Birch Beer vs Root Beer: What’s the Difference Between These Botanical Brews?

When I was a youngster, I loved root beer, and viewed birch beer as a special delicacy that was only available in certain gas stations, like a fine wine of a specific region. But, birch beer is available across the country, if one knows where to get it! But which is the superior soft drink? Today we explore root beer vs birch beer…the gladiators of guzzle-ables. 

Birch beer vs root beer: Appearance

The first difference between birch beer and root beer one may notice between these two beverages is purely visual. Root beer is a deep brown hue. Birch beer is most often clear, like the sap from which it’s made, but sometimes it can be red or brown. I personally have only tried the clear kind, which added to its mystique. It was like Champagne to me!

Birch beer vs root beer: Ingredients

The primary difference between root and birch beer is their ingredients. Birch beer is made from the sap and bark of birch trees, while root beer is made with sassafras vine and root. Either way, it sounds to me like the argument could be made that, since they both come from tree parts, these sodas should be counted as daily helpings of vegetables. Moving on… 

Birch beer vs root beer: Flavor

Taste-wise, birch beer is lighter and less sweet than root beer, making it more refreshing. Birch beer has a slightly mintier flavor that is sometimes compared to wintergreen. Root beer has a much more complex, spicy flavor that is often compared to sarsaparilla. When determining which is better, it’s an extremely tough call. Some folks prefer the boldness of root beer, while others prefer the subtler notes of birch beer. You’ll have to decide for yourself, or save yourself the trouble and mix a cocktail of the two. “Broot beer”! What a concept! 

Birch beer vs root beer: Which one’s better?

If you’re on a family road trip and the gas station you’ve pulled into for an all-too-necessary restroom break has a local birch beer for sale among the standard soft drink options, I say give the birch a whirl! While you may not like it better than our beloved root beer, you’ll broaden your horizons and refresh yourself. Plus, if it’s the clear kind, you can spill some on the seats of the car and no one has the right to get mad at you for staining the upholstery.

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!

Your thoughts.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Fun read. Sorry to say Root beer is made with Winter green and a few other spices these days 🙂