This is my summary of the root beers I've tasted. I include sarsaparillas in this list because they're pretty darned close to root beer, plus it's lots of fun to say "sarsaparilla". There are lots of microbreweries for root beers, just like for alcoholic beer, so there are many brands that I haven't sampled yet. Ah, so many root beers, so little time.
Sometime in the indeterminate future these pages will feature a voting slip where you can tell me what you think of these beers and can see what other people think. (Some day, I might do pages for cream soda and ginger beer too.) But for now, these are my opinions only. Please keep that in mind before you send me a misspelled flame message. You have your version of reality, I have mine.
Biggest recent news is that I was interviewed for an article in San Francisco's daily rag, the SF Chronicle. Apparently now root beer is considered gourmet (pronounced "gourmette") and thus is newsworthy. You can read the article online.
In older news, The Gist chose these pages as a pick of the day for Wednesday, March 5, 1997. Here's the text of their review:
It's a modest little root-beer site, but we think you'll be amused by its presumptions. It begins with a mild tang as it articulately describes the critic's parameters for describing and evaluating two dozen canned and bottled root beers. It progresses to a nicely undersweetened body with good bite. Among its favorites: the brands IBC and Pearson Bros. (Of the latter: "Full-bodied with an interesting, spicy/sweet taste. . .slightly of cloves and mint- a peculiar yet beguiling combination.") Among root beers to return to the sommelier: Snapple Tru Root Beer ("light bite but no body or taste. . .aftertaste is like cough syrup"). And as an everyday table root beer? The mass-market A&W ("Medium tang, full-bodied. Spicy, too-sweet taste. A small kick and a light, sugary aftertaste. . .a 'bread and butter' root beer"). Waiter, we'd like the duck confit, an appetizer of escargot, and a bottle of your finest Fanta. - Frank Lovece
Here's what I've got on these pages: