Mug vs Barq’s

There are so many root beers out there, but these were the two available in the store that I stopped at on the way home today. I don’t know exactly what gives root beer it’s distinctive flavor. I checked out a few recipes and it seems like it’s vanilla and wintergreen and sometimes ginger, licorice and something called sassafras (which I will look up later). I like root beer every now and then, but my love affair with it seemed to end after Ramblin’ was discontinued.

Mug:
Upon opening the bottle we noticed that this smelled very root beery, like the scratch and sniff stickers I used to have. The taste is pretty decent, a lot better then Ethan had remembered it – he used to think Mug was the “bottom of the barrel” for root beers. This was a little too sweet and Ethan said it tasted almost like Pepsi with herbs.

Barq’s:
When I tasted this, I said I thought this had more of a bite and Ethan immediately said “That’s their motto,” – so I guess it’s accurate. Ethan thought the flavor was more of a “true” root beer flavor. The bubbles were a little more present although like Mug, there was no “head” on either of these, but I’m not sure if that’s possible out of a bottle.

Wrap up:
Ethan liked Barq’s better but was surprised that Mug wasn’t all that bad either. I felt both were pretty much the same and feel like I should try harder to find a Ramblin’ equivalent, although I’m not sure if I remember exactly how it tastes. But if there is a root beer that is a little smoother or creamier, I’d love to try it.

Mug or Barq's?

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31 thoughts on “Mug vs Barq’s

  1. Stewarts Root Beer is probably one of my favorites. Its so smooth and creamy, and totally worth it in a glass bottle. But out of the two you tasted, I would say Barqs over Mug.

  2. Dad’s root beer was for a long time my favorite commercial brew, and A&W is an extremely close second. I don’t know if Dad’s is still around though. Barq’s and Mug don’t hold a candle to A&W. There is a whole phenomenon of root beer micro-brews and home-brews, didjaknow?

  3. Barq’s has caffeine in it & Mug doesn’t. I think Barq’s is the only root beer to have caffeine in it.

  4. Barq’s *is* the only root beer with caffeine. I think Barq’s is much better than Mug, only b/c Mug is way too sweet to me. A very good brand, if you can find it, is Abita. They started out brewing real beer, and have started making root beer w/real cane sugar. A&W & Stewart’s are fairly similar. Boylan’s is also very tasty & isn’t as cloyingly sweet as some of the others. I used to hate the stuff as a kid (and Mug reminds me of that), but now it’s one of my faves 🙂

  5. That’s interesting about the caffeine. I mistakenly thought all rootbeer had none.

    I agree that A&W is better than both of these. That’s usually what I grab when I get a root beer craving. I’m sure Michelle will eventually match it against either one of these or a different brand like IBC.

  6. I not sure if you have it up there, but down here in Fort Worth Texas my favorite is Sioux City (yeah, I know) brand Sarsaparilla. it’s not quite root beer, but it tastes pretty close, and is the best, it seems a bit stronger than say, IBC.

  7. Bulldog is one great root beer that a co-worker told me about. It’s hard to find but if you have a World Market near you they should have it. A&W draft is still my childhood fav. If you are up in Iowa you should try and get some Millstream Root Beer – they are a microbrew (like Abita) but also do Root Beer, Cream Soda and Black Cherry.

  8. There are really 2 categories of root beer to me. Smooth & bitey (I can’t think of a better way to put it). A&W is a good smooth example is probably A&W, where Barq’s has bite. ;^) Barq’s is also one of the few I’ve noticed with caffeine. The best overall has to be IBC. From a glass bottle, or in a frosted mug.

  9. Oh, @lilly, IBC started brewing root beer back in prohibition, they were a beer brewery … Independent Breweries Company. (In looking that up I just found out they are owned by Dr Pepper/7Up. You learn something new every day!)

    A microbrewery/restaurant here in Dallas had a brew called Ugly Mug. It was pretty bad.

  10. A&W is the measuring stick by which all root beer should be judged, but Hires, Barq’s, and Stewart’s do well in a pinch. :^)

    Dad’s can be found in the beverage aisle of most Dollar Tree and Family Dollar stores.

  11. we’re able to locate the odd A&W by the tray or dozen here in NZ so it can’t be “regional” i think AW is awesome. but Mug sometimes tastes a little like dirt at the end… its very faint and better than the chemical taste of some creaming sodas

  12. NOOOOOOO! Mug is vastly superior! I’ve never met anyone who prefers Barq’s.

    @CZ: Dad’s is still strong in Ontario, and usually comes in a glass bottle. It’s our favourite too.

  13. Why are some of you saying that A&W is better than Barq’s but that Barq’s is better than Mug? A&W and Mug taste the same.

  14. I think it is the caffeine that gives the Barq’s it’s “bite”. (Haha…it’s Barq is worse than its’ bite!LOL) … Seriously – I think I am one of those people who can detect caffeine in a beverage. I know most people say it doesn’t have a taste, but I can definitely detect it. – In soda and in coffee vs. decaf. (Not just by getting the shakes either, it gives drinks a ‘bite’ and the decaf coffee and decaf sodas are more dull and do not even smell as exciting to me.)

  15. how can anyone drink mug? the only time i can drink it is if i need a drink cuz i ate shit too fast and its in my throat – barqs is king shit end of story mug is fucking terrible seriously barqs root beer tastes like root beer there is nothing better then cracking it open ice cold so much bite – i would like to see anyone chug for 10 straight seconds on barqs just opened ice cold

  16. Root beer is just plain crap. 😛 Let’s say Barq’s,Dad if available and leave it at that ok? 🙂 This evaluation comment will not affect my opinion of root beer in any way.

  17. I like the evaluation on these two but you left out one key feature. Mug is Caffeine free, but Barq’s has caffeine. I have always preferred Barq’s but when health reasons caused me to eliminate caffeine I could no longer drink it. I found I liked mug much better han I liked Barq’s

  18. I like Gale’s because it adds cinnamon, but it’s hard to find. Frosty’s, Bulldog’s, and Goose Island are good as well.

  19. A&W is my favorite mainstream, bu Sprechers is the best I’ve ever had. Followed by a local brand, Mug n Bun

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