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Root Beer

January 28, 2009 | Charles Perry
Root beer is back. That's right, root beer -- the dark brown stuff, cola's elder brother, the foundation of that most perfect of soda fountain drinks: the root beer float. Not too long ago, you were lucky to find more than a couple of brands of root beer anywhere. Today, if you look around, you can choose among old favorites, regional brands that have become available here and a raft of novel brews that expand the very definition of root beer. (For good or ill.
January 7, 2013 | By Jay Jones
People who haven't resolved to lose weight during 2013 may be up for a culinary dare during their next trip to Las Vegas . The Pub at Monte Carlo - inside the Strip hotel of the same name - is betting $29 you probably can't down an 8-pound cheeseburger plus a 32-ounce glass of beer (or root beer) within 45 minutes. If you can, the meal is on the house and they'll throw in a complimentary T-shirt. The Pub Challenge has been on offer for a little more than a year and of the 150 or so diners who  have dared to try, only three have succeeded in finishing the burger, which measures about 10 inches in diameter.
August 29, 1996 | ALAN J. WAX, NEWSDAY
Dark, frothy, spicy and as old as America itself, root beer is undergoing a revival in popularity, showing up in gourmet shops and alongside craft beers at brew pubs. Although considered a niche product by soft-drink marketers--it accounts for less than 3% of the $53-billion U.S. soft-drink market--root beer is barreling through the 1990s on the coattails of the growing craft brewing movement.
May 27, 2012 | By Ryan Ritchie
Let wine snobs snicker when they hear you spent a weekend at a vineyard in Temecula. I took a friend for an overnight stay at the South Coast Winery Resort & Spa (34843 Rancho California Road; [951] 587-9463), a 39-acre slice of nirvana where relaxation is inescapable. Twenty-four hours wasn't nearly enough time to enjoy the premises. The bed. I could tell you all about the 76 villas (rooms start at $209) at South Coast and how most come with a fireplace, private patio and a wet bar with a mini-fridge.
June 23, 1992 | BRUCE HOROVITZ
If it isn't good ol' Frank Bartles and Ed Jaymes. And say, isn't that Joe Isuzu? When viewers turn on their TV sets over the next few weeks, they'll be seeing these very familiar characters in commercials. But there's something different this time around. Those folksy guys who played Bartles & Jaymes aren't selling wine coolers any more, but under their real names, Dick and Dave, they are peddling subscriptions to Golf Illustrated. And Joe Isuzu isn't selling cars any longer.
July 23, 2004 | Lynne Heffley, Times Staff Writer
The Falcon Theatre has turned out to be a one-stop destination for family-friendly romps this summer. Complementing its well-received production of "Snoopy, the Musical" -- primarily a nighttime ticket -- the theater has added a sunny weekend afternoon treat for the younger crowd, "The Root Beer Bandits, A Rootin' Tootin' Wild West Musicale."
In a land where cola is king, root beer has been written off as second-rate suds for kids or a sugary recipe best left to home brewers with a nagging sweet tooth. * The deep, dark, frothy soda is an original American drink concocted at least a century before colas were invented, yet it commands just a tiny fraction of the national soft drink market, even with famous brand names like A&W, Barq's, Dad's, Hires and Mug. But the recent Coca-Cola Co.
July 18, 1994 | HENRY WINTER, The Independent of London
Argentine fans, spying a vending machine and having difficulty with English, recognized "beer" and fed in their money. They hated the root beer.
August 6, 1997 | DONNA DEANE
Remember how good A&W root beer floats tasted when you were a kid? This recipe is an attempt to re-create the flavor without the fat. The flavors tend to mingle better when the root beer ice is a little slushy. The vanilla ice is made with nonfat milk and evaporated skimmed milk, which give a sense of richness without the fat from the cream used in most ice creams. Real vanilla bean adds flavor, and nonfat egg substitute stirred into the milk gives a custard-like consistency.
July 27, 1995 | CHARLES PERRY
In an old-time Western, the good cowboy never ordered anything at a saloon but "sasparilla." The bad guys would snicker, because it was like bellying up to the bar and demanding a root beer. In fact, sarsaparilla is one of the traditional flavorings of root beer, along with other roots such as pipsissewa, a euphoniously named variety of wintergreen. (True sarsaparilla is a tropical South American vine.
