Liquor Laboratory

What Is the Best Root Beer? Ranking the Top Brands for 2024

What is the Best Root Beer

If you want to explore the effervescent universe of root beer, you’re at the right spot! Like many root beer lovers, we’ve explored many root beer brands and are here to share our top favorites with you.

From the classic root beer flavors to the distinctive taste of contemporary root beer brands, here’s our list of the best root beers bound to captivate the taste buds for a satisfying root beer experience.

So, what is the best root beer that you should try? Read on!

Top 19 Root Beers To Try (Ranked)

1. Boylan Root Beer

Bottles of Boylan Root Beer

Average Price: around $41.75/12-pack (MSRP)

Nose: Minty, cinnamon, light aroma

Palate: Not overly sweet, distinct beer-like quality

Drinkability Score: 10/10

Why We Like It: We like Boylan Root Beer for its unique flavor profile. Surprisingly not overly sweet, it stands out with 43g of sugar per root beer bottle.

Boylan’s root beer offers unusual beer-like nuances that add depth, leading to an exceptional and refreshing experience and proving its stellar reputation.

But do you know what to mix with ginger beer?

2. Original New York Root Beer Seltzer

Close Up Image Original New York Root Beer Seltzer

Average Price: around $42.95/12-pack (Amazon)

Nose: Root beer aroma

Palate: Root beer flavor, less bitterness

Drinkability Score: 9/10

Why We Like It: If you’re not a seltzer fanatic, this root beer seltzer will change your palate. Unlike typical seltzers, it captures the essence of root beer without the usual bitterness.

It’s not a sugar-free root beer, but its low sugar content strikes a balance between sweetness and bitterness. So, it’s the best diet root beer alternative for those wanting a lighter, flavorful option.

3. Wild Bill’s Root Beer

Wild Bill's Root Beer in Can

Average Price: around $32/12-pack (MSRP)

Nose: Just a hint of juniper

Palate: Mild and balanced

Drinkability Score: 9/10

Why We Like It: Wild Bill’s Root Beer is vegan-friendly and gluten-free. While the flavor of this craft root beer is more delicate than a traditional root beer, this subtlety appeals to those who prefer a milder taste.

“I’m a big root beer guy.” – Dylan O’Brien, American Actor 

This is the best root beer if you’re seeking a well-balanced drink with a delightful taste experience.

Read: What Does Ginger Beer Taste Like?

4. Sparky’s Root Beer

Man Holding Bottle of Sparky's Root Beer

Average Price: around $31.57/12-pack (Beverages Direct)

Nose: Bold wintergreen aroma

Palate: Vanilla flavor, spicy, minty

Drinkability Score: 9/10

Why We Like It: This root beer boasts an assertive wintergreen kick with a unique character. Its sharp opening bite and spiciness challenge the taste buds – a daring choice for root beer enthusiasts.

The blend of cane sugar and honey sweeteners elevates its appeal. It’s perfect for those who enjoy an intense, invigorating root beer adventure.

5. Hosmer Root Beer

Person Holding Bottle of Hosmer Root Beer

Average Price: around $20/12-pack (MSRP)

Nose: Distinct sarsaparilla notes

Palate: Root-centric, flavorful

Drinkability Score: 9/10

Why We Like It: Hosmer Root Beer emerges as a hidden gem from Connecticut’s “Quiet Corner,” garnering attention with its unique profile.

Sarsaparilla root extract contributes to its exceptional flavor, setting it apart from other root beer brands. It’s a standout choice if you seek depth and a hint of classic root beer profile.

6. Sioux City Root Beer

Bottle of Sioux City Root Beer

Average Price: around $66.30/4-pack (Walmart)

Nose: Mint-forward, rich body

Palate: Mild, distinct bite

Drinkability Score: 8/10

Why We Like It: Sioux City Root Beer boasts a mint-forward profile and moderate sweetness. It’s mild initially, but we find its bite and aftertaste distinct and root-forward as it develops.

Sioux City’s historical significance adds to its appeal, making it a rare root beer brand worth trying.

7. Red Arrow Root Beer

Bottle of Red Arrow Root Beer on a Table

Average Price: around $30/12-pack (Amazon)

Nose: Sassafras aroma

Palate: Balanced and effervescent

Drinkability Score: 8/10

Why We Like It: This root beer perfectly balances sweetness and sassafras flavors. Besides, its well-crafted carbonation adds a delightful effervescence.

All in all, it’s a satisfying choice for those seeking a bubbly root beer with a delicious taste.

