Sprecher Brewery tour paradise for this root beer fan

Sprecher Brewery tour paradise for this root beer fan

As I wrote in yesterday's post, my wife and I used a weekend trip to Milwaukee to take a tour of Sprecher Brewery, which makes my favorite root beer in the world.

Like many things in life, I didn't recognize root beer soda for the awesome drink it is when we first met during my childhood.

"This doesn't taste like anything I've had before, thus I don't like it," was my initial impression. When offered the choice between a root beer float and a Coke float, I would laugh at the mere suggestions that I would ever go for something as heinously untasty as a root beer float over the tried and true Coke float.

As I grew up and realized that not all strange things were terrible – such as food made without peanut butter, non-animated movies and girls – I also came around to root beer.

Now, I love the stuff. And Sprecher Root Beer Soda is my favorite.

The tour itself was unremarkable. A bunch of vats, a non-moving conveyor system, screaming kids all around. That pretty much described it. But at the end of the tour I was allowed to have all the free samples of Sprecher root beer and various sodas as I wanted.

It was heavenly.

Root beer, cherry cola, orange soda, ginger ale – all made with local ingredients and sweetened with honey. While not quite guilt-free soda, it's the closest I can come to that nirvana.

Yes, I went back for a couple of refills.

As we left the brewery, we stopped by the gift shop and loaded up on Sprecher sodas to take home. Now, they are sitting in our refrigerator, waiting to be consumed.

And that makes me a happy Joe.

• Joe Grace is a writer and  journalist who lives in Chicago with his wife. If you haven't yet, please like Going for Gusto on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

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