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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!


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