Take an adventure with me as I travel West and slightly NW from Columbus for another Ohio root beer day trip to the Dayton area and Marysville!
Similar to my first root beer day trip, this adventure totaled 4.25 hours of drive-time but only 4 stops instead of 6. Also similarly, not all were root beer stands, including one brewery and one pizza restaurant!
Ohio root beer day trip, round 2:
As is my MO, we hit up the furthest location first, and looped back around to Columbus. Again, I don’t normally review non-bottled root beer but I’ve been bending the rules for these adventures. To remind you of how my rating scale works, a 3 is good, not crazy amazing but good, and that’s my baseline to where I assess each root beer, going up or down on the scale based upon more specific characteristics. Got it? Good!
And we’re off! The first stop as you can tell from the map was…
J&E Root Beer Stand
You might be asking, why didn’t we go there on our last adventure? We did in fact stop in Dayton last time, but they had yet to reopen for the season. Voltzy’s Rootbeer Stand is another located in Dayton that we have yet to visit, but they are temporarily closed after the owner passed away (sincerest condolences). But back to J&E.
The J&E Root Beer Stand is labeled as a “hot dog joint” and serves homemade root beer, but there’s more to their menu than just that. With reasonable prices you cannot go wrong. We ordered the mini corn dogs, double cheeseburgers, and fries. Unfortunately I forgot to ask for the root beer without ice (iykyk), but thankfully we drank it fast enough to not let the ice melt too much. It was creamy and similar profile to A&W, which is makes it a solid 3 classic good root beer.
Our second stop was…
Warped Wing Brewing Company
But it’s a lie! If I had known they existed I would have stopped here as stop #2 based on their location on our route. But I didn’t discover that they made root beer until shortly after our journey. However, I have since acquired a six pack of their root beer so I am including it on our day trip list anyway!
The root beer was creamy but had a little zesty bite from the bubbles, medium carbonation and flavor. I’d give it a 4!
The location itself is a microbrewery in a historic, industrial building with a tasting room offering creative beers & tours. They have been testing their housemade root beer for a few years now but it was only available on draft. After seeing a growing demand they finally decided to bottle it starting just last month July 2021! They also hope to expand to other flavors soon.
P.S. Apparently it has hit Columbus markets as well.
P.P.S. While writing up this post I also found out about Wot-A-Dog Drive-In located just NE of Dayton which has homemade root beer. And while Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop (originally from Pittsburg) was on my radar in Chillicothe, there are several other locations such as Troy, Miamisburg, and Middletown near Dayton. But there’s also one near Cleveland and I have to travel up there soon anyway.
But our actual second stop was…
B-K Root Beer
There are a lot of B-K Root Beer Stands in Ohio, including another location just north of the Troy location I visited in Piqua. After a quick Google search, apparently it is an independent chain of drive-in fast-food restaurants, located in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The B-K stands for “Bergerson & Kenefick” and the first location was Wabash, Indiana in 1940. To be honest, we thought their logo was suspiciously similar to A&W and assumed it used to be one, at least the location we visited.
Random tidbit: they sold the “BK” trademark to Burger King in the late 1980s but later abandoned in 2016. However for some reason they were denied re-registering the trademark in an effort to support the remaining 35-ish locations.
Either way I had their cheeseburger and root beer – and remembered to ask for it without ice. It was also creamy and tasted very similar to J&E’s root beer, so again a solid classic root beer of 3/5.
The final stop was…
Fun fact, it started out as a Frostop Root Beer stand. Although the first location of the franchise opened in Springfield, OH in 1926 and is still headquartered in Columbus, OH there are sadly no locations left in Ohio. But you can find it bottled and for sale around town.
I wish Benny’s Pizza was located just a little bit closer to Columbus. It’s an incredibly lively setting with a huge patio, a bandstand, and an outdoor bar. When we arrived, a band was indeed setting up and people slowly trickled in for what looked to be a fun evening. Unfortunately we had other plans so we did not stick around. But we did enjoy the complimentary popcorn, Hawaiian pizza, and house made root beer!
The person who referred me to Benny’s Pizza for their root beer assured me that they know what’s up and don’t serve their root beer on ice, so I didn’t request it, but unfortunately it was. So I removed it haha! Once cleansed of ice, the flavor was creamy with a hint of anise and low carbonation – 4/5! Great way to end the day.
After all that, I already have my next Ohio root beer day trip planned! Actually I have most of the rest of Ohio planned, and in the end all my routes will turn into what looks like a flower with Columbus at the center. Check back to see my other adventures!
More root beer in Ohio:
Three years ago: RumChata Root Beer Float
Six years ago: Sassy Shirley Temple
Seven years ago: Blueberry-Cherry Buckle
Eight years ago: Healthier Cookie Dough Fondue
Nine years ago: Goat Cheese Ricotta Gnocchi with Walnut Thyme Butter Sauce
[…] SW Ohio to root beer stands, one of my favorite grocery stores, and breweries. I actually posted a second trip, another in WV, and have a couple more backlogged that I need to share […]
[…] Back in March I planned the best Ohio day trip – at least in my opinion. We drove 2 hours south to Cincinnati on the hunt for root beer (also check out my other root beer day trips: Dayton Area Round 2). […]
[…] Ohio Root Beer Day Trip, Round 2 (Dayton area) […]
How on earth do you find all these root beer makers? I am not aware of home made root beers around here or Rochester but they seem to be everywhere around Columbus!
A lot of digging on the internet and a few suggestions from others in the know! There are a couple in Rochester that I know of: Rhorbach and Fiz. I am sure I could find more if I invested the time, same for TN!