These twists on the soda fountain classic are crisp and complex: root beer all grown up.
Maine Root Root Beer
Made with evaporated Fair Trade Certified cane sugar, carbonated water, and spices, this handcrafted caffeine-free brew is as close as you’ll come to a ‘healthy’ soda. Small tight bubbles make the drink extra fizzy.
To buy: $25.95 for twelve 12-ounce bottles, mainroot.com.
Boylan Bottling Root beer
From a New England-based soda company that’s over 100 years old, this root beer is sweetened with pure cane sugar. Cinnamon, vanilla, and sweet birch (an oil extracted from birch bark) contribute to the distinct sassafras flavor that’s characteristic of root beer. This pick also shows hints of cherry and raisin.
To buy: $31.50 for twelve 12-ounce bottles, boylanbottling.com.
Fitz’s Premium Root Beer
In a word, this offering is luscious. Try cracking open a bottle and pouring it into a tall, frosty glass: the contents inside will fall in thick, creamy waves.
To buy: $34.95 for twelve 12-ounce bottles, fitzsrootbeer.com.
Goose Island Root Beer
This Chicago-based beer company knows a thing or two about making thirst-quenching beverages. When it comes to root beer, theirs is at once spicy and cooling—thanks to a hint of spearmint.
To buy: $31 for twelve 12-ounce bottles, amazon.com.
Gus’s Dry Root Beer
With less sugar than other options, this vanilla-forward soda is extra refreshing. It's an ideal drink to pair with dessert—the flavors won’t overwhelm its companions.
To buy: $2.50 for one 12-ounce bottle, candycarrollton.com; $12 for four 12-ounce bottles, Whole Foods Markets.
Small Town Brewery Not Your Father’s Root Beer
A proper beer made from malted grain, hops, and yeast—plus a dozen spices, this root beer has a kick (5.9% alcohol, to be exact). Chase it with a glass of beer, or, go all out and top it with ice cream for the most decadent root beer float imaginable.
To buy: $13 for six 12-ounce bottles, shopwinedirect.com.