root beer
root beer by Markmark28 (CC BY-SA)

11 of the the Best Root Beers You Can Drink

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root beer
root beer by Markmark28 (CC BY-SA)

Back to Soda's Roots

Though not the most popular soda on the scene, root beer has always had a loyal following. Sometimes it really just hits the spot; I myself feel silly eating pizza without it. You already know about Mug, A&W, and Barq’s, so are you looking to expand your root beer horizons? Do you already have a favorite and you’re just here to make sure it made the list, like the vast majority of internet readers? No worries either way — here are 11 of the tastiest root beers you can find.


P.S.: Amazon's got a decent sampler pack that features three of these.


Related: Pepsi Pushes “Pilk,” a Pepsi Cola and Milk 'Dirty Soda'

virgil's root beer
Amazon

Virgil’s

$15 from Amazon

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Despite being available in nearly every grocery store, Virgil’s claims to be small batch. The truth is, Virgil’s is just okay, but the fact that you can order a mini keg full of it remains extremely fun. This bottle is 17 ounces.


Related: Charming Retro Diners in Every State

sioux city sodas
Amazon

Sioux City

$30 from Amazon

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Sioux City makes a terrific root beer, but Sioux's also got a sarsaparilla under its belt that’s one of the best sodas money can buy. Made from sarsaparilla vines rather than the roots of a sassafras tree, the flavor is very close to root beer. Either way, Sioux City knows what it’s doing, and you'll get both in this four-flavor sampler pack.

IBC root beer
Amazon

IBC

$29 from Amazon

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IBC is more than 100 years old, so I would like to start out by recognizing that achievement. Though it uses both corn starch and cane sugar, it’s still a pretty good option if you’re able to grab yourself a frosty bottle from this six-pack.

imperial flavors beverage company sodas
Imperial Flavors Beverage Company

Dang!

$46 from Amazon

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I haven’t had the good fortune to taste Dang! but the name and branding are terrific, and it’s made with cane sugar. I'm looking forward to trying this one. They come 12 to a pack.

boylan's root beer
Amazon

Boylan’s

$34 from Amazon

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Boylan’s isn’t exactly the world’s best-kept secret — you can find it quite easily. But that’s a good thing. Better than your average root beer and in a 12-pack, it’s a nice drink at about half the price of a standard craft soda.

Saranac root beer
Amazon

Saranac

$49 from Amazon

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Saranac Brewing, based in Utica, New York, is one of the many makers of adult drinks that smartly realized it can cash in on any-age beverages. In addition to cranberry ginger ale, sparkling lemonade, and a handful of other sodas, Saranac makes a killer root beer that can be found in plenty of grocery stores and comes here in a 12-pack.

thomas kemper root beer
Albertson's

Thomas Kemper

Prices vary

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It was back in college when I first tasted Thomas Kemper, and if I’m being honest, it was just about the only thing my roommates and I would drink for a while. Made with real honey, Thomas Kemper has a beautiful sweetness behind it that feels almost cream soda-esque. 

henry weinhard root beer
Amazon

Henry Weinhard

$48 from Amazon

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If Thomas Kemper hadn’t stolen my heart in college, I’d probably be all about Henry Weinhard. After moving from Germany to brew beer in Portland, Oregon, Weinhard pivoted  to “soft” drinks — quite successfully — when prohibition hit. I’m glad he did, though this is pricey for a six-pack.

hank's root beer
Amazon

Hank’s

$25 from Amazon

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This Philadelphia legend showed up on the scene in 1996 and has remained one of the tastiest — albeit priciest — root beers you can get your hands on. This price is for a four-pack.



Bulldog root beer
Amazon

Bulldog

$42.50 from Amazon

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No corn syrup at all, check. High-quality, West Coast ingredients, check. Website that looks like it was built in 1991, check. Bulldog is a tasty, classic root beer you can grab for just around two bucks each in a 12-pack, a welcome sight when many craft soda pops hang in the $4 range.

sprecher root beer
Amazon

Sprecher

$23 from Amazon

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I once had a crush on a girl who worked at a candy shop, and she told me that Sprecher was the best root beer in the store. I bought it constantly, hoping, I don’t know, maybe she’d pat me on the head and say, “good choice” or something. We never went out, or even had a full conversation. It was the best root beer in the store, though, and you can get it here in a four-pack.