IBC Root Beer

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Our Review: 7.5/10
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Visitor Rating: 6.9/10
(52 votes cast)

IBC root beer is legendary among Americans.  I have personally witnessed a bare-knuckle fight between two Americans which was initiated by one fellow insinuating that IBC was a lackluster root beer.  IBC is not widely available in Canada, however, so it has taken the rootbeerreview.com staff a year to finally review this fabled product.

IBC is certainly a good root beer.  In fact, it is probably the best widely-available (at least in the U.S.A.) root beer we have tried.  The dark brown, unlabeled bottle is a quiet testament to the brand’s popularity, and the classic red cap screams of a product steeped in tradition.  The composition of the root beer, however, is far from traditional.  There are an unusually large number of synthetic-sounding ingredients – including high-fructose corn syrup and modified food starch – which is cause for concern for yours truly.

We needn’t have been worried.  IBC’s flavour is deep, satisfying and classic.  There are no surprises, but the essence of true root beer rings clearer than in most other brands.  It is expertly balanced between creamy and sharp, and we even detected a hint of citrus.  IBC is an excellent every-day root beer – it doesn’t interfere with your routine, doesn’t have a lingering aftertaste, and will satisfy most people’s pallet. Nevertheless, we expected something a bit more unique from a product with such a celebrated root beer.

IBC has been owned by a series of multinational food conglomerates, the latest being Cadbury-Schwepps (and now Kraft).  Despite this indisputable disadvantage to quality, IBC seems to have maintained enough independence to produce a quality beverage.  Visit their website at http://www.ibcrootbeer.com.

IBC Root Beer, reviewed by Aristophanes on 2010-01-26T02:39:06+00:00 rating 7.5 out of 10

47 thoughts on “IBC Root Beer

  1. Yates

    Tastes like the bargain priced brew it is. Not great, not bad. I thought it was great until I got into really good brews. One thing about it is you can find it anywhere.

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    • cf

      I agree. I’m from St. Louis where this rootbeer first started. And I used to think it was good til I tried Henry Weinhards.

      2nd thing for the main reviewer: the bottle wasn’t brought back ’til they sold out the tradition to a big ass bottler. Either coke or pepsi, I don’t give a damn which. So that “steeped in tradition thing” is a crock o’ shit.

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  2. TJA

    I recently tried IBC Rootbeer. It has a good strong, pronounced flavor. It actually sooths my acid reflux. I think I might give up cola and drink this on a regular basis

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  3. Richard Follin---irish.scotch@yahoo.com

    I have been a root beer drinking guy for most of my life. (I’m 70 yrs old.) and the other day my wife went to the store, and I told her to buy me some root beer. She brought back a six pack of IBC, and I said what’s this. Well after a bottle of it, I’ll truthfully buy it again. I have NEVER tasted a root beer like yours. Makes you wonder where I’ve been. THANKS for the great product. I will NEVER buy another brand of root beer

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  4. Charles

    I have not had IBC root beer in a good many years and I miss it. I wish I knew somewhere in London where I could get some?

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  5. Ricky T.

    I used to sell this and having been in and around the soda bis. for most of my life can say it is the best tasting root beer I have tasted. Some other good root beers to try, Barqs, Dads, and A&W.

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  6. Melvis

    A thoroughly average root beer. A lot of people think of this when they think of ‘fancy’ root beer, but that’s mainly because it’s about all they know of that isn’t Barq’s, A&W, or Mug. But the taste is very middle-of-the-road. Not saying it’s bad, it’s just far from great and not that different from A&W, which is made by the same company and is much cheaper.

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  7. Zeb

    IBC is good for a big brand…smooth though I would choose something like Route 66 or Virgil’s instead

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  8. john and jordan berube

    john, not too sweet nice root beer flavor jordan, it is good it need to be a little

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  9. Rbvegas

    Not bad, very solid. Te nice think is it is at Walmart for 40% less than the top tier RB from Virgil. Virgil is by far the king.

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  10. Kris

    Really, IBC tastes no better than stewarts or other beers, maybe because the US version uses hcfs, but even still its a lil too watered down, red lobster serves it as well as other places, kinda surprised you gave it such a high rating, I understand there is a subjective aspect, and yes IBC does not taste as artificial as certain licorice like beverages, but I don’t see it much better than stewarts, maybe a bit more body and taste but still watered down.

