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Favorite Bottled Root Beer

I have a friend coming from Europe who loves root beer. I'd like to get him some bottles to sample while he is here. Can anyone recommend specific brands of their favorite root beer and where to purchase them?


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  1. Thomas Kemper -- Murray's Cheese on Bleecker St used to have it, haven't seen it in the last few weeks, maybe the Grand Central one has it?

    Sprecher -- available at Fairway, not sure which ones, call the Harlem one?

    Abita -- the finder on their site says available at Fairway uptown, and a bunch of places in Brooklyn. I would call to ask.

    Saranac -- their site implies that Westside Supermarket on the UWS carries Saranac products. I would call to ask specifically about the root beer.

    See also:

    Murray's Cheese
    254 Bleecker St, New York, NY 10014

    2 Replies
    1. re: kathryn

      In case you're further uptown, Barzini's on Broadway near 91st St. has a nice selection of bottled sodas. I've seen a couple of kathryn's brands there.

      2455 Broadway, New York, NY 10024

      1. IBC all the way; Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream in it for him.

        2 Replies
        1. re: princeofpork

          Most important consideration is that they are sweetened with sugar and not corn syrup.

          1. re: princeofpork

            The IBC is pretty special. Stands up to ice very well.

            1. re: princeofpork

              Does anyone know which brand(s) use sugar instead of corn syrup? IBC and Sprechers use corn syrup. I love root beer but am trying to avoid corn syrup as well.
              oh...great...now I am craving a root beer float!

            2. You friend might like Boylans Red Birch Beer, While not root beer it would probably taste interesting to a palate that enjoys root beer.

              1 Reply
              1. re: BluPlateSpec

                I dont really taste a difference between Birch Beer, Root Beer, or Sasparilla. I like them all and they all seem the same. Boylan's i like, but I like Hire's and even the rootbeer at A&W, what can I say I just like root beer.

              2. In addition to purchasing bottles for your buddy, if you guys want a dining experience with a good bottled root beer "list," check out Momofuku Ssam Bar.

                Momofuku Ssam Bar
                207 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

                1 Reply
                1. re: D...DF

                  They only have two types now. Sprecher and Fitz's.

                2. Oogave! It's sweetened with agave nectar! It's soooo good and only about 90 calories too vs A&W & Thomas Kemper (Mmmm) about 200 cal. A Whole Foods employee turned me on to it here in Seattle. I don't know why I am even mentioning the calories because when I'm craving just root beer in a glass w/ ice cubes & a straw or my fave Hagen daz vanilla frozen yogurt and root beer ~ calories aren't a factor, I'm just mentioning because the Oogave brand is so good that I was shocked to see so few calories. I also have to mention my brother-in-law's "adult" RB float made traditional but with either medium rum added or bourbon. I felt naughty having it, it was sooo good,

                  1. I usually don't like soda, but I love Virgil's root beer. It's brewed with real spices and cane sugar. Every once in a while I treat myself to a root beer float, and this stuff is the only root beer that's worth the indulgence. I know they carry it at Fairway, and I think the ginger beer company, Reed's, has bought it; it should be available at Whole Foods. (Virgil's is much better root beer than Reed's is ginger beer.)

                    1. dont forget xs energy root beer blast and jager+redbull shots -- just to throw a couple jolting twists in to the root beer theme ;)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: mrnyc

                        After seeing this posting, we has some fun. We bought every root beer Vinegar factory had and had a taste test! I must agree Virgil's was so good. Very strong-maybe not for everybody. We loved it.