Top Ten Best Root Beers

The Top Ten

1 A&W

The best on this list, closely followed by Mug. Barq's is nowhere near the same flavor profile as A&W; it tastes too metallic.

Perfect blend of sweetness and frothiness. When you pour it from the can into your mouth, you feel the cold yet welcoming, bubbly fizz pass from your lips to the back of your throat and you realize that at that one moment, the waltz of bubbly texture and signature A&W sweetness on your taste buds is all that matters.

Whilst the mighty, heavily-funded Barq's Root Beer capitulates to society's ever-growing obsession with sugar, and others mistakenly see it as a challenge to perform a 180 degree turn, A&W has been able to grow in its own right, fast becoming the greatest brand of Root Beer to grace us with its presence. Fall to the floor and weep at the sight of this great brand. Viva la A&W, viva la root beer!

A&W is not overly sweet, but gives just the right amount of slightly sugary taste to please. It is my favorite root beer by far. I also like that it's not too mainstream; it doesn't belong to Coca-Cola or Pepsi. Maybe that lets the creators put more work into it.


IBC is by far my favorite root beer. I started drinking it about 10 years ago. Initially it was raised letters on the bottle that attracted me to give it a try. Now I have my local store order it by the case. I mostly drink diet root beer as I feel regular root beers are too sweet and creamy (go figure). IBC has a great balance of flavors with a strong bite. If I had to break it down I would say anise, molasses and vanilla. Unfortunately they've gone from 6 pack to 4 pack. One benefit was going from corn syrup to real sugar, but as for the diet they've said at IBC they've made no change. I can taste a change, it is a little more mild than the previous version. One question for IBC, if they've made no change to the diet version then why are the sodium numbers on the back lower than the 6 pack version of the IBC Diet? It is still my favorite with Boylan diet being second. I know lots of people say Virgil's is has the best flavor with its dominant nutmeg. Although I do agree it has a ...more

IBC root beer is my favorite among those I've tasted that currently are on the market. In fact, I drink the IBC DIET root beer, and it's delicious. I've had root beer from California to Virginia, and IBC is still my #1 choice. IBC has that old-fashioned root beer taste that I remember from my childhood. There are four other root beers on the list that I enjoy, but IBC truly is the best tasting to me.

IBC root beer is by far the best root beer I've ever had. It is rich and satisfying. (Satisfying as in always wanting more) IBC is refreshing, pure, and is not a gigantic mass produced brand that is shipped every where and makes you feel sick. That is why I think IBC tops almost every other root beer.

I think IBC is by far the best Root Beer on the market today. I've tried the others and nothing compares to the rich old fashioned flavor of IBC. The dark bottles are a plus for preserving freshness and taste.

3 Barqs Root Beer

Best there is its not just my favorite root beer it's my favorite drink I have one whenever I can I love this stuff its amazing it has great bite great flavor this is an all around great root beer period

My mom's family is from the Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Mississippi to be exact, and where Barq's was made for many years. I can still remember everyone being upset when the formula changed. If you ever talk to someone around during then they will tell you that it hasn't been the same since they quit using the "dirty river water", referring to the water from the Big Biloxi river. It was years before it regained the cultish following it had before it was made with filtered city water and finally figured out how to get the "bite" back. It's still my favorite root beer and I've been so happy that it's available everywhere now. It used to be just during trips to see the family that I got to have it.

Root beer is a preference drink. You either like it smooth and creamy or with real bite. I love Barq's for the bite. Another good root beer not on the list is Triple X. So throwing my vote in for Barq's baby!

Not the best root beer. Not even top 20. Tastes like carbonated syrup. The only thing Barq's has going for it is its bite. It has no root beer flavor and has zero head. If you think this is the best, do yourself a favor and pick up any glass bottled root beer. Chances are it's at least five times better than Barq's.

4 Dad's Root Beer

Reminds me of years gone by. Can't find it down here in SW Virginia.

I made prefer Dad's over all other root beers because I grew up with it and reminds me of the good times in the 90s. But I also love its smooth but barky flavor - and I also love the design of the can itself and that it hasn't changed over time: very simple, old school looking, and classic!

I have been dying to try this and still haven't. Someone please tell me what stores I can find this root beer. I have tried my local grocery store Kroger and a bunch of worldwide stores.

This is the one that my aunt and uncle had on tap at their soda shop, and the one I used when they taught me how to make a Black Cow, its what they used to call a root beer float

5 Henry Weinhard's Root Beer

Just the best! Smooth finish and you can taste the vanilla in it!