8. Olde Rhode Island Molasses

Hand Holding Bottle of Olde Rhode Island Molasses

Average Price: around $29.94/12-pack (Beverages Direct)

Nose: Spicy, wintergreen

Palate: Intense molasses, fruity

Drinkability Score: 8/10

Why We Like It: This is the best root beer if you enjoy the sweet molasses flavor. But while the flavors captivate at first, the drink’s intensity diminishes as it lingers.

We like its unique wateriness paired with potent winter-green. However, its inconsistent carbonation and flavor profile may vary from batch to batch, making it an intriguing choice if you like distinctive experiences.

9. Dad’s Root Beer

Man Holding Bottle of Dad's Root Beer

Average Price: around $42.93/12-pack (Amazon)

Nose: Bold spice notes

Palate: Cinnamon, clove, berries

Drinkability Score: 8/10

Why We Like It: Dad’s Root Beer boasts a zesty blend that excites our palate. While not the creamiest, its distinctive spiciness and dryness give it character.

It gives the same vibe as classic root beer brands, but there are variants that you need to try, like their Diet Root Beer.

10. Dublin Texas

Close Up Image of Dublin Texas Beer

Average Price: around $1.79/12oz (Total Wine)

Nose: Wintergreen and anise

Palate: Bold and spiced

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Like It: Dublin Texas Root Beer offers a premium experience reminiscent of traditional recipes. The fizziness maintains its sparkle throughout, giving a lively texture.

While it has a slightly bitter aftertaste, it’s a creamy root beer with a rich flavor and character. Besides, it’s one of the popular root beer brands, so you should try.

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11. Zevia Ginger Root Beer

Man Holding Can of Zevia Ginger Root Beer

Average Price: around $7.79/8-pack (Target)

Nose: Traditional, ginger hints

Palate: Balanced, unique ginger twist

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Like It: Zevia Ginger Root Beer is a refreshing twist to the classic. This is a highly recommended root beer for health-conscious consumers for its less than 40g of sugar per can.

The flavor delivers a root beer experience with a subtle, enjoyable hint of ginger. We don’t like the color, but the taste makes it a fun choice if you like a unique, guilt-free root beer option.

12. Bundaberg Root Beer

Person Holding Bottle of Bundaberg Root Beer

Average Price: around $6.99/4-pack (Total Wine)

Nose: Subtle sarsaparilla root beer notes

Palate: Balanced and flavorful

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Like It: Bundaberg Root Beer stands out with its lighter carbonation and well-rounded flavor profile. It leans toward milder fizziness with a notable root beer taste without excessive sweetness.

This is a good root beer for making root beer floats, which is also an excellent choice for a refreshing and distinctive cream soda experience.

13. A&W Zero Sugar Root Beers

Man Holding Can of A&W Zero Sugar Root Beers

Average Price: $6.98/12-pack (Walmart)

Nose: Classic sassafras notes

Palate: Spicy flavor

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Like It: A&W Root Beer is our timeless favorite. Its nostalgic aroma and distinctive flavor give us a delightful experience.

Like Barq’s Root Beer, it’s a fantastic choice if you prefer a balance between sweetness and the traditional root beer taste. But if you like an alcoholic beer, Stewart’s Root Beer is a good alternative.

14. Saranac Root Beer

Person Holding Bottle of Saranac Root Beer

Average Price: around $7.99/6-pack (Total Wine)

Nose: Strong vanilla aroma

Palate: Creamy, wintergreen, anethol, sassafrass notes

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Like It: Saranac Root Beer offers a rich natural head and a distinctive profile. Despite its use of high-fructose corn syrup, the foaminess and balanced profile of this craft root beer make it a good choice.

Trust us when we say this is one of the best root beer brands best enjoyed leisurely, savoring each nuanced taste – best in a frosty mug!

15. Virgil’s Zero Sugar Root Beer

Bottle of Virgil's Zero Sugar Root Beer

Average Price: around $4.98/6-pack (Walmart)

Nose: Medicinal anise, wintergreen

Palate: Complex spices

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Like It: Virgil’s Zero Sugar Root Beer stands as a divisive contender, sparking debates among root beer enthusiasts. It’s one of our favorite root beers as it’s no sugar added.

It blends erythritol, stevia (instead of cane sugar), and monk fruit for a chemical-free, flavorful experience, pleasing both sweet-toothed and health-conscious drinkers.

16. Fitz’s Root Beer

Man Drinking Fitz's Root Beer

Average Price: around $6.99/4-pack (Liquor Barn)

Nose: Inviting vanilla notes

Palate: Balanced sweetness, hints of wintergreen

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Like It: Fitz’s Root Beer captures the essence of classic root beer with finesse. We like the great blend of vanilla and wintergreen, which gives a balanced sweetness.

Approachable for all, this root beer bottle is a must-have for any occasion. For similar options, you can try Mug Root Beer for the same level of sweetness.

