Root beer – a deliciously sweet and refreshing beverage that has captured the hearts of millions across North America. This iconic drink, with its rich history and diverse range of flavors, has become a staple in the world of soft drinks.
Have you ever wondered about the different types of root beer brands and the unique flavors they offer?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a flavor journey, exploring the top classic root beer brands, craft root beer brands with one-of-a-kind tastes, unique flavors, healthier options, and regional favorites with a local appeal.
Whether you’re a root beer enthusiast or just someone curious about this beloved beverage, this guide will provide you with valuable insights into the world of root beer and inspire you to explore new flavors.
So grab a frosty mug and let’s dive in!
- Explore 20 of the best root beer brands of 2023, from classic favorites to craft brews and healthier alternatives.
- Discover unique flavors like butterscotch, mint & anise, vanilla & wintergreen and more!
- Enjoy root beer on its own or in floats/cocktails – it’s a delicious addition to any meal!
Top 5 Classic Root Beer Brands
A&W, Barq’s, Mug, IBC, and Dad’s are the most well-known root beer brands in the US, with a rich history of production and distribution. Each brand has its distinct taste that sets it apart from the others.
A&W offers a sweet and creamy flavor, while Barq’s root beer is known for its strong kick. Mug root beer provides a smooth and creamy experience, IBC strikes a balance between body and bite, and Dad’s root beer boasts a copper/brown flavor.
These classic root beer brands have been around for quite some time, earning their place among the all-time favorites.
A&W, an American root beer brand founded in 1919 by Roy W. Allen, is famous for its sweet and creamy taste. Available in the US and Canada, A&W is made with real cane sugar and a unique blend of herbs, bark, spices, and berries. This creates a delightful flavor profile that has made it a staple in the world of soft drinks.
A&W root beer is perfect for enjoying on its own or paired with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a classic root beer float.
Barq’s root beer, created in 1898 by Edward Barq, is known for its strong kick and high caffeine content. Originally called “Root Beer,” Barq’s quickly gained popularity for its bold flavor and unique taste.
Now owned by The Coca-Cola Company, Barq’s continues to be a popular choice among root beer lovers. Its rich flavor profile makes it a standout among other root beer and a must-try for anyone seeking a more intense root beer experience.
Mug root beer, originally marketed as “Belfast Root Beer” in the 1940s, was later renamed to “Mug Old Fashioned Root Beer” before finally becoming “Mug Root Beer.”
Now produced and sold by PepsiCo, Mug root beer is known for its smooth and creamy flavor. Its unique taste sets it apart from other root beer brands, making it a favorite among those who prefer a more subtle and balanced root beer experience.
Enjoy! Mug root beer on its own, or mix it with a scoop of ice cream for a delicious root beer float.
IBC Root Beer, established in 1919, is a well-known brand that offers premium quality and a satisfying richness. Currently owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper, IBC root beer is made with a blend of natural flavors and pure cane sugar, providing a delightful taste that sets it apart from other brands.
IBC also offers diet root beer and cream soda, catering to a variety of preferences. Try IBC root beer on its own, or pair it with your favorite dessert for a delightful treat.
Dad’s root beer is known for its unique copper/brown flavor. It was developed in the late 1930s by Ely Klapman and Barney Berns in the basement of Klapman’s Chicago-area house. Made with a combination of wintergreen and anise, Dad’s root beer has a distinct taste that sets it apart from other brands.
For the best experience, try Dad’s root beer in a frosted mug at one of Dog n Suds’ Midwest locations – it’s a classic way to enjoy this beloved beverage.
Craft Root Beer Brands You Need to Try
Craft root beer brands, such as Virgil’s, Boylan, Saranac, Hank’s, and Bulldog, offer unique flavors and ingredients that set them apart from traditional root beer. These brands focus on using natural ingredients and artisanal brewing techniques, resulting in distinctive and delicious root beer experiences.
If you’re looking to explore beyond the classic root beer brands, these craft root beer brands are sure to impress with their one-of-a-kind tastes and dedication to quality.
Virgil’s root beer, created in 1994 by Edward and Jill Crowley of Crowley Beverage Company, is a micro-brewed, all-natural soda with a unique and earthy flavor. Made with a blend of 15 different roots and spices, Virgil’s root beer has a distinct taste that sets it apart from other root beer brands.
Sweetened with cane sugar and featuring a mix of licorice, anise, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and cloves, Virgil’s root beer is a must-try for anyone looking for a distinctive root beer experience.
