Skip to main content

Root Beer ... AND... NYC Midnight Round 2

FenCon--- Day 1

Made it to Dallas around 3-4p this afternoon and while milling around, waiting for the room I reserved to finally pass inspection so I could unpack my suitcase, I realized how overwhelmed I was by the sheer level of activity. There were so many panels to choose from, so many cliques of authors, readers, Steampunk devotees, etc, that I couldn't see which way I was walking.

I finally settled into my room, with the intent of clearing my head and accepted that I would probably not be attending the 3 panels I had asterisked on my program guide for today.

I was/am okay with that... I'm in Dallas, things will get better....

Annnnnd, the evening became much, much, much better.

     For anybody that may ever stay in the Dallas Crowne Plaza hotel... you MUST have McArthur's (hotel restaurant) Sweet Chocolate Creme Brulee... with raspberries.... It. Is. Heaven... in a ramekin! I spent an entire hour trying to stretch the experience of it.

And, as if I didn't have enough sugar... the 10pm panel (that I refused to miss) was a Root Beer Tasting!

In the 1 1/2 hr tasting, we sampled 19 different root beers, and I discovered something about my "root beer palate"--- I'm not so big into the "medicine-y" tasting ones... the ones that reek of licorice (anise)...I'm also not so big into the ones that have a harsh bite (extra strong carbonation). Some of the Root beers we were introduced to, I will probably never taste again as they aren't sold online or shipped outside their respective city/state.... so this was quite a treat.

Some of these will be familiar names... I rated using (+,--) symbols....

A&W Root Beer..... +
IBC Root Beer..... +++
Boylan's Root Beer...... --
Fitz's Root Beer..... ++
Virgil's Root Beer..... +
Hank's Premium Philadelphia Recipe Root Beer.....+++
Waialua Root Beer.....+
Dog n Suds Draft Style Root Beer.....-- --
AJ Stephans Old Style Root Beer.....+++
Rat Bastard Root Beer.....+
Saranac 1888 Root Beer.....+++++
Stewart's Beverages Original Root Beer.....++
Sprecher Root Beer Soda.....+++
Sioux City Sarsaparilla.....+++
H-E-B Old Fashioned Root Beer..... +++
Henry Weinhard Premium Draught Style Head Root Beer.....++
Empire Bottling Works Sarsaparilla.....++++
Milllstream Old Time Rootbeer.....+++
Purple Cane Road Root Beer.....+++++

Nearly all of the Root Beers were pleasantly nice. There were only 2 that received a negative rating from me... and that's because these both tasted like caramel-flavored Nyquil. Dog n Suds Draft Style Root Beer actually made me gag--- blergh!

My two absolutely favorite Root Beers were Saranac and Purple Cane. The whole room of panel attendees marveled when the moderator pulled out the bottles of Purple Cane Road as they were corked in a beautiful blue, burgundy shaped bottle...

Moderator "uncorking" Purple Cane Road

Such a subtle flavor,
and only a handful of ingredients
Beautiful blue bottle

But, as I will probably never taste Purple Cane Road Root Beer as it is one that isn't shipped out or on-line for purchase, I'll have to say that my FAVORITE Root Beer of the evening was Saranac 1888 Root Beer... it had such a clear, caramel flavor--- in fact, it only had about 4 ingredients (which I found a clear indication of how much I liked the Root Beers) and didn't  try to complicate the flavor by adding things like wintergreen and ginseng and kava kava---- there were "Root Beers" that made a point to stand out from their peers by their complexity and I felt this completely destroyed the flavor.

The Best Root Beer, ever!!!


And, at Midnight, on the dot, I received the NYC Midnight email assigning our genres, locations and objects for Round 2.

I was sitting in a very populated bar/restaurant in the lobby of the hotel, using their WiFi, trying to digest all the Root Beer that was fizzing in my stomach, when the email came down. It took every concentrated effort to keep from laughing out loud when I read my assignments. I couldn't get over the irony....

Assigned genre: Sci Fi --- while I'm attending a Sci Fi/ Fantasy convention----
Assigned location: A Doctor's Office --- had they heard about my ankle incident??
Assigned object: A loaf of bread --- ??? really ???

This should be interesting..... 


  1. Thanks for the tips re the Root Beer, and the NYC Midnight sounds very cool. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but the best of luck!

  2. Hips :) So many rootbeers! And I never had one!

  3. A root beer tasting! Brilliant!

    When I was a kid, we used to brew sassafras tea, and someone we knew had a root beer recipe using the same plant. As I recall, I...didn't like it.

    Which is an anticlimactic end to the tale.

    Hope this finds you well!


Post a Comment

Share your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Y is for Yeth Hound.....

Yeth Hound--- one of the incarnations of the "Black Dog" myth, this one located specifically, in Devon, England.

"Black Dogs" appear in myths across the world, most are associated with death and bad omens... i.e. Hell Hounds.

The Yeth Hound is said to be the spirit of an unbaptised child that takes the form of a headless black dog. The Hound wanders the woods at night making pitiful wailing sounds (though, I'm unclear as to how it makes wailing sounds without having a head).

The Black Dogs were possibly one inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ghost dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles-- "an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen."

Heed Not, the Lonesome Cry
Heed not, the lonesome cry, the baleful wail echoing through the woods. Seek not, the black hound's sigh, look not where the headless creature stood.
One sound, your limbs will shake, your heart filled with the deepest dread. One glimpse, your sou…

B is for Banshee.....

Irish bean sidhe and Scottish Gaelic bean sith, literally, woman of fairyland.

The mythology and legend surrounding the Banshee is a bit mixed. The most readily accepted story is of a hag-like creature wailing the impending death of someone nearby-- most ancient Gaelic families, especially the more well-to-do families, had their own Banshees that attached themselves to the lineage of the family name. I suppose it was a sign of station for a family to be able to claim their own Banshee--- I mean, who needs an exciting/ tongue-wagging-inciting skeleton in your cupboard when you've got a Banshee wailing in your rafters?
The origins of the more familiar Banshee may have stemmed from the ancient Keeners-- women who were employed to sing a lament at a funeral. The best Keeners were in high demand to "wail" and "weep" for the great personage who had fallen.

The Great families would boast a bean sidhe or bean sith-- a fairy-woman Keener--and having foresight, the Keene…

S is for Siren.....

Sirens--- the beautiful, the terrifying.
Vicious, but, seemingly opportunistic creatures who lured sailors to their deaths by the sound of their captivating songs. Whether the stories of these creatures were a result of surviving sailors attempting to explain their near-miss in an effort to divert the fault of their shipwreck from their hands, or whether as a warning for those leaving to ensure their fidelity to the women they left behind, is unclear...

Considered the daughters of Achelous(river god), and though they have been blamed for the death of many sailors, they were not, however, sea deities. They have sometimes been called Muses of the lower world, their sad song causing the body and soul of those sailors who hear them to fall into a fatal lethargy.

In early myths, Sirens were the combined form of birds and women. Sometimes with a large female head, their bodies covered in bird feathers, their feet...scaled. Later myths show them as female figures with the legs of birds, tho…