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  11. Deltaboy

    I stopped drinking it after I turned 45 cause it makes me burb for an hour or until I take Gas-X.

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  12. John

    IBC’s kind of like the Chili’s of root beer. You can find Chili’s restaurants all over the place, and you’ll get a halfway decent burger when you get there. Same with IBC: it’s certainly the best of the “grocery store” root beers, but not my favorite. You might not think you could tell the difference between corn syrup and sugar, but there is a difference. Still, it’s got a nice bite, and if you handed me a frosty IBC with a plate of barbecue, I’d be happy.

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  13. Ben

    IBC is very pedestrian root beer. It is not the American Classic that this review implies. The review misses the mark on this beverage so completely that it makes me doubt other reviews on this site. IBC is not a bad root beer, but it is not really better than A&W, MUG, or any other widely distributed root beer. THE ONLY REASON PEOPLE PAY THE PREMIUM PRICE FOR THIS DRINK IS BECAUSE IT IS IN A GLASS BOTTLE.

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  14. Nancy

    OK, a generic flavor that is all too familiar, pretty much a slightly stronger A&W root beer. The one I drink If nothing else is available except for A&W!

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  15. Bryan

    It would be a lot better if they went with cane sugar instead of the HF corn syrup. It totally overpowers what could be a good flavor. I just don’t understand the love affair people seem to have with this one.

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  16. Dr. Corndog

    This used to be my favorite brew, before I started trying the other brands available in my area. I agree with the review: this is probably the best widely available root beer in the States. A bit of searching, though, and you’ll find some more interesting varieties.

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  17. Jinni B

    I’ve become “addicted” to IBC even if it doesn’t contain caffeine. It’s discounted at my nearest grocery chain ad that helps. Every now and then I treat myself to a six pack of Henry Reinhard which just blew me away the first time I tried it.

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    • Sean

      I agree with you my friend. I too am addicted to its flavor. Especially since they started using cane sugar. This one ranks top 5 and I’ve tried at least 50 different root beers.

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  18. kellienator

    You must be on crack..ibc taste like something my cat shot out of her anus..weinhards root beer rules..it’s like drinking a soda made for the queen ..it is the crown royal of soda..Stewart’s is so cracker barrel ..but better than ibc also..ibc is no better than a&w..woo !!!!!!

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  19. Dear IBC,

    I am a huge fan of IBC root beer and black cherry products. I just went to HEB grocery store in Kyle, Tx. I was shocked when I went to buy some IBC products and found they changed the bottle, decreased the bottles to 4, and increased the price/bottle. The bottles don’t look old fashioned anymore. The new design is awful. I can’t believe you changed the bottle style. It’s so disappointing. You have just lost a valued customer. We used to by 2 to 3 6 packs per week, not to mention all the parties we would buy IBC products. Not now!!!!! If you value me as a customer change it back the way we loved the product. Hopefully you didn’t change the recipe!!!

    SO DISAPPOINTED,

    DK

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    • Larry

      I haven’t bought any since IBC decreased the bottles to 4, and increased the price/bottle. You lost me as a customer.

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    • Sean

      They did change the recipe but for the better. No more high fructose corn syrup!! Only using cane sugar. And I think it tastes sooooooo much better now. I’d give it another shot if I was you. I do miss the old bottles tho

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  20. Dan

    We don’t care for the “new” ibc rootbeer. We much prefer the old recipe – loved it. Might have to shop around now for a better one.

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  21. Ashley

    The new recipe is horrible. The taste is just not the same. We used to buy 3 six packs every week, but we bought the new 4 packs recently. Never buying the new “real sugar” recipe again. Tomorrow we are going to search all of the grocery stores in our area for any remaining 6 packs of the original flavor. After that, IBC loses us as customers.

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    • Jenna

      Have you checked Walmart? I am in Fl. Yesterday it was a little over $2 for the 6 pal. I got all 6.

