I loves me some root beer. I might go so far as to say I have an unhealthy obsession with root beer. I am pretty sure I have allowed my love of root beer to limit my life ("I'm not going there, they only have shitty root beer") and it has probably interfered with my relationships ("we are not friends if you drink that kind of root beer"). With some small measure of shame, I will admit that I even like one of the commercially available brands of root beer, and I actually became distressed in the aftermath of last summer's hurricane season that said brand might become less available due to the damage done to the city which it claims to be made in (I later realized that they must have manufacturing plants all over the country, right?), to the point that I had to be talked down from buying some cases of it at the store. I rank most root beers based on days of the week. Yes, I am a little bit crazy. I am not for root beer like some people are for beer, I am for root beer like some people are for sherry cask aged single malt scotch.
To that end, I present my list of...
GOOD ROOT BEERS (and not so good root beers)
Friday root beer (the best easily available brand): Journey Root Beer. Actually I love all Journey bottled beverages.
Saturday root beer (really quite good, if mellow): Virgil's. I had a keg of this for my last birthday. At one point I just opened the spout of the keg over my mouth. AUGAHGAUGAHGAUGAHGAUGAHGAUG
Thursday root beer (acceptable if somewhat uninteresting): Thomas Kemper. A little too mild for my tastes, I like my root beer to be a little bit aggressive and mysterious.
Sunday root beer (it will do in a pinch, but it's much too boring for me): Henry Weinhard's.
Tuesday root beer (I hate Tuesdays. If you serve me this, I will no longer be your friend.): IBC. I'm serious. This stuff is CRAP.
The single acceptable corporate brand: Barq's. I drink it when there is no other root beer, or if I am getting lunch at a fast food restaurant.
And finally, THE ROOT BEER THAT IS SO GOOD IT TRANSCENDS MY RANKING SYSTEM: the root beer I had at the McMenamin's Cornelius Pass Roadhouse, which as I understand it they brew themselves. Now, normally I hate McMenamin's, with their crappy service and their overpriced food and their soggy french fries, but THIS IS THE ROOT BEER THAT THE GODS DRINK WHEN THEY ARE NOT TOO BUSY DRINKING AMBROSIA. If they serve root beer in heaven, this is what it is like.
If they do not serve root beer in heaven, then I'm not going.