Review: Boylan’s Original Birch Beer


We’ve looked at a lot of cane sugar-sweetened drinks from Boylan in the past, including their Black Cherry, Ginger Ale, and Root Beer. Speaking of beverages that have a similarity to root beer, let’s take a look at Boylan’s Original Birch Beer.

Boylan's Original Birch Beer

Boylan’s Original Birch Beer

Root beer and birch beer are often used interchangeably, however there are differences. The flavors of root beer have origins in the sassafras plant, though today most of that is recreated using “natural and artificial” additives. Birch beer, on the other hand, avoids the sassafras taste, while instead sourcing flavor from the bark of the birch tree (hence the name). While both types of drinks have similar flavor profiles, there are differences that can be noted by a beverage enthusiast.

Like its root beer offering, Boylan’s Birch Beer comes in a 12 oz. dark brown glass bottle with a sharp looking label that isn’t some cheap transparent sticker. Pop the cap and you are greeted with a licorice-like scent, but one that has a hint of mintyness. It’s not super sweet; more “stoic” in nature.

The flavor itself somewhat biting and not very creamy. It’s more of a “let’s get to the heart of this birch flavor” approach (it does contain “pure birch oils”). No sugar coating needed. I tend to think of it as more of a serious drink, with something like A&W meeting the need for more of a causal root beer experience. Boylan makes note of the wintergreen flavor, and it’s rather obvious and strong. The foamy head is not overwhelming, the same of which can be said for the carbonation level. Very clean taste.

Overall, this is a recommended drink. Birch beer isn’t the easiest thing to find, so if you have Boylan available in your area, be sure to give this a try. It’s got a great flavor profile and a rewarding taste!

Boylan’s Original Birch Beer
Carbonated water, cane sugar, pure birch oils, natural flavors, caramel color, natural yucca extract, citric acid, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness)

A 12 oz bottle contains 160 calories, 35 mg sodium, and 40 g carbs (40 g sugars). Caffeine free.