I found a really weird but great place to buy root beer if you're ever in the south metro - Ace Hardware in Burnsville. It opened a few months ago and I went in to get some caulk and saw a glorious row with about 50 different kinds of soda! It's mostly root beers but also some cream soda, ginger beer, and others...
On Thursday night, I was heading back to St. Paul from south of the Metro, and I thought I'd swing by and check it out. It's right on County Road 42, just past the Burnsville Mall on the north side of the road, so it's only about a mile from the 35E / 35W split.
I walked in and a woman asked if she could help me. I smirked a bit and said "I heard you have a lot of root beers..." She smirked back and said "Follow me..." We stopped at this:
|37 kinds of soda on this side...|
|... and 46 more kinds on this side.|
Doing the math, they had 88 different kinds of soda!! There are 84 different kinds picture above between those 2 photos, and they had another small shelf of 4 different kinds of slightly cheaper root beers. Oh, and I guess they had a refrigerated case in the front of "normal" sodas like Mountain Dew and Dr. Pepper, but I'm not counting those.
I started filling a box, thinking I'd get maybe a dozen different kinds. (There's a price break at 6 bottles and at 24 bottles.) Well, the first time I stopped to count how many bottles were in my box, I already had 20. So I figured I'd grab 4 more and get the "24 bottle discount." (I saved about $0.25 / bottle by getting 24.) Here's a photo of what I bought once I got it home:
The woman who lead me to the sodas and chatted with me as I picked out my selection mentioned that a good dark rum is GREAT with Birch Beer, so I'll have to try that some time.
Oh, and just so I remember what 24 kinds I bought, here's a list of what's in the box:
- Route 66
- Sea Dog
- Caruso's Legacy Robusto
- Sioux City
- AJ Stephans
- Dog n Suds
- Capt'n Eli's
- Malta Goya Malt Beverage
- Diet Cheerwine
- AJ Stephans Cream Soda
- Nesbitt's Orange
- Sioux City Birch Beer
- Route 66 Lime Soda
- Route 66 Black Cherry
- Faygo Rock & Rye
- Cock n' Bull Ginger Beer
- Jack Black's Blood Red Cola
- Jarritos Mexican Cola
- Apple Beer (the brand and flavor)
- Flathead Lake Wild White Grape
- Coco Fizz Chocolate Soda
- Empire Bottling Works Banana
- Flathead Lake Granny Apple
(Next time I stop by, I'll bring this list to make sure I don't get any repeats...)