A survey of root beer brands from Missouri to Georgia.

My wife and I will be on vacation starting next Monday (29 August, 2022. ) We’re going to visit my family in Southwest Missouri for a week or so, then drive east to Georgia to visit the woman my wife has been penpals with for over forty years.

Traveling means I won’t have time or equipment to fiddle around with electronics or old sewing machines.

Rather than just let the blog slumber for three weeks, I thought I’d combine our trip with my favorite beverage and the blog.

I’ve lived in Germany for over thirty years now, but I’ve never developed a taste for beer - despite the innumerable breweries and all the people who tell you how delicious beer is if you just ignore the taste long enough to get used to it.

I’ve maintained my native taste for root beer. I drink a lot of Coca Cola because there’s (almost) no decent root beer to be had in Germany. I used to be able to buy A&W root beer at a (somewhat) local gas station, but it closed sometime last year and has been torn down. I never understood why a gas station no where particularly close to any of the American armed forces posts sold root beer, but they did - until they closed.

The stuff German companies produce and call root beer isn’t what I call root beer. Germans in general don’t like root beer. There’s a kind of cough syrup here that (sort of somewhat) tastes a bit like root beer. Everybody who tries an America root beer says it tastes like cough syrup. It doesn’t, but I can see how they’d think so. At any rate, nobody wants to drink stuff that reminds them of being sick. The German made root beer really does taste like cough syrup - absolutely undrinkable.

What I’m going to do is to drink root beer from Missouri to Georgia and keep notes on all the different brands I find. National brand or local stuff, they’ll all go in a table with date, location, a short description, and a photo of the bottle or can (or an advertisement sign for the fountain sodas.)

Since there’s a rather drastic shortage of soft drink flavors in Germany as well, I’m going to also keep notes on the various other drinks I find - I haven’t had a cream soda in years.

One table for root beer, another for random yummy soft drinks.

Date Place Root beer Picture Description
29.08.2022 airport, Houston, Texas Barg’s root beer, fountain Barg's root beer, fountain Unexpected stop - our flight was supposed to be Frankfurt, Germany to Chicago, Illinois. That flight was canceled and we were rerouted through Houston. Barg’s fountain has a strong vanilla flavor. Barg’s is a national brand.
30.08.2022 Lamar, Missouri A&W root beer, plastic bottle A&W root beer, plastic bottle A&W is another national brand. Not bad, not really super. Just an unsurprising root beer you can get anywhere.
2.09.2022 Old Route 66, Gay Parita Sinclair gas station, Ash Grove, Missouri Route Beer 66, glass bottle Route Beer 66, glass bottle Specialty root beer, sold only along the old Route 66. Tastes like root beer hard candy - sweeter, and with a stronger taste of root beer than other brands.
3.09.2022 Hollister, Missouri OKC root beer, can OKC root beer, can “Craft” root beer made in Oklahoma. Tastes good.
4.09.2022 Branson, Missouri MUG root beer, plastic bottle MUG root beer, plastic bottle Another national brand. Ok.
6.09.2022 Nashville, Tennessee IBC root beer, glass bottle IBC root beer, glass bottle We used to get IBC in Missouri when I was growing up. Even a few years ago, I found IBC around Springfield. This trip I couldn’t find any until we got to Tennessee.
Date Place Soda Picture Description
31.08.2022 Lamar, Missouri A&W cream soda, plastic bottle A&W cream soda, plastic bottle Like the root beer, A&W cream soda is OK but not great.
5.09.2022 Mountain View, Missouri Fitz’s black cherry, glass bottle Fitz's black cherry, glass bottle I think it tastes more like maraschino cherries, but whatever kind of cherry flavor it is, it is good. Some vanilla snuck in with the cherries - yummy. Despite Fitz’s being a Missouri brand, I’d never heard of it before. The company is from St. Louis, Missouri, but going by the deposit charges marked on the bottle it is sold all over the USA.

Our current plans are to be in the Springfield, Missouri area from 30 August until 5 September. From 5 September to about 9 September we’ll be traveling from Missouri to Georgia (with stops for sight seeing along the way.) The rest of time until 15 September will be about an hour’s drive north of Atlanta.

Edit 25.09.2022: We ended our trip early and went home on September 9. We did visit my wife’s pen-pal for a couple of days, but decided not to go hiking or sight-seeing. We weren’t feeling well, and really wanted to get home. Once we got home, we discovered that we’d picked up Covid somewhere along the way. The rest of our vacation was spent lazing around the house and recovering from the virus. Fortunately, neither one of us had a bad time with it. We are both vaccinated, which I think helped make the infection mild.