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May 12, 2010 06:41 AM

Where to buy really good Birch Beer

The post about Birch Syrup got me thinking... Birch Beer is my favorite soft drink of all time, but it's really hard to find the good stuff, which is clear (not red) with a real bite to it.

Last weekend I got some from Avery's soda in New Britain, CT, but I haven't had anything like that in the Boston area for a long time.

Any suggestions?

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    1. re: sinned61

      Is it any good? Stop & Shop sells a clear birch beer in their "Soda Shop" house brand (or whatever it's called) but it's just OK.

      PS: Thanks for the info anyway. I'll check it out if I see it in the store.

      1. re: scratchie

        I like it, but I admit you may be more of a Birch Beer Connoisseur than I. It's not carried everywhere. Where is you location?

      2. I always buy a bunch of Foxon Park birch beer when I'm visiting family in New Haven. Great stuff. They actually ship cases of it from their web site.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ecwashere7

          They have this at Frank Pepe's. I always get a bottle when we go there and bring the remnants home.

          I'm usually a Sugar Free soda guy, but for Birch Beer it has to be full sugar (same with A&W rootbeer)

        2. Not birch beer, but Maine Root's Sarsaparilla is very good, with a similar flavor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nsenada

            i found the Maine Root sarsaparilla to be a bit too syrupy and sweet. Not enough flavor or spice, mostly sugar and water. Boylans makes a good one. Both can be found at Whole Foods.

          2. Would "white birch soda" be the same thing? Chronicle just highlighted old-fashioned businesses last week and one of them was Simpson Spring products in South Easton. They have a line of sodas, one of which is white birch.


            3 Replies
            1. re: Jana

              That's probably the same thing. Thx.

              1. re: Jana

                Bin Ends in Braintree has started to carry Simpson Spring sodas. If they have it grab a bottle of the coffee soda, something you don't find everyday.

                1. re: Jana

                  I'm a root beer connoisseur and I think Simpson Spring's root beer is fantastic and I know they make clear birch beer The only place in Metrowest that carries it is Gary's Liquors on VFW Parkway. If you're making a special trip, you should call ahead to make sure it's in stock. I've had the experience of getting there to find them completely sold out of root beer.

                2. Following up... I tried the Polar Birch Beer. It's OK, but not great. The flavor is not bad -- a little too much vanilla but it's in the ballpark. They're aiming for the right flavor but they're using (I assume) cheap ingredients to get there.

                  So where do I get the good stuff?

                  If this were Polar Root Beer, I might try Stewart's Root Beer as a better alternative. What would be the equivalent for Birch Beer?

                  PS: Polar does make diet Birch Beer, which is not bad, for diet. That it exists at all makes it "not bad" in my book since I mostly drink diet soda when I drink soda. But when I want the full sugar rush, I'd like to find (locally) some nice premium birch beer.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: scratchie

                    I actually like the Polar Birch Beer quite a bit, and I find the diet is just about as good as the original.

                    However, Boylan's Creamy Red Birch Beer is the best birch beer I've ever tasted. Now it is red, and not clear, but the taste is terrific, with a strong vanilla finish. Boylan's also makes a clear birch beer, which I haven't tried. Marty's Liquors in Newton carries them both. I haven't been a fan of many Boylan's sodas in the past, but I really liked this one.

                    I've also seen AJ Stephans birch beer around. I haven't tried it. To be honest, I don't like their Ginger Beer or Raspberry Lime Rickey (the latter is *way* too sweet), but who knows, maybe they make excellent birch beer? They are a local soda producer, from Fall River, I believe. I don't recall where I've seen their birch beer in particular, but I'm sure you could give them a call and they'd tell you where is closest to you.

                    Marty's Liquors
                    675 Washington St, Newton, MA 02458