it up. The carbonation is good and it finishes smooth. The Head is great, tall and frothy. The Aftertaste is vanilla and clove and really quite pleasant.

Wow! This is a fine brew. I really love that pumpkin spice they’ve got. Parlor has done it again, took their classic, solid root beer flavor and amped it up to a work of art. The subtle pumpkin and the strong spice really make for my now most recommended Halloween brew and my favorite Parlor offering yet. Shame I can’t get it year round. See how it rates against other root beers.

4.5 Kegs
Jan 032024
Seal of Approval

Last month I was in Atlanta for my final work trip of the year. It’s been a rather busy one with over 100,000 miles of air travel and probably two full months in hotels. But anyhow, I was finally done but had one last DERMS hurrah to be made in a new city so once again ended up dragging my coworkers out for a brew. The Red Hare Brewing and Distilling have a brewery and a still in Atlanta, and one was rather close to my hotel. They don’t really have an “about” section that I could find on their website so I couldn’t tell you much about them other than that. But they also make a root beer and a grapefruit soda and serve them on tap. Their food was all Cuban themed, which is not what I expected from a brewery/still in Georgia, but that’s what it was.

The Body is sweet and rich with a classic, yet complex flavor. There’s a bit of licorice but not much, a bit of vanilla too, but not quite as much as I’d prefer. It is well balanced and quite delicious. The Bite is spicy and fizzy and really delivers. The Head is short and fizzes down too fast but doesn’t completely fizz away, so that you still get foam throughout the whole drinking experience, which is just barely enough Head. The Aftertaste is sweet and mild and pleasant. Not really much of one thing nor another but farewell to the draught you’ve just had, making you want another.

Nice! It’s been awhile since I had a draft brew that made me want seconds, so this was quite welcome. I wish it had a big more Head, but all considered, this is a solid brew I’d recommend to anyone. Their Cuban food was really good too, and the portion size is enormous. So check this place out if you’re in Atlanta.

4 kegs
My Cuban Salmon Bowl with our appetizers and the Root Beer. It was a good meal
The Red Hare Taps, Root Beer on the far right