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  22. I love the taste of this Root beer! I was so disappointed to find in Kroger stores you package is now sold in 4 packs instead of 6 packs and sold at the same price. I do like the new look of the product, will NOT purchase again. SO SAD!!!

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  23. Jerry west

    Just bought a 24 pack of the new bottle. Have been buying for over30 years, kids loved it. Only drank 2 of the new ones and the kids told me it didn’t taste right. Didn’t believe them , tried it myself and dumped it out. Called IBC and they confirmed they changed it. Thanks for ruining a good thing. Shopping for a new root beer and what to do with 20 bottles my kids and I won’t drink.

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  24. CODY PRITCHARD

    The new recipe is horrible. I was always a big fan of IBC but no more. Will never buy it again unless it goes back to the original recipe. Used to dissappear from the shelves at Walmart. Now it’s always available because pepole have stopped buying it. Stupid move guys.

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  25. James Hart

    I keep asking myself why would a company who made a product that was enjoyed by so many people change that product. Surely you didn’t set out to lose so many loyal root beer followers, so I’m left to assume you had a Very large group of RB drinkers telling you, “change is always better”. I will be looking forward to seeing NEW IBC sales reports. I will not give up on your company,well not yet,but I won’t be drinking any of the “new”RB

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  26. Yolanda Whetstine

    I hate the flavor of the new IBC root beer. I also hate the idea of the 4 pack. Will not buy it again until it goes back to the original flavor. We had gotten to the point where my family only drank IBC. Now we’ve got to find some other root beer. Thanks a lot!

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  27. Jerry Whetstine

    I wonder if they lost the patent rights on the flavor. The new flavor STINKS! OK, so you want to make more money by making 4 packs. FINE, will buy when you put the flavor back.

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  28. Jay Bee

    The new “real sugar” is absolutely disgusting! It is too sweet and even more artificial tasting. I know everyone is on the get away from hfcs but this was a bone headed move. If I was going to splurge on a soda, it used to be IBC but not anymore. When they change back to the original;formula (or at least give ppl a choice between the two) I am done with IBC (not even going to touch A&W they are the same company btw) and Barqs will be the one I’m buying.

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  29. sugarsugar

    Bought at Costco, root beer, black cherry, and cream soda. Bought it only because it says Made with Real Sugar. I like a pop now and then and got with real over HFCS. I don’t have a reference to comment on any flavor change between the old HFCS recipe and the new RS recipe.
    As far as the new root beer goes, I find the soda a bit flat. Bump up the bubbles!

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  30. Marty

    I have to agree with the opinions of the new IBC. IT just is ‘wrong’. and 39 gms of sugar is insane. I’d rather drink Aldi Root beer.

    I was not a huge fan of IBC but it was ok, now it’s just not very good.. have one left then i will go back to A&W for grocery store root beer. It’s still the best mass produced RB.

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  31. sheri Dorrier

    Hello, Just wanted to let you know that my family had the pleasure of drinking your great Root Beer over the holidays and we truly enjoyed them, and we hope to enjoy them in the future, thanks for all you do

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  32. Phillip Stevenson

    Can’t believe they changed the flavor. Don’t like the new bottles or the 4 packs either. My grandkids always knew that I would have IBC root beer for them when they came over. Now that will change.I’m searching around for a new brand. Very disappointed.

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  33. Dave Givens, PE

    The new “Real Sugar” IBC rootbeer is a boned-headed mistake.
    Why did you screw with it? It wasn’t broke, it didn’t need fixing. I’ve drunk IBC Rootbeer for over 30 years, but this latest version is bad and leaves an artifical sweetner type after taste. This is the classic mistake made when “Bean Counters” take over. If this is the way it will be from now on, then I’m no longer a customer. Stupid move!

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  34. nick lewis

    The new taste SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! will never buy again. So sick of these company’s all they give a shit about is saving a cent! TERRIBLE! Tastes like cough medicine………………….

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  35. Liz

    A belated comment, but: thanks a lot, IBC, for going from a six-pack to a four-pack, charging the same or higher price. I tried to go to your website, but got “page not found.” Hm.
    I switched to IBC when I could no longer find Hires, and have loved it for years. Don’t love what you’ve done, however, and although there’s nothing I like as well (so far), I’ll keep looking.

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