Best Of 2013

Best Liquid Road Trip

Miller’s Hardware Store

143 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park

There are many reasons to sing the praises of Miller’s Hardware Store – the deep inventory, the fact that it’s locally owned and has served the area for more than 65 years, the fact that it was once known as “The Woman’s Hardware Store” – but here we’re confining ourselves to just one segment of the store: that amazing soda selection near the front door. A long stretch of shelving is packed (oh-so-neatly) with obscure regional pops from around the country. Bubble Up and Green River (a couple of Midwestern 7-Up forerunners) sit cheek-by-jowl with the beloved Southern Cheerwine, Chef Bruce’s gourmet ginger ales, and various jokey fizzes like Ale81 (“a late one!”) and Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer (non-alcoholic, alas). Even if we’ve no need of a hose clamp or a socket wrench, we’ll still drop by Miller’s for some banter with the awesome clerks and a dose of
carbonated nostalgia.