Bundaberg Root Beer

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Our Review: 8.0/10
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Visitor Rating: 5.3/10
(66 votes cast)

Bundaberg is family-owned outfit based in (you guessed it!) Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia.  They certainly seem to have a passion for real-brewed products, so I was excited to try it out. I was also excited because I purchased it at a coffee shop with smoldering-beautiful baristas and an intolerably chic client base. It might be snooty beyond belief, but it was almost guaranteed to be good!

Bundaberg is sold in a cute shortie bottle, as if to say “everyone will know how expensive this root beer was because, hey look, it’s in a short bottle!”.  It also had a cool pull-tab for opening the cap.  I noticed the glances from the other customers, whichs silently communicated a strange mixture of “I’m envious of your root beer’s cool pull tab”, and “do you know how many calories are in that?”.

It’s also worth mentioning that Bundaberg markets the same drink as sarsaparilla.  I’m a little suspicious because sarsaparilla and root beer aren’t supposed to be the same thing.  However, my bottle said “root beer”, and it tasted darn good, so I’m going to let the issue slide.

The flavour is sprightly, dancing on the tongue like rain sprinkled from fairy wings.  It is reminiscent of American sweetened iced tea, with a hint of lemon.  A quick peak at the label reveal that it’s spiked with ginger, vanilla, liquorice, molasses and sarsaparilla – all good things.

Bundaberg is unique.  It’s tasty.  It’s like a carnival.  Maybe it’s not the best representation of the “classic root beer”, but it’s interesting and well-balanced, and not to mention superbly marketed.  Now if you excuse me, I have to throw a thin scarf over my tight v-neck t-shirt, don some sun glasses, and catwalk to my next destination.

http://www.bundaberg.com

Bundaberg Root Beer, reviewed by Aristophanes on 2013-10-10T14:10:18+00:00 rating 8.0 out of 10

29 thoughts on “Bundaberg Root Beer

  1. The Sanity Cruzer

    Bundaberg is the absolute worst ‘root beer’ I have ever tasted. I could not care less about the “short bottle” or cute pull-tab bottle cap. Calling this crap Root Beer is akin to calling Celine Dion’s music rock and roll. I bought a 12-pack at Costco and brought the remaining 11 bottles back.

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    • Vladie

      That’s probably not root beer you bought, the only one I have seen in Costco by Bundaberg is ginger beer

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      • The Sanity Cruzer

        Yes, it was labeled root beer, as Admin concurred. For the record, I did go to the Costco Business Center in Hayward, CA and they sell a 24 pack of Faygo Root Beer in cans for under $6.00. To me, that is the best bargain in root beer.

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  2. SM

    Personally, I enjoy Bundaberg root beer. Does it have even a passing resemblance to root beer? No, not really. Is it good? I think so.

    It’s always nice to mix things up. Their Ginger Beer, however, is the standard by which I measure all Ginger Ale/beers.

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  3. I would agree with the review that said it’s the worst Root Beer I ever drank……Wow did I get mis-led from by making the purchase at :”whole Foods” Big mistake buying that crap.

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  4. deb Johnson

    This is a great tasting root beer. If you are used to cheap root beers with high fructose corn syrup you may think it tastes wrong. But anyone who loves good flavor will love it.
    It does have hints of sasparilla.
    I still think Virgils Bavarian Nutmeg Root Beer is the ultimate.

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  5. Bryan

    Definitely something different, but definitely worth trying. I quite enjoyed it. I’ve noticed that all the root beers on this site that have bold flavors are either well-liked or not. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of in between. This is one of them. Bold flavor! I like!

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  6. Dr. Corndog

    I have a hard time deciding how to label this. Like the review says, it really isn’t traditional root beer. So, remove it from the root beer category, and what do you have? Only the best soda that I’ve ever had.

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  7. Elana

    We had a root beer tasting party and everyone in attendance unanimously HATED this one (we all compared hand-written notes afterwards, so this was not just peer pressure). Bundaberg Root Beer does not taste like root beer. It was described as tasting like bad BEER beer. On the other hand, Bundaberg ginger beer is pretty good.

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  8. Scot Parker

    There ginger ale is the best I’ve had, but their root beer is the worst. In my opinion, it taste like it’s been adulterated with their ginger ale. Do they make their root beer in the same vat as their ginger ale? Me thinks so!

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  9. Jeff Rigby

    This is the second worst ‘root beer’ that I have tasted. The first is Carters root beer sold in the UK in Asda (Walmart).

    Reading the website owner posted has made me discard all his reviews on root beer.

