Hot!Best Root Beer for Floats

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Midnights
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2013/10/27 23:09:09 (permalink)

Best Root Beer for Floats

What is the best root beer for floats? If you had food truck, what root beer would you serve on a food truck serving floats? (for the second question, the root beer would need to be readily available)
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    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 09:19:39 (permalink)
    I was always partial to "Dad's", but as I can't find it in Texas outside of curiosity shops I doubt if it is available in Denver.
    #2
    mayor al
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 09:58:03 (permalink)
    I would think any of the name brand root beers would be the draw to a 'sale' on a food truck business. I am no expert, but it would seem that Having "Dad's Logo, or A & W Signs with a photo ad to post would increase sales..  
     
    Sprecher's (Wisconsin) is my favorite, and I have just discovered they make a "Hard Root Beer". My daughter will deliver a couple of 4-packs with her holiday visit next month. Looking forward to trying it.
    #3
    phlmaestro
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 10:10:22 (permalink)
    I second the Sprecher's recommendation. I never pass it up, whether for a float or straight up, when I'm in one of the few Philly area places that offer it.
     
    Sprecher's, vanilla ice cream and a little chocolate syrup is my favorite way to make a root beer float.
    #4
    Midnights
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 10:19:22 (permalink)
    Dad's is actually available at CostCo in Denver (and many other stores). I'll have to try Sprecher's.
    #5
    Midnights
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 10:22:18 (permalink)
    When I was looking at rankings online, I was surprised at how high some of the mass-produced root beers ended up. A&W was right there at the top of most of the rankings. As I've had the fresh A&W root beer, and know the stuff in the can/bottle doesn't compare, I found this amusing.
    #6
    bartl
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 11:37:25 (permalink)
    A&W has a strong vanilla overtone which many people like. On the other hand, I have found that the Stop & Shop (a Northeast chain) has an excellent house brand with a similar (but not identical) flavor; I don't know who their supplier is.
     
    As an aside, I've actually made home-made root beer twice; once from Hires extract (which really came out nice) and once from scratch using sweet birch as a base (came out horrible).
     
    Bart
    #7
    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 11:42:47 (permalink)
    mayor al

    Sprecher's (Wisconsin) is my favorite, and I have just discovered they make a "Hard Root Beer". My daughter will deliver a couple of 4-packs with her holiday visit next month. Looking forward to trying it.
    Al, if you haven't yet tried Point root beer you might have her bring you some for comparison.
    #8
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 11:56:21 (permalink)
    Stewart's.
    #9
    Midnights
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 12:41:15 (permalink)
    Has anyone here tried brewing their own root beer?
    http :// biology.clc.uc . edu/fankhauser/Cheese/ROOTBEER_Jn0 . htm
    #10
    anthony_rootbeer
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 13:53:57 (permalink)
    since you are based in Denver i assume, i would recommend using a good local root beer, probably Rocky Mountain Soda Co, Tommyknocker or Zubberfizz, in that order,all of which make excellent floats.  i think it would increase the appeal and you could up the price a bit too.  if you can get it and those don't work out, i would go with Bulldog as it is excellent and available in CO also.
    i would shy away from the big names myself, it has less interest.
    i am not sure what reviews were seen where A&W and Mugg or Barqs were near the top, but i cant recall any and i have reviewed over 600 root/birch beers.
    #11
    Pancho
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 14:47:56 (permalink)
    Whatever happened to Hire's? That was always my favorite, including the WI brands available here. I kind of like the A&W at the store fountains in a frosted glass, but not the canned. Kind of off the topic, but I had one of these (ginger beer) the other night at a Madison restaurant. FANTASTIC!
    http://www.fever-tree.co.uk/drinks.php
    post edited by Pancho - 2013/10/28 14:48:58
    #12
    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 14:52:51 (permalink)
    There's a beer shop in Roswell GA (Ale Yeah!) that either has Sprecher's or Abita on tap for growlers.  Sprecher's is the better of the two for floats, and it's amazing.  I bring home a six-pack of Highland Oatmeal Porter and a growler of Sprecher's and everybody's happy.
    #13
    Phildelmar
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 16:03:15 (permalink)
    How about in the Pennsylvania/ Delaware region?
    #14
    Midnights
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 16:40:50 (permalink)
    Here's the ranking that really surprised me:
    http :// www . huffingtonpost . com/2012/03/30/the-best-root-beer_n_1391801 . html
    Here's another with some surprising results towards the top (like Shasta being right up there, and Hires coming in #2):
    http :// www . delicioussparklingtemperancedrinks . net/rbeer/Beers . html
    This blog post might explain much of why A&W is ranked high in many of the online rankings:
    http :// www . rootbeerbrothers . com/2011/05/a-root-beer-standard-but-why . html
    Perhaps it's that more of the people ranking put the old standards on their list, so they make every list. If most people rank something 5th, it will end up a whole lot higher than something that some people really hate and that some people really love.
    #15
    Big_g
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 18:13:51 (permalink)
    I agree about using local...think it would market well.  For taste...Dog N' Suds used to be my Favorite...now A & W fills the spot...and for bottled its either Dad's or A&W.  Now root beer is the only carbonated beverage I can handle..everything else is like eating alka seltzer.
     