There is no way that Henry's shouldn't be at the top of this list other than the fact that those voting for others simply haven't had Henry's. Without a doubt, the best root beer out there!

Any distinguishing palate will recognize this as a superior root beer. All others fall short of it's perfection.

Every time I pop open a bottle I say to myself "this is the best root beer I've ever had". There are lots of great choices on this list. But, Henry's is definitely my favorite. Enjoy it ice cold strait from the bottle. Root beer lovers will not be disappointed.

6 Hires Root Beer

Never Tried It Personally But I Have Also Heard Good Things About This Root Beer

I drank Hires for many years until the company folded. I've been pleased to see it is back on the market. It has just the right blend of sweet and sassy.

Great Root Beer stands the test of time, and yes, Hires is the greatest!

One of the oldest brands and still great by itself and in a float.

7 Sprecher

I can't imagine anyone drinking A&W, Barq's, Dad's or any other mass-produced root beer and saying it's better than Sprecher. I would imagine you haven't tasted Sprecher then. It's the best.

From Milwaukee it is the best I've had when traveling around the country. Hands down the best and I have tried all the others on this list, can you say the same?

Sprecher has one of the best tastes around. It does use high fructose corn syrup though rather than cane sugar or other higher quality sweetener.

Smooth creamy flavor without all of the froth. Retains a little of the bitter taste that sets root beer apart from colas.

8 Barrelhead Root Beer

Drank this brand in the 70's and early 80's and then it just went poof and disappeared. I stopped drinking root beer because after being spoiled by Barrel Head nothing else would do. NO other root beer I was able to get at the grocery store kept a head on it like this stuff did. It was like drinking Guinness Stout for kids.

Was and still is the best. Hopefully they'll revive this long lost brand!

Was the best when it was manufactured by cadbury and in my mind still the best root beer ever made. Sorry they discontinued it..

No question it was the greatest tasting root beer ever made! Hands down...

9 Mug

Mug is far better than most on this list, including Barq's (the worst flavor profile that I've ever experienced in terms of root beer). The only ones that is better are A&W and IBC.

Mug is the "creamiest" and frothiest brand available, it allows for a wide, sweet flavor with no bite provided. Bite takes away from the true quality of the flavor of the beverage. Easily the greatest.

I love the soft flavor. There's just enough carbonation to taste amazing

A&W has too much syrup this and IBC are the best

10 Stewarts Root Beer

By far the best, always bottled so has that classic, awesome taste

I take a bath in this jawn. All other rootbeer is inferior and needs to be eradicated.

Ever since I've had my first bottle of Stewarts root beer, it's been my favorite.

My favorite. Has the strongest flavor yet is smooth. Some of the major brands taste just a little watered down compared to Stewart's.

The Contenders

11 Route 66 Root Beer

It has to be the worst I've ever had. could not even finish the bottle.

Nondescript. Move on to something with flavor.

Tastes great sweet and smooth

Really great root beer

12 Sparky's

Sparks is delicious. Not your typical root beer taste. Definitely more robust and sharp.

Very strong pleasant tasting root beer. Smell it all over the room when you open the lid...

Great root beer. Impossible to find in NC.

Pour me a beer (root)! Proverbs 3:7-8 (NIV)
Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
And nourishment to your bones.

13 Junior Johnson Root Beer

Best root beer ever. Stores in western North Carolina cannot keep it in stock.

14 Hanks Gourmet Root Beer

This is a fantastic root beer! So much better than the average brands most people vote for because it is the common ones they find everywhere.

There are some great root beers on here, but I voted for Hank's because it is an almost perfect all-around root beer. A fantastic, long lasting head, a wonderful body, and great aftertaste is hard to beat. And that's exactly what you get with this root beer. Also, I'm getting sick and tired of seeing Barq's rated so highly. It is flat out awful to anyone with a distinguished root beer palate. Therefore, if barqs is truly the favorite root beer of those who voted for it, they are likely to only be familiar with flavors in our mainstream bubble such as barqs, mug, and A&W and thus, should try some amazing root beer that you cannot just get at WalMart, but rather go hunt for some gourmet goodness. With that said, I'm done ranting.

This is my best tasting root beer. Very awesome taste that is smooth with a great after taste..

