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Favorite Kosher Root Beer

  • p

My kids have been getting into the Diet Root Beer kick, especially the Saranac Diet RB. I have always been a big fan of Diet Barq's, but was wondering whether anyone had a diet RB (kosher only please) that they thought was superior.

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  1. I think diet A & W is good.

    1. IBC makes a great Root Beer, but I have no idea if they make it diet. Stewart's does make it diet, but I find it a bit lacking in foam. The flavor is good though.

      1. Dr. Brown's is really good. In fact, all of their sodas are really good, albeit hard to find outside the NY area.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Fozzie_Bear

          It's usually in the Kosher aisle of the grocery store... that or your fav. NY style deli.

        2. Boylans has no corn syrup! Yeah!!
          (although, I'm not sure if they have a diet one)

          1 Reply
          1. re: dadisachef

            Boylan's is pretty good stuff, but it's full sugar (like dadisachef says, no corn syrup, but lotsa sugar) and I think it's just a wee bit short on "bite." I think Barq's had it right when they said, "Barq's has bite." Anyone else think it was better before Coke bought them out?

          2. Dad's Root Beer is my favorite -

            1. Is Kirsch still around? How about Shasta? I remember drinking those exclusively at the day camp in Jewish day camp. They tasted good too.

              1. Well, if you want real Root Beer that's actually *brewed*, try Virgils. Amazing taste. I'd put Best Health second to that, but it's very hard to find. Stewarts makes a nice Root Beet too.

                Barq's isn't "real" Root Beer. It has caffeine added.

                4 Replies
                1. re: typo lad

                  I'm pretty sure that the Saranac Diet RB is also actually "brewed." I don't think that I've ever seen Virgils, but I'll keep an eye out for it. Do you know if its under rabbinical supervision, and if so who?

                  As to Barq's, I had no idea about the caffeine. Was it always made this way? I remember that when the atkins craze hit in the mid 90's that was one of the few sodas that people drank because they believed it did not have caffeine.

                  1. re: PapaT

                    Virgil's Root Beer is OU certified (as are BH and Stewarts).

                    Barq's has always had caffeine. That's the "bite" the slogan speaks of.

                    I'll look into Saranac. Thanks for the heads up!

                    1. re: typo lad

                      I agree with typo_lad about Virgil's. It is the best by far. I usually buy it @ Whole Foods.

                      1. re: velorutionary

                        They also sell it at Food Emporium and Trader Joe's.

                2. Caffeine is a problem in Atkins?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DeisCane

                    I'm no doctor and don't play one on TV, but I vaguely remember that the Dr. Atkins books that were circulating said something about avoiding caffeine in diet soda. Its been too many years since I tried it to remember the details, (although in some respects I do miss being fleishig twenty four hours a day).

                  2. Okay, but are all of these root beers kosher? Kirsch and Shasta are.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bigmackdaddy

                      Barq's is under the OU, Saranac is under the Vaad of Detroit.

                    2. The ones I mentioned are.

                      1. Diet Barq's is practically the only one I like.

                        1. Does Kirsch and Shasta even exist any more? Or was it called Hirsch?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: bigmackdaddy

                            Shasta does, but it seems like Kirsch (usually credited with developing the first diet soda) is no longer around.

                          2. BS"D

                            Stewarts is the best I think.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ShlomoDovid

                              Try Virgil's. As good as Stewarts is, it will make your eyes open in shock.

                            2. Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer is pretty good (regular and diet). It's very similar to Root Beer.

                              1. I disagree that birch and root beers are "very similar." That's like saying Ginger Ale and Root Beer are "very similar." They have similar development processess and ingredients and go for a bite that doesn't exist in traditional sodas, but otherwise, the primary flavors are markedly different. Ohhh, I love birch beer. :-)

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: DeisCane

                                  And now Yahoo says that Root Beer is the healthiest soda for teeth...


                                  1. re: PapaT

                                    If you are trying to find hard-to-find regional root beers, the following website is useful:


                                    There is a link for sodas that are kosher (no identification of the certifying authority provided). The diet root beers they list are:

                                    Boylan Bottleworks Diet Root Beer
                                    Jones Soda Co. Sugar-Free Root Beer
                                    Stewart's Fountain Classics Diet Root Beer

                                    None of the above are hard to find in the NYC area. I assume that none of the regional favorites carried in the root beer section carry a hechsher.