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Birch beer, or Birch-ish root beer?!

Part of this harks back to - what is a root beer?! And that is - it's a soft drink made from roots. Here's the kicker - every culture has had root-based drinks. So making them carbonated is not a surprise. Typical roots are sassafras and others, and typically a blend of different roots.


So what's birch beer and this "birch-ish" in the subject? Some birch beers are basically root beers with an overlay of a touch of birch. It adds a distinct flavor, but it's not really that far in taste from a regular root beer.


Why would you ever drink the root of a birch tree? I mean, you could ask the same thing for eating the fruit of a nightshade or fungi, but people love tomatoes and mushrooms. And you drink the root of a birch for the same reason - it's delicious.


Then there's the birch beers that you can't miss the birch. It is a strong flavor throughout, and it's awesome. (Not an opinion, it just is. I mean, unless you don't like the taste of birch, then maybe try one of the light birches.)


After all that, how can you tell the difference? Most birches are actually awfully close to root beer - Pennsylvania Dutch Birch, Sioux City Birch, and tons more. Two with a strong, distinctive birch are Hank's Birch Beer, and Boylan Red Cream Birch Beer. There are more of course, and once you've done a head-to-head comparison you'll tell the difference - and of course, include a couple of root beers in there, one with more of an anise and one more wintergreen, like Sparky's for the anise and Sioux City Root Beer for the root beer, so that you'll have the full gamut.


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