Sep 012018

Minnesota State Fair Root Beer Barrel

So as you know, I was at the Minnesota State Fair this past weekend on a quest for a root beer stand review. Over the course of five hours of walking basically every part, I came to a happy realization. In addition to the food-on-a-stick, animals, rides, cookies (oh those fresh cookies), and exhibits, there was another overarching theme. And that is root beer. I made this discovery as I first trekked to The Root Beer Hut I saw a root beer barrel stand. I was very amazed and curious. I went to see if they had their own root beer. They said no, but had IBC in their fountains along with other sodas. Someone told me it was actually A&W, the dispenser itself said Mug, but it doesn’t matter. They weren’t advertising soda, they were advertising root beer. There was more than one of these barrels that I found (3 maybe) just out there selling root beer. There was The Root Beer Hut and The Red Barn Root Beer by the same family. I also found a surprise root beer stand, the German Root Beer stands (review coming Wednesday). There was a 1919 root beer stand, and a shaved ice stand with a big barrel advertising some craft brewed root beer that I’d never heard of. It’s clear, that root beer is just as much a feature of the Great Minnesota Get-Together as anything. Minnesota truly is the right place for a root beer gourmet like me. So if you’re in the area and love root beer, get on down to the State Fair!

The Root Beer Hut

The Root Beer Hut

The Red Barn Root Beer

The Red Barn Root Beer stand

Shaved Ice Stand Root Beer

The shaved ice root beer. I don’t know the brand. I’ll investigate more next year.

Shaved Ice Root Beer

It’s a shaved ice stand, not a root beer stand, so no review … yet.

The Minnesota State Fair 1919 Root Beer Stand

The 1919 Root Beer stand, the most grandiose by far. (Review of 1919 coming in the future)

Schneider's German Root Beer stand.

Schneider’s German Root Beer stand. The surprise root beer at the fair for me.

German Root Beer stand

The other German Root Beer stand. Same owners, same unique family recipe since the 1940s.

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.