Is there any other soda beverage that is more polarizing than root beer? Depending on who you ask, people either love root beer or hate it. For those that love it, this review on the best root beer brands is for you.While you may have heard of some of these brands already, there may be a few you may not be familiar with just yet. This review of these root beer brands will introduce you to some brands you haven’t heard of yet and why they deserve a spot on this list.
Zevia Soda, Ginger Root Beer is the best root beer on our list thanks to its distinctly unique taste. It combines two great drinks, root beer and ginger beer, to produce a hybrid soda beverage that is light in calories and sugar but full of flavor.
People shopping on a budget and looking for a root beer that is better for their health should choose Diet A&W Root Beer. This root beer comes from one of the most popular root beer producers and gives consumers a less sugary way of consuming root beer and making their favorite ice cream float with.
Quick Comparison: Top 8 Best Root Beer Brands
Ginger root beer is an offspring of another polarizing drink, ginger beer. However, there’s nothing controversial about this drink, as the Zevia Soda, Ginger Root Beer is the top root beer brand on our list.
For people familiar with both ginger beer and root beer, when mixed together, you get an explosion of creamy and rich flavors found in this Zevia Ginger Root Beer. The combination of the flavors is found to be more like a drink tasting like root beer with strong notes of ginger added.
This beverage is a favorite for many people because of its taste but also because it has zero calories. Many people enjoy drinking this beverage, guilt-free of course, and it also comes with zero sugar, as it is naturally sweetened. Aside from the carbonated water, its main ingredients include extract from stevia leaves, citric acid, and natural flavors. It doesn’t use any additives from fake sweeteners.
A pack of this Zevia Ginger Root Beer comes with 24 cans with each can containing the usual 12 fluid ounces, or 355 milliliters of ginger root beer. Aside from its inclusion of healthier ingredients and its calorie-free count, this ginger root beer is also caffeine free which is great for people that tend to avoid drinking sodas during the day in fear of not being able to sleep at night.
What we liked: this is the perfect drink for people who love both root beer and ginger beer and it offers one of the best hybrid sodas we’ve had in a very long time. The taste is distinctly familiar yet unique at the same time and is just a very refreshing beverage to have, especially in the summertime.What we didn’t like: the biggest downside with this amazing root beer beverage is that Zevia is known to be a bit more of an expensive brand, in general. Their Ginger Root Beer beverage is no exception and you should expect to pay considerably more than you would for a regular brand’s 24-pack of root beer.
Root beer enthusiasts will definitely recognize this brand as it is one of the more popular brands to create this legendary soda beverage. A&W is a fast food chain restaurant but it may be more well known for its root beer beverage. What many people don’t know however is that their Diet Root Beer just may be better than the regular version.
Many people love A&W’s Diet Root Beer better than the regular version because it has zero calories and less sugar in it. On top of that, it is made with aged vanilla giving the drink less of that creamy bite the regular version has. It is rich and full of that creamy A&W root beer taste that you’re used but without much of the sugar in its regular form.
This pack of Diet Root Beer comes with 12 cans and each coming with the standard 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters). As mentioned already, each can is free of any calories and they are also caffeine free so that it can be enjoyed at any time of the day and without any of the guilt.
Another reason why people enjoy this Diet Root Beer so much is because it can be used to make those delicious summer root beer floats. A root beer float is a combination of root beer, in this case, diet root beer, along with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream. People say that with the diet root beer, the float ends up coming out to be not as sweet since there is sweetness in the vanilla ice cream already too.
What we liked: we really enjoy the regular A&W Root Beer as well as this Diet Root Beer version but we have to give this one the edge because it does contain less sugar and the fact that it has no calories means we don’t feel so bad or guilty drinking this at 10am or at 10pm!What we didn’t like: what’s weird about A&W’s Diet Root Beer is that it is considerably more expensive than its regular Root Beer beverage so expect to pay more of a steeper price for this much healthier version of A&W’s Root Beer.
Stewart’s Root Beer is another fantastic root beer brand that many root beer fans love for its distinct root beer taste. It is known for its intricate root beer recipe that is crafted by hand using a mixture of more than 20 extract roots, fruits, and herbs.
The end result of this secretive recipe is a very creamy root beer flavor that is rich and sharp in its carbonation. Stewart’s has quickly gained a reputation of being a fast-rising micro soda root beer brand in North America.
This Stewart’s Root Beer comes in a pack of 12 bottles with each bottle containing 12 fluid ounces (355 millimeters). As much as people love the tremendously smooth flavor of this root beer, a few people are dismayed that it includes a preservative among one of its main ingredients. Despite this, it also does include some more beneficial ingredients including natural flavors.
Like any good root beer, this Stewart’s Root Beer is also a fantastic choice for making a root beer float with. It doesn’t have quite the bite that some other root beer brands have that can often be too much for a root beer float. It offers the right blend of sweetness, smoothness, and taste to make a perfect root beer float with your vanilla ice cream.
