Sunday, February 24, 2013

A New Place to Get Root Beer in the South Metro!

About 2 months ago, someone named Mike sent me an e-mail. Here was the first part of his note:

Hey Steve,
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:

Frattallones Ace Hardware's soda selection in Burnsville.
37 kinds of soda on this side...

Frattallones Ace Hardware's soda selection in Burnsville.
... 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:

Sodas from Frattallones Ace Hardware in Burnsville.

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
- Frostie
- 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...)


  1. There's a couple there I haven't heard of! Birch beer is an acquired taste (well, as is root beer), with what seems a "slippery" mouthfeel. AJ Stephans is probably too high-end gourmet for you, but Sioux City sure isn't.

    Malta Goya and Jarritos can be found with some others in mercados in St. Paul - you'll have to do some shopping on the West Side!

    1. I've been "warned" about Birch Beer. I've had Sioux City Sarsaparilla, so I'm hoping their other varieties are good too! I haven't seen Malta Goya before (I haven't looked), but I've seen Jarritos around like you mentioned. Some markets on University have those too! And thanks for the warning about AJ Stephans - I'm learning I don't have "fancy" root beer taste... :)