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What is the best diet root beer?

I've been drinking IBC diet root beer for a while, and I like it pretty well, but today I tried a diet Boylan's and it was really good, which got me to wondering if there something really excellent out there that I haven't tried yet? Anything wonderful, spicy, artisanal yet diet that I should seek out?

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  1. My votes go to Virgil's and Hank's.

    3 Replies
    1. re: almansa

      I've never seen a diet Virgil's! Oh, my, I'm in trouble if I find that. What do they use as the sweetener?

        1. re: almansa


          Just following up with a link. They do use stevia which is finally allowed to be added as an ingredient to soda. The pharmaceutical lobby fought hard, but stevia now has the official okey dokey.

    2. Draft diet A&W in one of their restaurants.

      4 Replies
          1. re: cycloneillini

            Damn that that A&W diet root beer is fantastic!!!
            Bought some on a whim at Wal Mart last week....on sale $1 for a 2 liter bottle.
            Label says they use "aged" vanilla.
            After you taste it you wonder why they call it "Diet".
            It's so good I went back and bought 8 more bottles.

            1. re: monku

              I've lost over 80lb on a low car diet enjoying 4 A&W diet root beers a day for the last year. It curbs my sweets craving and it also is the only diet drink I've ever had that tastes "refreshing". Coke Zero, for some reason, I used to love, but have now identified some ingredient in it I don't like. Bummer, it's the only diet drink in my coke machine in my apartments. But seriously, That A&W diet stuff is fantastic.

            1. I find Diet Barq's and Diet Mug totally acceptable and at a much more reasonable price than artisan.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Alfred G

                I like both of those, but rarely find them in the places I want them most - convenience stores or restaurants. Diabetics rarely seem to get a choice beyond Diet Coke (or Diet Pepsi -yechh), and if you're lucky, Fresca or diet ginger ale. Diet 7-Up is just awful.

              2. I like the Publix house brand. It's sweetened with Splenda. Generally, any diet root beer with aspartame is a no-no.

                3 Replies
                1. re: aynrandgirl

                  Why? Health or taste. New Yorker ran a report on all the leading sweeteners and found that Aspartame and stevia were the least likely to have deleterious health effects as well as closest to sugar of any of the artificials, true none were close, but these days we are getting high fructose corn syrup not sugar anyway. After that article l used up the rest of my Splenda and now use Equal again. Sort of like it, do not see any downside, if there is please let me know.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    Taste. I find the taste of aspartame-sweetened drinks to be terrible.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      I wish it didn't make any difference for me - Splenda is more difficult to find. I react horribly to Aspartame - severe depression and increased appetite. IMHO when Splenda is an ingredient, they use too much. I like Pepsi One (hard to find) but they way over-use the Splenda, turns people off. I'm also quite diabetic, so regular soda is a no-no. Even this situation is depressing! If you can handle Aspartame, rethink of it as a blessing and enjoy! Ditto with sugar.

                  2. diet Hansen's, sweetened with Splenda. You can find it at Trader Joe's. Tasty!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: richmondfoodie

                      Diet Stewarts if you live on the east coast.

                      1. re: bluedog67

                        Diet Stewarts if you live on the West Coast, too.

                        Creamy, vanilla-ish, but still low calorie. I'm wondering if others have compared other brands to Stewarts Diet Root Beer and have found a better one.

                        1. re: maria lorraine

                          I have a hard time finding it here in PNW, but it is my fave diet root beer.

                          Kemper makes good root beer, but again diet hard to find.

                      2. re: richmondfoodie

                        THANK YOU! I should have read all the way down the list.

                        1. There is a fairly new one out called "Teddy's" I like it, Real fizzy and light.

                          1. Barq's for me, it's a regular in my fridge.

                            1. Diet Boylans or Stewarts. Both are fantastic.

                              1. I used to import IBC soft drinks into Canada before it was fashionable (as well as Stewarts and others).
                                I tried to get the IBC diet products, but saccharin is banned in Canada, and so was never able to get it.
                                Interesting, it seems that saccharin is an 'old fashioned' sweetener thats gone out of style (that pesky lab rat thing), yet IBC seems to hold on to it.
                                So I can't vouch for diet IBC taste.

                                My vote goes to Stewart's

                                1. Sprecher lo-cal root beer is the best i have ever had.

                                  1. The OP and I agree. I am a fan of both IBC and Boylan's. But am always on the look out for other contenders. Root beer is my one indulgence in the artisan soda world. I guess its that authentic olde tyme thing.

                                    1. Had some Dr. Pepper's Diet Root Beer this week-end. Went down quite nice and easy and left no unpleasant after-taste.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Doctormhl1

                                        When did the Dr Pepper Company start doing root beer?

                                      2. I like Fitz's when I drink diet root beer. Local St. Louis bottler. Good root beer.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sueatmo

                                          Hands down, the winner is Berghoff diet root beer from Chicago. I swear, you wouldn't even know it was diet. No chemical taste, no aftertaste - just deliciousness.

                                        2. ok, I'm a sucker. If it's root beer, I'll drink it.

                                          1. Diet Stewart's & Diet Dad's

                                            1. I say Cott diet root beer which is found around Pittsburgh or A-Treat in eastern PA.

                                              1. I'm really loving Diet Frostop. The regular Frostop is probably my favorite overall too, having tasted about 30 or so in the past two years.

                                                1. I've tried many. IBC and Stewart's are excellent. Boylan sodas are great, especially black cherry. But I always come back to A&W. It's best poured over ice with a decent head.