    post edited by Big_g - 2013/10/28 18:15:07
    #16
    Treetop Tom
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 18:16:57 (permalink)
    A group of coworkers and I have occasional soda tastings - we tried 23 different root beers in a two-day challenge.  Round one went to Frostie while round two went to Abita.  We then did the two winners head to head in a blind test and Frostie won by a single vote.  I like Frostie because of its strong wintergreen flavor.  Although it was first made here in the Baltimore area, it is increasingly hard to find.  We can get Hires at our local Weis supermarkets and it is very good as well, IMHO.
    #17
    Twinwillow
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 18:48:08 (permalink)
    Maine Root is a young boutique "craft" bottler in Maine whose Maine Root Beer (amongst other flavored soft drinks) is very popular now in Texas. Made with pure cane sugar and no HFCS, if you can find it where you live, you might consider trying it.
    I know it's available at the Wholefoods stores.
    http://maineroot.com/sodas/root-beer/
     
    post edited by Twinwillow - 2013/10/28 18:49:40
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    Pancho
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 18:55:01 (permalink)
    Twinwillow

    Maine Root is a young boutique "craft" bottler in Maine whose Maine Root Beer (amongst other flavored soft drinks) is very popular now in Texas. Made with pure cane sugar and no HFCS, if you can find it where you live, you might consider trying it.
    I know it's available at the Wholefoods stores.
    http://maineroot.com/sodas/root-beer/

    Thanks! I think I'll cruise on over to Whole Paycheck tomorrow.

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    mayor al
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 19:22:25 (permalink)
    We used to use the Hires Extract to make batches of Root Beer (@ 40 years ago !!). It was fun, but a couple of batches exploded from over carbonization...flying glass in the pantry convinced us to halt the 'family activity.'
    BTW  for my favorite of all types of soda, tuen to  SPRECHER's Cherry Cola.  Unbelieveable flavor !!
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    phlmaestro
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 19:48:28 (permalink)
    Phildelmar

    How about in the Pennsylvania/ Delaware region?

     
    Zwahlen's, the frozen custard and candy shop a little west of King of Prussia, carries Sprecher's. So does Garces Trading Company, a restaurant on Locust Street in Center City. I think there is one other place that I get it at around here, but I'm drawing a blank on what it is.
    #21
    Phildelmar
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 19:54:57 (permalink)
    Thank you
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    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 19:57:00 (permalink)
    I can't help wondering why the brand of root beer would matter in a float. The ice cream is going to change the flavor anyway. It's like choosing a tonic based on its flavor when you're going to be pouring rum into it.
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    TJ Jackson
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 20:06:12 (permalink)
    F R O S T T O P
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    phlmaestro
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 20:13:08 (permalink)
    Phildelmar

    Thank you

     
    I just remembered. The other place I've bought Sprecher's at in Philly is Franklin Fountain, the ice cream shop on the 100 block of Market Street, near the historic district. They actually have a great, albeit expensive (like everything else there) selection of bottled sodas. They also carry Dad's.
    #25
    Pancho
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 20:51:55 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    I can't help wondering why the brand of root beer would matter in a float. The ice cream is going to change the flavor anyway. It's like choosing a tonic based on its flavor when you're going to be pouring rum into it.
    Or like ruining a perfectly good Red Bull with vodka! Seriously, I bet in a taste test nobody could tell the difference. I do like my floats with a creamy frozen custard even though they fizz and foam over. The little custard place here in town just hands you a cup of custard and a bottle of Sprecher's. Do it yourself!

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    Twinwillow
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/28 23:46:40 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    I can't help wondering why the brand of root beer would matter in a float. The ice cream is going to change the flavor anyway. It's like choosing a tonic based on its flavor when you're going to be pouring rum into it.

    Makes perfect sense to me.
    #27
    love2bake
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/29 00:24:41 (permalink)
    Some friends and I did a root beer float taste test in 2010 with about 6 or 8 different brands, including some of the big names, and the consensus of our group was that Frostie was the best in the float.  It's a fun "project," though, so why not try it yourself?
    #28
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/10/29 18:28:06 (permalink)
    mayor al

    BTW  for my favorite of all types of soda, turn to  SPRECHER's Cherry Cola.  
    Unbelieveable flavor !!


    O.K., your enthusiasm and the fact that Cherry Cola is my favorite pop has given me an itch to scratch. 
     
    Here is their retail locator.
     
    Happily, it is available fairly near me.  I'll give it a try.
     
    Thank you in advance!
    #29
    Midnights
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    Re:Best Root Beer for Floats 2013/11/02 14:17:52 (permalink)
    Michael Hoffman

    I can't help wondering why the brand of root beer would matter in a float. The ice cream is going to change the flavor anyway. It's like choosing a tonic based on its flavor when you're going to be pouring rum into it.

    After thinking about this for a couple days, I still don't understand this post. It's like saying it doesn't matter what vermouth you use in a martini because the gin (or vodka) will mask it anyway.  It's an absurd statement to say that because the flavors mix, that it doesn't matter about the components. It's also not like vanilla ice cream is an overpowering flavor. I do realize that with the mixing, different flavors come out, which is why I asked about which ones make the best floats (as this might be different from the ones that are best alone). But to say that it doesn't matter just doesn't work for me. If you can't tell the difference, that's your cross to bear.

    As far as the taste test goes, I'm going to do two rounds. I will be taking samples of all of the ones I can buy locally and testing them with a group of my friends. For the second round, I will take the top three and pit them against homemade root beer. For the homemade root beer, I will be using Zatarian's and McCormick concentrates, and the recipe recommended for floats in Homemade Root Beer, Soda and Pop by Stephen Cresswell.
    post edited by Midnights - 2013/11/02 15:50:43
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