The neat thing about traveling the country, is finding products that I cannot find in my own neck of the woods. I was at a Stater Bros grocery store in Southern California yesterday when I spotted a 4-pack of Thomas Kemper Root Beer. I have heard a lot about this root beer, but have never seen it in a store in Michigan. This root beer first appeared on the scene in 1990. Andy Thomas and Will Kemper were looking for an alternative to serve at an Oktoberfest celebration. The root beer was a big hit at the celebration. In 1991, the company was formed in Portland, Oregon. Since then they have created many other flavors including vanilla cream and black cherry.
One of the unique things about this root beer is that is is sweetened with no just cane sugar (which they switched to in 2008) but also honey. The honey comes from local bees in the Pacific Northwest. Here is the full ingredient list: carbonated water, cane sugar, maltodextrin, honey, caramel color, natural flavor ,sodium benzoate (for freshness), gum acacia, phosphoric acid, salt, and vanilla extract.
This is a good root beer with a hint of vanilla and spice. It starts with a foamy head that does not endure very long. The carbonation was good. The honey was a nice touch. It's good, but not great. It has several good attributes but nothing that stands out as being great.
Where to Buy
I purchased a 4-pack at Stater Bros in Lake Forest, California. I have also seen it a Big Lots store in Southern California
You can purchase Thomas Kemper Classic Grape Soda online from the Old 52 General Store. They sell over 300 different flavors of glass bottled soda. Their physical store is located in Sabin, Minnesota.