Boylan root beer is a gourmet soft drink made with cane sugar and natural ingredients, including sassafras flavor from cinnamon, sweet birch, vanilla, and wintergreen oil. Founded in 1891, Boylan’s root beer offers a unique taste, setting it apart from other root beer brands.
Its distinct flavors and commitment to quality make Boylan root beer an excellent choice for those looking to explore the world of craft root beer.
Saranac root beer, produced by FX Matt Brewing, boasts a delicious, creamy head and bright pink packaging that is sure to grab your attention. However, it’s not just the appearance that sets Saranac root beer apart – it’s what’s inside the bottle.
Made with high-fructose corn syrup, Saranac root beer offers a unique flavor profile that is both sweet and satisfying. Give it a try next time you’re looking for a new root beer experience.
Hank’s root beer, a Philadelphia-style root beer, has been delighting taste buds since 1996. Part of Hank’s Gourmet Sodas, this popular root beer is made with pure cane sugar and natural flavors, creating a smooth and creamy flavor with hints of vanilla and wintergreen.
Hank’s root beer can be found in hardware stores and supermarkets, making it easy to enjoy this unique and delicious beverage.
Bulldog root beer, a premium root beer brand that has been around since 1997, offers a perfect blend of ingredients for a great root beer experience. Made with real vanilla, cane sugar, honey, and maltodextrin, Bulldog root beer provides a unique flavor that sets it apart from other root beer brands.
Best served chilled with no ice, Bulldog root beer is a must-try for those seeking a truly exceptional root beer experience.
Unique Flavors in Root Beer Brands
For those looking to explore even more diverse flavors in root beer, brands such as Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch Root Beer, Maine Root, Hosmer Mountain Soda, Fitz’s, and Dublin Texas offer unique flavor profiles that push the boundaries of traditional root beer tastes.
From butterscotch to vanilla and wintergreen, these brands showcase the versatility and creativity found in the world of root beer.
Dare to venture beyond the classic root beer flavors and discover a whole new realm of delicious possibilities.
Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch Root Beer
Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch Root Beer is truly a one-of-a-kind beverage, combining the classic root beer taste with a burst of butterscotch flavor. This unique blend of butterscotch, wintergreen, mint, and anise creates a rich and satisfying root beer experience like no other.
Whether you’re a long-time root beer fan or simply looking for something new to try, Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch Root Beer is sure to impress with its bold and distinctive flavor.
Made with a blend of unique ingredients, Maine Root root beer offers a creamy and sweet flavor with a fizzy and foggy head. The subtle hints of mint and anise give this root beer a distinctive taste that sets it apart from other brands.
While it may not have the bite some root beer enthusiasts crave, Maine Root’s unique flavor profile and commitment to using natural ingredients make it a must-try for those looking to expand their root beer horizons.
Hosmer Mountain Soda
Hosmer Mountain Soda’s root beer is a special blend of chlorine-free, mineral-rich, natural well water, brown sugar, and sarsaparilla root extract. This unique combination of ingredients creates a distinct and flavorful root beer experience that is truly one-of-a-kind.
With its commitment to using natural ingredients and its dedication to quality, Hosmer Mountain Soda’s root beer is a must-try for those seeking a unique and delicious root beer alternative.
Fitz’s root beer, a popular craft soda brand from St. Louis, offers a unique and delightful root beer experience. Made with an original recipe from 1947, Fitz’s root beer is known for its creamy and smooth taste with just a hint of vanilla and wintergreen.
Its commitment to quality and the use of natural ingredients make Fitz’s root beer a standout among other root beer brands. Give it a try and discover the delicious flavors that have made Fitz’s root beer a favorite for generations.
Dublin Texas root beer, produced by Dublin Bottling Works, is made with pure cane sugar and offers a sweet, creamy flavor with hints of vanilla and spices. With a long history dating back to 1891, Dublin Texas root beer is a classic beverage with a unique taste that sets it apart from other root beer brands.
Enjoy this delightful root beer on its own or paired with your favorite dessert for a truly indulgent treat.
Healthier Options: Low-Sugar and Zero-Sugar Root Beers
For those looking to indulge in the delicious taste of root beer without the extra sugar, there are several healthier options available. Brands such as Virgil’s Zero Sugar, Zevia, Olipop, and H-E-B Old Fashioned offer low-sugar or zero-sugar alternatives without compromising on flavor.
These healthy root beer options allow you to enjoy the classic root beer taste while maintaining a more balanced diet.
