What is your favorite root beer?
I'm going to a family reunion and had the idea to bring home-brewed root beer (my dad and I both used to make it). However, since we will be traveling 1000 miles in July heat, I decided that transporting the bottles would be asking for trouble.
Back-up plan: buy some really good commercially bottled root beer, possibly a selection of brands. Since I'm running out of time to buy and sample, I would greatly appreciate input on quality brands that won't be too hard to track down out here in the west.
I tried researching "best of" lists online, but I couldn't find two that agreed with each other. Brands often mentioned at or near the top of lists were: Boylan, Stewarts, Hanks, Virgils, Henry Weinhard, Saranac and IBC.
Are you a root beer connoisseur? What is your favorite? Why? Where do you buy it? Bonus points if you can direct me to a home-brew-style root beer (dryer and slightly alcoholic because of fermentation).
Thanks in advance for your help!