I finally made root beer last Friday using this recipe, my first batch of homebrewed soda. Served it to dinner guests on two days later and it was a hit with everyone. My significant other noted the licorice/anise flavors as well as the cinnamon; my friends enjoyed the vanilla notes. I wasn't sure if I liked it at first, it was nothing like I'd ever had before, but I definitely enjoyed it more as the week went on. (I finally finished it just this evening.)
I did however use the bottling method that Polly mentions of putting it in a 2-liter plastic bottle from David B. Fankhauser's website http://biology.clc.uc.edu/fankhauser/...
The only alterations I made were adding 3 cardamon pods, approx 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, lemon rind instead of orange (the amount given is vague - "1/8" wide" but how long?); and I was short on brown sugar so I had to mostly use white sugar but added extra molasses (2 tablespoons per cup.) I am definitely ready to make another batch and continue experimenting and playing with flavors; the next time however I will use organic rapadura sugar from my local co-op, which is raw sugar in which the molasses has not been stripped out and still contains all the trace minerals. It is less sweet and more subtle in it's flavor.
I had no problem getting all the ingredients I needed (roots, etc) from either my local co-op or from Mountain Rose Herbs online; most everything I used was organic.
The yeast I used was Red Star Champagne yeast.