During a business trip last week to St. Louis, I stumbled across a barbeque joint near my hotel which was offering Fitz's Rootbeer in the bottle. After having just seen a six pack of Fitz's Rootbeer on display in the airport as part of a Delmar Loop advertisement, I was intrigued.
According to the company's website:
Fitz’s American Grill & Bottling Works sits in the heart of the Delmar Loop, a ten-block section of distinctive stores, shops and even a renovated movie theater dating back to the 1930’s.
A small hamburger joint may seem like an unusual place for the birth of a root beer legend. But Fitz’s Drive-In is exactly where it started in 1947. Noted for incredible smoothness and thick, creamy texture, Fitz’s Root Beer was served in mugs and quickly became the root beer of choice among St. Louisans.
It still is. Our recipe is a closely-guarded secret and contains many of the ingredients used in the original. Unlike most soft drinks, Fitz’s continues to use pure cane sugar. The old-fashioned goodness of Fitz’s must be tasted to be believed. Curb service and thirty-cent hamburgers may be a thing of the past, but the distinctive, satisfying taste of Fitz’s Root Beer lives on.
So back at my bbq joint (Bandana's was the name of the place), I bellied up to the bar, ordered a mixed plate of pork and beef bbq with beans and cole slaw and a tall bottle of Fitz's.
Still suffering from the lingering effects of a cold at the time, I can't provide the most accurate notes but what I did get from the bottle was a high quality taste, clean from the use of cane sugar and with a fair amount of a wintergreen, minty element that I like in root beer. Others may find it too "toothpasty" but it worked for me.
I always enjoy trying some of the local flavors wherever I am, and I'm happy to have discovered this interesting St. Louis gem of a soda.