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    • KnyteOwl

      More proof of Aristophane’s ineptitude as reviewer, and bias toward expensive, foo foo gourmets and micro brews. By reviewing Bundaberg’s AS a root beer, he’s acknowledging it as a root beer. I’ve said before that I don’t take issue with him reviewing micro brewed gourmet root beers AT ALL, but I feel he does his readers a disservice by over focusing on them while ignoring, and thumbing his nose at a dozen or more mainstream brands (of all types: mass-produced, micro brewed, and hard root beers) that more of his readers are actually drinking. It’s for all these reasons, plus the elitist, condescending tone he so often adopts when reviewing mainstream or mass-produced brands that you’re right to not trust his reviews.

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  10. Sean Clark

    Not a fan of this one. But do love a true root beer. What that is exactly is a matter of many recipes and opinions. I agree that this root beer almost tasted like beer. What is in it that gives it that taste?

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  11. Bryan Trapp

    I bought this “root beer” afer seeing it on the shelf at the local grocery store and looking at the label. I have always been a fan of traditional root beers brewed with sarsaprilla and have even brewed my own so that is why I bought it. I was really looking forward to drinking it that night and after chilling it for a few hours in the fridge, I popped the pull ring top. After one swig I looked for the expiration date assuming that it had gone bad, but no, it was three months before the expiration. It was overwhelmingly sour to say the least with little to no carbonation. I was almost worried that someone had put something toxic in it and I was going to turn into a headline for a root beer recall. Not sure if anyone can drink this but I am going to give away the rest of it on Craigslist. DO NOT BUY THIS ROOT BEER! Seriously gross.

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  12. Jeff Evans

    So you gave this crud and 8, and Henry Weinhardt a 3??!! Like most of the folks on here this was shockingly bad to me. I couldn’t finish it.

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  13. Bundaberg Vomiter

    Immediately poured it out. After the first taste of this “Root Beer” I got the nostalgic feeling of nausia, returned it the next day for a full refund.

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  14. Richard

    This is a beverage that is NOT root beer. I have drank enough root beer to know what root beer is.

    This is root beer in name only.

    As a standalone beverage it’s actually quite good, but it’s NOT root beer. Sorry. It just isn’t.

    If you bought this expecting root beer, I don’t blame you one little bit for returning it for a refund. Again, there is little, if any, resemblance to root beer I’ve ever tried.

    That leaves the question of what it is. It’s a beery kind of soda pop. As a one off novelty, it’s different. I don’t recommend this at all for those wanting real root beer. You’ll feel conned, because there’s nothing about it that seems like classic root beer.

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    • kam

      I live in Australia. This is sarsaparilla (Australian sarsaparilla). Aussie sarsaparilla is heavy on the anise. This is one of the least anisey sarsparillas in Australia which is why It’s also the best sarsaparilla here. It is definitely not root beer.

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  15. Robbie

    I really liked the bottle and the cool pull tab, but overall the flavor has a slightly medicinal quality to me. I did like the licorice notes, but it definitely dominates the mix.

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  16. TJ

    It would be interesting to know the age of the commenters who bashed Bundaberg root beer. If they’re young, (under 40) they have probably never tasted true root beer. Instead they have grown up drinking the American version, which is absent the true herbs and roots originally used to make root beer. While I agree that Bundaberg is quite different, I love it, for its the closest thing I’ve found to REAL root beer.

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    • Mike smith

      They’ve just got to have that A+W high fructose corn syrup and artificial root beer “flavors.”

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    • Matt Pettit

      Kids! The taste that’s throwing them off is yeast. Not found in “todays” rootbeer, but always found in truly old time home brewed rootbeer. It’s the closest I’ve found to the root beer of my youth!

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  17. Ed McC.

    I just bought a bottle of Bundaberg in Chiang Mai Thailand for the ridiculous price of 65 baht…almost $2 (I could have gotten 5 cans of A&W for the same price at 13baht each) because I had never tasted it and love root beer since I was a kid. I have to say it is terrible and lacks most of what makes root beer my favorite soft drink. Not much fizz, wimpy taste that certainly is not root beer…must be something else. Hires root beer was the first commercial one made in the USA and I love it as well…there are others out there as well and the more foam when you pour it the better it is…this lacked a good head and was very wimpy and limp. Sorry Australia… too much money for a second rate product. Maybe you need to find another name to market it by…root beer it isn’t.

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  18. Citizen_Jimserac

    It’s the best Root Beer, or whatever you want to call it, I’ve ever head. Remember it’s brewed with real root extracts and with care. The taste initially is somewhat like medicine of some sort but you soon get used to it and it starts to taste good, really good. An acquired taste but sophisticated.

    My only complaint – too much sugar in it, probably to cover up the taste. But I’m fine with the taste. If you are wedded to traditional root beers, you might have trouble with this one at first, it’s DIFFERENT. Just remember the name … it’s ROOT beer. It’s GOOD !!

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