View Full Version : What is the difference between root beer and birch beer?

12-20-2007, 08:29 AM
They taste alike, but any difference I've usually chalked up to the recipes used by different makers.

12-20-2007, 08:58 AM
From here (http://www.thenibble.com/zine/archives/boylans.asp):
*The difference between birch beer and root beer: They’re close, but made from different barks. Birch beer is made from birch bark extract (and can vary in color depending on the species of birch tree the sap is extracted from). Root beer is made from non-specific roots and barks (often sassafras and/or sarsaparilla, plus herbs like wild cherry, wintergreen and ginger. The original root beer, created in the mid-1800s by Philadelphia pharmacist Charles Hires, was actually a beer—a very low alcohol, naturally effervescent beverage made by fermenting sugar and yeast with the aforementioned ingredients. Today’s products have no alcohol content.

Fear Itself
12-20-2007, 09:09 AM
The only birch beer I have tried is made by Polar Beverages (http://www.polarbev.com/products_flavor_birchbeer.html), and it tastes more like cream soda than root beer. The clear color may be influencing my perception though.

12-20-2007, 09:29 AM
Oy. I've never thought that the two taste the same. Birch beer is root beer's nasty tasting little cousin.

While root beer is mmm, mmm delicious, birch beer is useful only for its alternate purpose, thinning paint.

The color is usually different as well with root beer being a dark brown or black and birch beer having a slight purple tint.

12-20-2007, 10:18 AM
The sub shop near my shop sells this brand (http://www.daretogodutch.com/) . I enjoy it with heavier foods like a barbecue sub or cheese steak. I think it's less sweet than most of the big companies' root beers. It's red.

12-20-2007, 11:16 AM
Cool. Thanks all (esp. Q.E.D. for the cite).

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