A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Root Beer Trials

Ask most people about their favorite brand of soda, and they have a ready answer – and rarely is their favorite the cheapo brand. Most people prefer a brand-name soft drink. However, in a blind taste test, can they really tell the difference between various brands?


I decided to find out. Being a Barq’s root beer fan myself, I tested people on their ability to defer between Barq’s, Mug, A&W, and Best Choice root beer.


I removed the wrapper from the 2-liter bottles and poured them into small Dixie cups, then placed the cups in front of its bottle. The tasters took a swig from each cup and at the end declared their winner.


When asked their favorite brand of root beer before they began, the majority of the tasters preferred the name brands. However, a few promoted the generic brand.


To their surprise, some selected the Best Choice brand when Mug, for example, is their go to.


Mr. Eggers, principal of Harrisonville High School, said he usually gets Mug because it is caffeine-free. To his satisfaction, he chose Mug as his winner.


However, junior Karsen Cesonis said he usually prefers Barq’s, yet selected A&W as the best. He claimed that A&W has a “certain taste that you know immediately know what you’re drinking.”


Seth Wiebusch, a junior is typically a Mug drinker.  


“Mug has that malt taste, so you can tell it apart from the others,” he said.


Wiebusch remained true to his statements and voted Mug as the champ.


While some said each brand of root beer has its own taste, others failed to tell the difference.


Jeannie Frazier, librarian at Harrisonville High School, said that “Barq’s, Mug, and Best Choice all taste the same, but A&W has a unique flavor, so that one’s my favorite.”


The final count is as follows:

Best Choice:  4

Barq’s:           4

Best Choice:  3

A&W:             7