April 11, 2011 | By Roy M. Wallack, Special to The Los Angeles Times
Charles Cicciarella, a 36-year-old e-learning specialist from Toronto, had been fat for as long as he could remember. He was a target of bullies during his school years and then ballooned in his early 20s when he began a lucrative career that enabled an immobile lifestyle. "I was so lazy that I'd get a cab instead of walking a block and have groceries delivered to me rather than shop," he said. "For air travel I'd get two business-class seats — or, better yet, take a private jet. " By age 29, Cicciarella was ordering McDonald's up to eight times a day and consuming three cases of root beer and a dozen gallons of butterscotch ice cream a week.
June 24, 2010 | Charles Perry
  Grand Teton Brewing Black Cauldron Lagers and light ales for summer, dark brews in winter. That's as much an established principle — or cliché — as white wine with white meat, red wine with red. But for its summer seasonal, Grand Teton makes the very darkest sort of ale, a Russian imperial stout. Let's play along and see what it's up to. Black Cauldron pours very dark, practically black, with a dark tan head. It has a slight citrus and dried-fruit nose, but this beer is really about roasted flavors (from two varieties of caramel malt and a little bit of rauchbier -style smoked malt)
July 25, 2009 | CHRIS ERSKINE
I've been giving it serious thought, and I'm pretty convinced spiders are taking over the world. Not that they wouldn't do a better job. In the kitchen, there's a web running from the skylight to the stove. It glistens in the morning light, which leads me to think it's fresh. Fresher than most things in our kitchen. In the yard, there are webs everywhere, mostly stemming from the giant magnolia tree. Trust me, there is no unemployment in the spider world.
January 28, 2009 | Charles Perry
Root beer is back. That's right, root beer -- the dark brown stuff, cola's elder brother, the foundation of that most perfect of soda fountain drinks: the root beer float. Not too long ago, you were lucky to find more than a couple of brands of root beer anywhere. Today, if you look around, you can choose among old favorites, regional brands that have become available here and a raft of novel brews that expand the very definition of root beer. (For good or ill.
September 3, 2006 | Amy Hubbard
Hood River, Ore. Oct. 7: In this land of forthright beer lovers, the Hood River Hops Fest brings together 35 regional breweries and four wineries. "They take their beer seriously here," said festival official Michele Sliwa. Adults can sample brews, homemade sodas, root beer and other beverages, as well as bratwurst, Mexican food and other fare served up by local vendors.
April 29, 2006 | Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writer
Roll up your windows; it's time to go home. Ontario's A&W drive-in, the last root beer stand in Southern California with carhop service, is closing Sunday. In the birthplace of fast food, where car culture is king, the carhop is going the way of the Model T. For 46 years, the curbside servers at A&W -- on and off roller skates -- have delivered their signature root beer floats in frosty glass mugs right to your driver's seat.
December 4, 1997 | Bloomberg News
More news from the root beer wars: Coca-Cola Co. claimed that its Barq's brand has surpassed longtime leader A&W to become the best-selling root beer in the $2-billion soft-drink category. Coca-Cola linked its increase to improved sales through restaurants and supermarkets. Cadbury Schweppes, which markets A&W, disputed Coca-Cola's claim, arguing that A&W is still America's favorite root beer. The two market leaders are joined by PepsiCo Inc.'s Mug brand atop the pile.
September 30, 1990 | CHLOE ROSS
IF YOU CAN IMAGINE A CROSS between an icy cold mug of beer and a root beer Popsicle, you've got an idea of what the tasty and refreshing beer sorbet at Lejonet & Bjornen Ice-Cream Parlor in West L.A. says when it hits your palate. But if brew isn't you, there are about 60 other flavors of sorbets and ice creams--including Creme de Banane, Tiramisu and Creme Caramel ice creams, and sorbets flavored in gooseberry, kiwi and a seriously puckery lemon.
September 18, 2005 | Diane Pucin, Times Staff Writer
Alvin Simon is 61. He lives a block away from the Los Angeles Coliseum. His chin stubble is white; his eyelids droop over his brown eyes. He wears a dirty white T-shirt and sagging jeans. He pushes a grocery cart. On top of the cart is his bike. The bike helps keep the overflowing contents of the cart from spilling back into the street. "Lots of cans and bottles," Simon says. "Dos Equis, they love that. Budweiser too. And Michelob. I think it's going to be a good day for me. Good day for me.
September 11, 2005 | Patricia Connell
Puyallup, Wash. Oct. 6-9: With oompah bands and other German music, a 50,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor beer garden (and kids' root beer garden), games, rides and scores of craft and food vendors, Oktoberfest Northwest ( is about as close as one can get to the old country on these shores. Next door, the region's Nordic roots are saluted at the simultaneous Scandinavian Heritage Festival. Puyallup Fairgrounds, 110 9th Ave. S.W., Puyallup. Free Oct. 6; other days $6.
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