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Where to buy really good Birch Beer

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scratchie May 12, 2010 06:41 AM

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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    sinned61 RE: scratchie May 12, 2010 06:58 AM

    Polar makes clear Birch Beer.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sinned61
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      scratchie RE: sinned61 May 12, 2010 07:04 AM

      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
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        sinned61 RE: scratchie May 12, 2010 07:30 AM

        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?

        1. re: scratchie
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          sinned61 RE: scratchie May 12, 2010 07:32 AM

          http://www.polarbev.com/PRODUCTS/Flav...

      2. ecwashere7 RE: scratchie May 12, 2010 08:16 AM

        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.

        http://foxonpark.com/cart.php

        1 Reply
        1. re: ecwashere7
          L2k RE: ecwashere7 May 12, 2010 09:25 AM

          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. nsenada RE: scratchie May 12, 2010 08:22 AM

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

          1 Reply
          1. re: nsenada
            cannedmilkandfruitypebbles RE: nsenada Jun 4, 2010 09:27 AM

            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.

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            Jana RE: scratchie May 12, 2010 08:57 AM

            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.

            http://www.simpsonspring.com

            3 Replies
            1. re: Jana
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              scratchie RE: Jana May 12, 2010 12:30 PM

              That's probably the same thing. Thx.

              1. re: Jana
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                jjbourgeois RE: Jana May 10, 2011 09:28 AM

                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
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                  Velda Mae RE: Jana May 11, 2011 05:20 AM

                  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.

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                  scratchie RE: scratchie Jun 4, 2010 06:45 AM

                  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
                    lipoff RE: scratchie Jun 4, 2010 01:06 PM

                    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.

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

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                    seggy_model RE: scratchie May 10, 2011 08:26 AM

                    I grew up in CT and my dad introduced me to Birch Beer. I love it, but can't find clear/white birch beer. I dont like polar because its too sweet and not enough spice. I'm in Kansas now, & no one out here knows what it is. I want to ship some out here to let my friends try it. If they dont like it that means more for me. Help!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: seggy_model
                      Science Chick RE: seggy_model May 10, 2011 08:48 AM

                      Stewart's makes a pretty decent one. Not sure where you can get it, but if you contact the company they could probably let you know:

                      http://www.drinkstewarts.com/flavors....

                      Having grown up in CT, I also am fond of birch beers made by small soda companies there. A couple appear to still be available:

                      http://foxonpark.com/cart.php?m=produ...
                      http://www.hosmersoda.com/index.php?o...

                      Sadly, Pequot Soda is no longer in business :(

                      Hope this helps........good luck!

                    2. okra RE: scratchie May 10, 2011 10:59 AM

                      I know it's south of you, but Yacht Club in North Providence makes a birch beer...

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                      Yacht Club Bottling
                      2239 Mineral Spring Ave, North Providence, RI 02911

                      1. m
                        MacGuffin RE: scratchie Mar 12, 2012 11:38 AM

                        Boylan's classic birch beer (which is kind of a golden color) is fantastic. So is their Creamy Red, which has less bite and a vanilla finish.

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