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The Finger Lakes Root Beer Bucket List

Find locally crafted and unique root beer in the Finger Lakes

Of the all the sodas that exist in the world, root beer is arguably one of the most celebrated. Here in the Finger Lakes, there are a bunch of places making their own for those wanting a nonalcoholic option. Each recipe is slightly different and every brewer has their own little nuanced flavors making the entire list an adventure.

A Root Beer Trail would be a good idea obviously, but you’re probably not going to be able to hit all of these in a day. In fact you probably can’t even do the whole list in a weekend! Instead, use this guide as somewhat of a “Bucket List”. Meander your way through the region over time and eventually try each one.

Since this list isn’t really meant to be a “trail” that you follow, these places are listed alphabetically. If you’re looking for other types of soda, try this list of sodas made in Upstate New York.

Abandon Brewing Company

Penn Yan, New York

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This rehabbed old barn in Penn Yan sits high up on a hill with a gorgeous view out toward Keuka Lake. Abandon Brewing Company is a popular craft brewer in the Finger Lakes, but they also have food and their own root beer. You can get a glass on draught right at the bar.
 
Root Beer at Abandon Brewing Company in Penn Yan

Brew & Brats

Naples, New York

 
At the northern end of the town of Naples you’ll find both Arbor Hill Winery and Brew and Brats in the same parking lot. Both locations have become a destination for folks both local and afar. Brew and Brats is an Austrian-style brewery serving up their own beers alongside a simple menu of traditional German brats and sides. They also brew their very own root beer, which is available on draught at the restaurant. You can have a glass on site, or fill up a growler to go!
 
Root Beer at Brew and Brats in Naples, NY

Fiz Pop

Rochester, New York

 
Fiz Soda and College Club are kind of a historic brand here in Rochester. While they don’t have a taproom to set up and have a soda, they are sold nearly everywhere all over the region. If you’re looking to taste every root beer created in the region, a Fiz will need to be part of your journey.
 
 

Fleur De Lis Brew Works

Seneca Falls, New York
 
 
You’ll find Fleur De Lis just about ten minutes south of Seneca Falls. This brewery is a favorite for locals for a few reasons. They have an amazing grounds to hang around in the summer months, a long line of celebrated beers, and the overall encompassing family atmosphere of the whole business. Putting them among the few who make it their business to offer a craft soda, they’ve been making their own root beer in house since opening in 2017. They’ve got it on tap right at the bar if you want a glass. Or, they’ll fill 16 ounce cans on the spot while you watch!
 
Fleur De Lis Brewworks Root Beer Finger Lakes

Iron Heart Craft Soda

Geneva, New York
 
 
Iron Heart soda is a brand founded by the folks at Three Brothers Winery. They have been canning their own soda for almost a decade now. While their soda line has expanded, one of the first they started with was a root beer. You can buy a can on site to drink, but these are also sold all over the Finger Lakes in restaurants and markets.
 

Ithaca Beer Company

Ithaca, New York
 
 
One of the original root beers of the Finger Lakes! This is another company that has expanded their soda line, but started right out of the gate with a root beer. You can get this on tap at their bar/restaurant in Ithaca or buy bottles in their store. You can also find these sold in four-packs in markets all over the region.
 

Mac’s Drive-In

Waterloo, New York

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As one of the few remaining historic drive-ins you’ll find in this region, there are many reasons to visit Mac’s. Located right on historic Route 5, as soon as you roll up you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Their classic menu hasn’t changed much since they opened in 1961, because it doesn’t need to. Locals know this is the spot for a burger. Earning them a spot on this list though is their root beer offering. They serve Richardson’s root beer, which is a brand founded in 1915 as Richardson Corp by a couple brothers in Rochester. Due to some legal snafus (their original recipe included a safrole, now known as a carcinogen) they had to change up their recipe. Mac’s is one of the few places you can find this unique root beer. Plus, it comes in a frosted mug, and there’s two different sizes. The smaller is only a $1.50 and the larger is $2.00. That’s a steal!

Richardson's Root Beer at Mac's Drive In in Waterloo Finger Lakes

 

Rohrbach Brewing Company

Rochester, New York
 
 
As the first craft brewery in Rochester, these guys have become one of the favorite local beers. Their line is always expanding and they’re regularly pushing the limits on making their offerings even better. To round out their craft menu, they also make their own root beer in house you can get on draught.
 
Root Beer at Rohrbachs Brewing Company

Tom Wahl’s

Avon, New York

 
A house-made root beer is pretty special, but Tom Wahl’s raises the bar. At the Avon location you can still get a frosted glass mug to fill with their root beer. Does a frosted glass mug make an already tasty root beer even better? Yeah, it kinda does. This one should not be missed!
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Special Consideration

Nine Spot Brewing

Rochester, New York

 
This one is kind of a special addition to the list that true root beer fanatics will appreciate. Nine Spot Brewery in the city of Rochester doesn’t actually make a root beer, but they do make a birch beer! Should a birch beer be on a Root Beer Bucket List? Does the city of Rochester count as the Finger Lakes? Does any of that really matter?