Virgil’s Zero Sugar
Virgil’s Zero Sugar root beer is a healthier alternative to traditional root beer, offering the same delicious taste without the added sugar. Sweetened with erythritol, stevia, and monk fruit, Virgil’s Zero Sugar root beer is both calorie-free and sugar-free.
Made with a blend of 15 roots and spices, this root beer offers a unique and earthy flavor that is sure to satisfy your taste buds while keeping your health in mind.
Zevia Creamy Root Beer is a zero-calorie, zero-sugar, gluten-free, and kosher soda that offers a refreshing and guilt-free root beer experience. Clear in color and made with natural flavors and stevia leaf extract, Zevia Creamy Root Beer is a healthier alternative to traditional root beer.
Enjoy Zevia root beer on its own, or use it to create a delicious and healthy root beer float.
Olipop root beer is a healthy soda option that offers a unique blend of plant fiber, prebiotics, and botanicals. With only 2-5 grams of sugar per serving, Olipop root beer is a healthier alternative to traditional root beer without sacrificing flavor.
Its unique combination of ingredients, such as sweet birch, smooth-vanilla bean, and naturally sourced burdock, provides a delicious and satisfying root beer experience you can feel good about enjoying.
H-E-B Old Fashioned
H-E-B Old Fashioned root beer, made with pure cane sugar and natural flavors, is a delicious and healthier option for those seeking a classic root beer taste without the extra calories. This sweet, caffeine-free, and foamy root beer offers a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other root beer brands.
Enjoy H-E-B. Old Fashioned root beer on its own or pair it with your favorite dessert for a delightful treat.
Regional Favorites: Root Beer Brands with Local Appeal
Root beer brands with strong local appeal, such as Teddy’s, Killebrew, Capt’n Eli’s, Stewart’s, and Filbert’s, showcase the unique flavors and histories of their respective regions.
Made with local ingredients and offering distinctive tastes, these regional root beer brands have a loyal following and are beloved parts of their local cultures.
Explore these regional favorites and discover the diverse flavors that make each of these root beer brands stand out.
Teddy’s root beer is a hand-crafted root beer with a rich, creamy, and slightly tart flavor that has earned it a loyal following. Its 26 fluid ounce bottle and unique taste make Teddy’s root beer a standout among other regional root beer brands.
You can buy Teddy’s root beer online and enjoy this exceptional root beer experience from the comfort of your own home.
Killebrew root beer, made with pure natural spring water and flavored with real Minnesota honey, is a truly unique root beer experience. This locally brewed root beer offers a distinctive taste that sets it apart from other root beer brands and makes it a favorite among those who appreciate a one-of-a-kind root beer experience.
Give Killebrew root beer a try and enjoy the flavors that make it a regional favorite.
Capt’n Eli’s root beer is a traditional root beer widely popular in the local area. It is made with wintergreen oil, anise and vanilla. This Maine-made root beer is sweetened with pure sugar cane and offers a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other regional root beer brands.
Enjoy Capt. Eli’s root beer on its own or pair it with your favorite dessert for a truly indulgent treat.
Stewart’s root beer, created by Frank Stewart in 1924, is a classic root beer with a creamy and smooth taste that has earned it a loyal following among root beer enthusiasts. Originally served at Stewart’s Restaurants, this root beer is now available in bottles for fans to enjoy at home.
Experience the delicious flavors and rich history of Stewart’s root beer and discover why it remains a regional favorite.
Filbert’s root beer, a Chicago-based root beer brand, has been delighting taste buds since 1926. Made with a unique blend of ingredients and flavors, Filbert’s root beer offers a one-of-a-kind root beer experience that sets it apart from other regional root beer brands.
With its dedication to using natural ingredients and its commitment to quality, Filbert’s root beer is a must-try for those looking to explore the diverse world of regional root beer brands.
The Origins of Root Beer: A Brief History
Root beer has a long history, dating back to the 1800s when it was first marketed as a cure-all tonic. Made from the root bark of the Sassafras tree and later flavored with sarsaparilla, root beer quickly gained popularity as a refreshing and flavorful alternative to potentially unsafe water.
The oldest root beer brand in the US, Hires Root Beer, was created by Charles Elmer Hires in 1876 and was initially sold as a powder to be mixed with water.
Since then, hundreds of root beer brands have been bottled in the United States, each with its unique flavor and history.
During Prohibition, breweries saw an opportunity to continue production by creating root beer and other soft drinks. This led to many beer breweries still producing root beer today.