Absolutely amazing... wonderful head and then subsides with a following of an amazing aftertaste of sweet vanilla and a wonderfully crafted blend of spice. Just perfect. I need to do a side by side with Virgil's Bavarian Nutmeg. This absolutely has the better head and made with cane sugar.

15 Abita Root Beer

Overrated. Didn't get past the first round of our taste test.

Excellent! Not too sweet. Just right.

It has a very specific calorie number.

The best root beer by far! It's amazing!

16 Berghoff's Root Beer

Love it! Reminds me of my Grandfathers homemade rooter.

Great root beer

No do not like served warm at berghoffs. Not good.

17 Frosty's

My all time favorite root beer. great memories of enjoying a bottle back when I was kind growing up in the 60's. Once in awhile I can find it in bottles here in Michigan but usually only around Christmas time, though other products are available year round. Thankfully I live just over the border from Indiana where I purchase it regularly in the South Bend area. For the record I have to say that I can find Frosty here in Michigan but only in plastic bottles and honestly it just does not taste the same.

All time favorite that was heads above all others, It would receive all the votes except no-one today can try it. I have not seen any in 20 years. I have seen it advertised on-line for too much money. Not sure it would be the same product as before.

Love it, too bad they don't sell it where I live.

Great root beer - - sure wish I could find it in Texas these days!

18 1919

This is true old fashioned root beer. So much better than the sickeningly sweet brand name sodas. There's one problem though...unless you are ordering it online, it's only available in retail stores in the Midwest.

I have tasted many on this list. To me there is none better and more balanced in flavor than 1919. If it's on tap and put in a frosty mug it's very hard to beat. So satisfying.

This is a good solid root beer that any fan of root beer should enjoy

If everyone could try it, they'd be sure to love it. Not too sweet, great flavor!

19 Sioux City Root Beer

Best root beer I have had, great sarsaparilla taste to it I could barely savor it and not drink it all!

This root beer has a taste unlike any other. It truly is the best out there.

Awesome root beer. Also got a good Sarsaparilla.

This is a really great root beer

20 Virgil's

I have never tasted better root beer than Virgil's. It jumps into my cart when I go to the grocery store. It makes fantabulous root beer floats.

The most complex, yet drinkable, root beer on the market today. One swig and you taste vanilla, licorice, nutmeg, etc.. flavors that come together in your mouth with just the right amount of carbonation to please the palate. Enjoy a cold refreshing Virgils root beer in a nice cold, frosty mug! --- What a treat!

Virgil is the best I have ever had! Not cheap but worth the price. I have tried over two dozen different root beers and Virgil's is my favorite.

It "was" the best root beer hands down on the market about a year ago, I drank it regularly however in the past year they have managed to change recipe/where product is manufactured and it no longer is worth drinking.

21 Jackson Hole Buckin' Root Beer

Picked it up for the first time after trying every root beer always going back to henry winhards and a&w on the tap and was surprised to find a new favorite

22 Saranac 1888 Root Beer

Unfortunately when it comes to these top 10 lists, it's not the best brand that reaches the top but the brand that has the most recognition. I have done a side-by-side comparison of Saranac and IBC and, while the two definitely have different flavors, Saranac left a better impression on me. It was sweet, had a nice bite, a strong body, and a wonderful vanilla aftertaste. I still haven't scoured the globe for the best brews out there, but Saranac is my favorite so far.

Definitely lots of corn syrup but has a strong root beer taste (as opposed to a lot of the others on this list. )

Smooth and uniquely flavored! One of my favorites!

The waters of Saratoga are filled with iron which gives this root beer a different taste and the best after taste.

23 Boylan

Best root beer I have tried so far. Shame it's difficult to get in the UK though.

Most beautiful and traditional root beer, absolutely delicious.

You idiots. This slaps everything

Hands down, best root beer.

24 Carters

In England, it is all I can get my hands on, sold through a Walmart subsidiary, Asda. At first I was like 'what the he'll?! ', but then it has grown on me a little - enough to buy it by the crate, again because it's all I can get. Doesn't ring true of that original rooty flavour I enjoyed as a child in the Us though...

Honestly Carters just kind of tastes like mouthwash and fake sugar. I love rootbeer so much I usually don't even care what brand it's from, but Carters is a brand I'll never buy from again.
If you enjoy mint and fake sugar then this drink might just be for you, however if you favor a traditional rootbeer flavor I would recommend you look elsewhere.

25 Lost Trail Root Beer

Regional, and an excellent root beer, very smooth.

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