What we liked: by far, the biggest thing that really stuck out to us about this root beer brand was how smooth and creamy it was. Each sip is full of that creamy root beer flavor that most people love and adore and this one has it.What we didn’t like: we weren’t tremendously thrilled with the fact that this root beer brand does include a preservative in its ingredients. Many other root beer brands don’t have a preservative and we didn’t think this root beer beverage really needed it to enhance its flavor.
A root beer brand you may not have heard of before is Bundaberg and you wouldn’t be at fault for never having heard of this root beer brand before. That’s because Bundaberg Soda Root Beer is from all the way down under in Australia.
You may not think of Australia as a hotspot for root beer lovers but you may be pleasantly surprised. Bundaberg has a huge following in Australia and is now gaining more traction in North America.
Bundaberg Root Beer is an excellent alternative to the main brands in North America already because of its unique brewing process. Their root beer is brewed for three days and the reason for this is because Bundaberg believes this is the best way to extract the most root beer flavor.
Any no one has complained about the taste of this root beer, that comes in a package of four bottles with each bottle containing 375 milliliters (12.7 fluid ounces) of root beer. Bundaberg Root Beer is a gluten free option which makes it more accessible to a broader audience, and it also contains no GMO ingredients.
What we liked: we liked the tremendous flavor of this root beer and we were really happy to find out that this root beer has less sugar content than other brands. Despite this lower sugar level, it still has plenty of great root beer flavor.What we didn’t like: since this is technically an imported root beer product, this Bundaberg Root Beer is very expensive and may not be a sustainable choice to keep re-purchasing it over and over again and may just be a good choice to purchase it once to try it.
One of the more popular root beer brands in the world today is Mug Root Beer. When you go and shop in grocery stores, there’s probably a good chance you’ll find Mug Root Beer on the shelves and for good reason too.
This root beer brand is one of the best ones out there because of its perfect combination of that creamy, rich foam to go along with that carbonated bite that is a constant in many of the better root beers. On a hot summer day, a sip or a can of this root beer is all that it takes to bring about a refreshing treat.
In this package of Mug Root Beer, you’ll get 12 cans of it with each can coming with its standard 355 milliliters of root beer. The packaging is probably exactly how you would find it in grocery stores as it’s just a long box of the 12 cans next to each other.
Mug Root Beer is a popular root beer brand because of its familiar and sweet taste. For many people, it can taste almost very much like candy with its syrupy taste. There’s no hard and lingering effects from the carbonation after taking a sip either which is probably what may appeal to many more root beer drinkers than the few.
Despite being caffeine free, each can of Mug’s Root Beer does come with 160 calories, which is fairly high when considering there are other brands that have zero calories. However, if you don’t drink this root beer too often, then burning through 160 calories should be just fine.
What we liked: we like the sweeter taste of this root beer. It definitely does not have as much bite as other root beer brands but it is the perfect root beer brand to bring out for a BBQ as it is a people-pleasing drink.What we didn’t like: since we’re root beer drinking addicts, 160 calories per can is pretty high, especially if you consider that we can drink 2-3 cans of root beer per day. While we definitely enjoy the sweetness of this Mug Root Beer, a bit more carbonation would make it an even better overall root beer beverage.
Another wildly popular root beer brand is Barq’s Root Beer. Along with Mug Root Beer and A&W’s Root Beer, these three make up the most popular root beer brands in North America today. Barq’s Root Beer is much more unique from the other two in its taste and its overall quality, in a good way of course.
Barq’s Root Beer has been a mainstay on the root beer scene ever since their hit advertisement hit televisions some 25 years ago. In that advertisement, it said that “Barq’s has bite,” and ever since then, this is exactly what this root beer beverage is known for.
When they say bite, they mean the level of carbonation or fizz that is in it. Barq’s Root Beer has a lot of bite but it also has tremendous flavor as well. It has a very bold root beer taste, one that is less sweet than Mug and A&W but one that complements the amount of carbonation in this drink very well.
People that enjoy more bite in their sodas will tend to lean more towards Barq’s Root Beer over the other popular brands. This higher level of bite is definitely not for everyone so beware of that.
This package comes with 24 cans, each with 355 milliliters of Barq’s Root Beer. Unfortunately, in exactly the same way as Mug’s Root Beer, Barq’s Root Beer also has 160 calories in each can.
What we liked: if you’re a fan of higher carbonation in sodas, then this one is for you. What we really like about Barq’s Root Beer is that because of the bite, it’s much more difficult to chug a root beer on a hot summer day. Instead, you’re almost forced to sip it more slowly and enjoy it that much more. Thus, for us, this is the perfect root beer to have while relaxing on a chair by our pool.What we didn’t like: we aren’t big fans of the fact that this root beer is artificially flavored and is advertised as such on the can itself and also that each can comes with a whopping 160 calories. This can be prohibitive for people who may carefully watch how many calories they consume in a day.
Sprecher Root Beer is most likely a root beer brand you have never heard of before. In fact, many people outside of where it is produced, Wisconsin, may have never heard of this obscure root beer brand. However, don’t be fooled by this lack of popularity because Sprecher Root Beer is another fantastic root beer beverage.