Over time, root beer has evolved to include a wide variety of flavors and ingredients, ranging from traditional sassafras and sarsaparilla to unique combinations such as butterscotch and wintergreen.
Root beer’s rich history and diverse range of flavors have made it a beloved beverage and a staple in the world of soft drinks.
How to Enjoy Root Beer: Serving Suggestions and Pairings
Root beer can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, from drinking it straight to creating delicious root beer floats. A classic root beer float is made by combining a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a frosty mug of root beer, resulting in a deliciously sweet and fizzy treat.
Root beer can also be paired with a variety of foods, such as graham crackers, barbecue sauce, ice cream, and certain cheeses. The versatility of root beer makes it a perfect addition to any meal or a refreshing treat on its own.
For an adventurous twist, try mixing root beer with bourbon or rum to create a refreshing cocktail. Or, experiment with different food pairings to discover new and exciting flavor combinations.
No matter how you choose to enjoy root beer, its unique taste and rich history make it a beverage that is sure to delight your taste buds and quench your thirst.
In this comprehensive guide, we have explored the diverse world of root beer, from the classic brands like A&W, Barq’s, Mug, IBC, and Dad’s to the unique craft root beer brands such as Virgil’s, Boylan, Saranac, Hank’s, and Bulldog.
We’ve also delved into the world of unique flavors, healthier options, and regional favorites, showcasing the versatility and creativity found in the root beer world.
Whether you’re a long-time root beer fan or just someone curious about this beloved beverage, we hope that this guide has inspired you to explore new flavors and expand your root beer horizons.
So grab a frosty mug, pour yourself a cold root beer, and enjoy the delicious journey through the world of root beer flavors.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most popular root beer brand?
A&W Root Beer has been the leading brand in the US for over a hundred years now. Originated by Allen and Wright in 1919, it continues to be owned by Keurig Dr. Pepper Inc.
Its signature creaminess has made it a popular choice for root beer floats, making it the go-to brand for a delicious dessert experience.
What root beer is the oldest?
Hires Root Beer is the oldest brand of root beer. It was introduced in 1875 by Philadelphia pharmacist Charles Elmer Hires and debuted commercially at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876.
Hires’ root beer has continued to be produced to this day, making it an iconic part of American culture.
What beer company makes root beer?
If you’re looking for a delicious root beer, look no further than PepsiCo, Coca-Cola Company, Dad’s, and Keurig Dr! These companies have mastered the art of making flavorful root beer that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.
What is the most expensive root beer?
It seems that Virgil’s Special Edition Bavarian Nutmeg Root Beer is the most expensive root beer. Boasting a 16 ounce bottle with porcelain stopper and sourced from pure waters in Bavaria, it promises to deliver an unmatched taste.
This could be the ideal choice for those looking for a premium root beer experience.
What are some of the best root beer brands?
There are numerous root beer brands that have gained popularity due to their unique flavors and quality. Some of the top classic brands include A&W, Barq’s, Mug, IBC, and Dad’s. For those interested in craft root beer, brands like Virgil’s, Boylan, Saranac, Hank’s, and Bulldog are worth trying.
What makes craft root beer different from classic brands?
Craft root beer brands focus on using natural ingredients and artisanal brewing techniques, resulting in distinctive and delicious root beer experiences. They often offer unique flavors and ingredients that set them apart from traditional root beer.
Are there healthier options for root beer?
Yes, there are several healthier options available for those who want to enjoy root beer without the extra sugar. Brands such as Virgil’s Zero Sugar, Zevia, Olipop, and H-E-B Old Fashioned offer low-sugar or zero-sugar alternatives without compromising on flavor.
What are some unique flavors found in root beer brands?
Root beer brands often experiment with unique flavors to offer a diverse range of options to consumers. For instance, Dang! That’s Good Butterscotch Root Beer combines the classic root beer taste with a burst of butterscotch flavor. Other brands like Maine Root and Hosmer Mountain Soda also offer unique flavor profiles.
What is the history of root beer?
Root beer has a long history dating back to the 1800s when it was first marketed as a cure-all tonic. The oldest root beer brand in the US, Hires Root Beer, was created by Charles Elmer Hires in 1876. Over time, root beer has evolved to include a wide variety of flavors and ingredients.
Lead marketer, brewer, dad, and husband. Pretty much an all-round awesome guy. I’ve been homebrewing for +20 yrs, an aspiring pro-brewer and micro brewery owner!