17. Hank’s Root Beer

Bottle of Hank's Root Beer

Average Price: around $29.99/12-pack (MSRP)

Nose: Subtle marshmallow notes

Palate: Moderately balanced, familiar taste

Drinkability Score: 7/10

Why We Like It: This high-quality root beer has the right balance but lacks distinctiveness and complexity. But this root beer tastes marshmallow-like, adding uniqueness.

“Sip, savor, and find your perfect root beer symphony of flavors.” – Liquor Laboratory 

Hank’s Birch Beer tastes great with vanilla ice cream in a root beer float (served in a frosted mug). For a familiar root beer, Hank’s Root Beer is worth a try.

18. IBC Root Beer

Person Holding Bottle of IBC Root Beer

Average Price: around $4.94/6-pack (Drizly)

Nose: Sweet vanilla notes

Palate: Creamy with caramel hints

Drinkability Score: 6/10

Why We Like It: IBC Root Beer uses pure cane sugar for sweetness, and its creamy character makes it a standout. Actually, it gives the same root beer flavor as the Bulldog Root Beer and Maine Root Beer.

The balanced vanilla aroma and caramel undertones provide a delightful experience. IBC Root Beer is a treat for those who enjoy a sweeter profile without being overwhelming.

19. Signature Select Root Beer

Signature Select Root Beer

Average Price: around $5.44/12-pack (Safeway)

Nose: Sweet, sugary notes

Palate: Overpowered by sweetness

Drinkability Score: 6/10

Why We Like It: If you have a sweet tooth, Signature Select Root Beer is a must-try, giving the same vibes as Mug Root Beer (or Belfast Root Beer) [1]. This is one of the best root beers in terms of sweetness.

Although it doesn’t stand out as much as some other root beers, its affordability makes it an approachable pick that won’t strain your wallet.

Bartender Tip: If you’re looking to make a root beer float, you can also try these beers: Barq’s Root Beer, Sprecher Root Beer, Bulldog Root Beer, Stewart’s Root Beer, Maine Root Beer, and Mug Root Beer.

Note: Based on a blind taste test, the Drinkability Score measures how easy it is to drink multiple servings of the beer in one sitting, again on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 indicates “difficult to drink more than one” and 10 indicates “easy to drink several.”


What kind of root beer is best?

The best root beer offers a balanced blend of rich spices, smooth sweetness, and a hint of creaminess. It captivates with a classic root beer profile while avoiding excessive sweetness.

Is root beer healthier than most sodas?

Root beer tends to be slightly healthier than many sodas due to its lower caffeine content [2] and, in some cases, the use of natural ingredients.
However, some brands use artificial sweeteners or corn syrup besides cane sugar, so moderation is key for a healthier choice.

Which root beer is the sweetest?

The sweetest root beers include Virgil’s Root Beer, Signature Select Root Beer, A &W Root Beer, Sprecher Root Beer, and Frostie Root Beer due to its complex blend of spices and natural sweeteners [3].
Remember that sweetness can be subjective so individual preferences may vary.

What is the healthiest root beer?

The healthier root beer could be Zevia Ginger Root Beer. It contains no sugar, uses natural sweeteners, and features ginger for added flavor.
You might want to avoid Teddy’s Root Beer for its controversial artificial sweeteners.

What sets A&W Root Beer apart as a popular choice?

A&W Root Beer is known for its creamy texture, balanced sweetness, and classic root beer flavor profile, which includes notes of vanilla, sassafras, and spices.

Why is Barq’s Root Beer often recommended as a top pick?

Barq’s Root Beer is recognized for its bold and distinctive taste, featuring a pronounced sassafras flavor with a hint of caffeine, giving it a unique edge among root beer brands.

Can you recommend a specific type of root beer that stands out for its flavor or quality?

While A&W and Barq’s are popular choices, craft root beer brands like Virgil’s Root Beer, Boylan Bottling Co. Root Beer, and Maine Root Handcrafted Root Beer are often praised for their premium ingredients and artisanal approach.

Are there any root beers known for their unique ingredients or flavor profiles?

Yes, some root beers offer unique twists on the traditional recipe, such as Not Your Father’s Root Beer, which is brewed with spices and aged in bourbon barrels, or Sprecher Root Beer, which includes extracts of real Wisconsin honey and vanilla.

In Conclusion

In the world of root beers [4], we’ve explored a diverse range of flavors and characteristics.

After sipping through various expressions, Boylan Root Beer stands out for its minty, well-balanced taste and premium quality.

While other options like A&W, Virgil’s, and Saranac offer unique profiles, each root beer listed is worth a taste.

So why wait? Start on your own root beer exploration and savor the diverse world of this beloved beverage!


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