In terms of best packaging design, Sprecher wins easily. The can’s design features some sort of a bird with a bottle of Sprecher’s in one hand and a mug full of root beer in the other. Definitely, the most creative one out of all the ones we’ve seen. A package of Sprecher Root Beer comes in a pack of six cans with each can featuring the standard 12 fluid ounces.
Let’s talk about its taste because it’s fairly unique. It is known for a very creamy, smooth and sweet taste. If you’re looking for a heavy bite in this root beer, you won’t find it, but you will find just enough bite to let you know it is there. However, this root beer is definitely on the smoother side with a slight taste of honey and vanilla in its aftertaste.
This honey aftertaste is probably derived from how this root beer is made. Sprecher brews this root beer from honey made in Wisconsin. They extract the honey from the combs itself which is prepared at their on-site brewery. A bit of honey and vanilla is added in and voila, you have a magically distinct root beer taste with that lingering vanilla and honey aftertaste.
What we liked: as obscure or unknown as this brand may be, it definitely is one of the best overall tasting root beers we have ever tried. It’s not overly sweet, has a distinct root beer flavor, and comes with a mildly sweet aftertaste.What we didn’t like: unfortunately, since it is such an unknown brand, buying this root beer brand is very expensive and it may just be good to give it a try once instead of repeat buying.
Labelled as “America’s Premium Root Beer”, Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer has been around as a popular root beer brand for nearly a hundred years. During that time, they have established themselves as a premium root beer brand although this brand has slowed down a bit in its popularity over the past few decades.
Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer has always had that familiar branding with the blue, red, and yellow colors in its design. You wouldn’t think this is much of a premium root beer brand by its design, as it’s quite boring and bland, but the same can’t be said for their root beer beverage.
Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer is packed with great root beer flavor and equal amounts of bite to it. It is on the sweeter side and can taste quite syrupy but a little bit of extra sweetness definitely adds to the overall flavor profile of this root beer.
Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer is notoriously known for the glass, beer-like bottles however, the packaging for this root beer is different. This one comes in three, one-liter bottles. The bottles also aren’t glass but rather, plastic.
For every serving of this Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer, which is 240 milliliters, it contains 120 calories, which is relatively high if you pro-rate that to a standard 12 fluid ounce bottle. Despite that, this root beer is caffeine free and many people love it because it brings back plenty of memories of drinking this in their youth.
What we liked: the nostalgia factor is very high with this root beer brand. Drinking this definitely brought us back to our younger days where we drank this almost daily. It still has its familiar and sweet root beer flavor.What we didn’t like: we didn’t like the one-liter sized bottles of this timeless, root beer classic. One liter is definitely too much root beer to drink in one sitting and the problem here is that if you don’t drink the rest of it fairly quickly, the root beer will become flat.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Root Beer Brands
With more and more people today watching their weight and especially their intake of calories, the calorie count in root beer can be important to many people. Some root beer brands offer zero calories in their root beers which can be an excellent source for people that want to watch their calories.
However, there are other root beer brands where the calorie count is fairly high for a regular can of root beer and can range between 120-180 calories.
Drinks can come in different sizes and root beer is no different. While most of the root beer brands come in the regular aluminum cans that are 12 fluid ounces or 355 millimeters, there are some that come in other sizes.
The Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer comes in plastic bottles with each containing a liter of root beer. The Australian classic root beer, Bundaberg, offers their root beer in 12.7 fluid ounce bottles or 375 millimeters.
Root beer is a polarizing drink because you either will love the flavor or hate it. People that love its flavor tend to love its unique taste. For those that don’t know, root beer is derived from sassafras extract, which is essentially taken from a deciduous tree. Despite the weirdness of this, it produces a very distinct taste that, when combined with other elements, produces a creamy, rich, and flavorful beverage.
Each root beer brand is different and they add in their own unique set of ingredients to make their own root beer. Different brands add in their own ways of adding sugar to the beverage, whether natural or artificial, and have refined their recipes for decades to produce a root beer drink that is appreciated by many people.
One of the things that root beer is very much known for is its bite. The bite can be referred to the level of carbonation in the root beer drink itself. No matter what anyone says, every root beer drink will have some level of bite to it. It has to because it is a soda or carbonated beverage.
The level of carbonation or bite can vary between different root beer brands. A very good example of this is A&W and Barq’s Root Beer. A&W Root Beer is notoriously known for being creamy, rich, foamy, and sweet with much milder levels of bite in it. If you were to take an ice cold A&W Root Beer and attempt to chug it down, you probably would not have much trouble doing so.
The same can’t be said for Barq’s Root Beer, however. Barq’s Root Beer has a reputation for having a lot of bite or carbonation in its root beer. It prides itself on having more bite than other root beer brands too. Thus, if you were to try chugging an ice cold Barq’s Root Beer, you would definitely have to stop here and there because there’s simply too much carbonation to consume that quickly.
Root beer is an incredibly underappreciated soda beverage and one that deserves more recognition. In this review of the best root beer brands, we have introduced you to the best ones around today.Whether you’re looking for a root beer that is creamy and smooth or bold and fizzy, there’s always an excellent root beer brand to choose from.