Does Root Beer Have Caffeine? (Mug, A&W, IBC, Barq’s)

Root beer looks like your ordinary drink. However, it is more complex than many of your typical refreshments on the market. You could say it is a lot of things, but it does not fit perfectly anywhere.

For one, it is called root beer, but it is not beer. For another, it is a soft drink but differs from its peers in more ways than one. Today, we will look into one of those differences – the caffeine content of root beer.

So, does root beer have caffeine? Let us get to that now!

Root Beer and Caffeine

First, let us take a few steps back and take a quick look at the history of root beer.

Root beer took many twists and turns before it became the root beer we know today. It made use of many ingredients along its long and winding journey. However, generally, none of its components originally introduced caffeine to the mix. With that, we could say that traditionally, root beer does not have caffeine.

One could say that was centuries ago, though. This drink is a lot different from what it was before now. Some things did not change that much, though. Today, generally, root beer still does not have caffeine. That is because caffeine is not a natural result of the root-beer-making process. In other words, it is a substance that is not hard to avoid from the start.

However, that does not mean that all root beers do not have caffeine. Some root beer brands today have already made caffeinated root beer varieties. Some root beer companies even started out with caffeinated root beer. While root beer traditionally and generally does not have caffeine, there are now caffeinated root beers.

Root Beer Caffeine Content Guide

This drink is one of the most common soft drinks today. As you might already know, many drinks in this category contain some caffeine. With that, some caffeine should not be a problem if one drinks all sorts of soft drinks from time to time. That is the case for many. However, we understand that that is not the case for everyone. After all, many turn to root beer to avoid caffeine.

You need not worry if you fall in the second group. If you want a can of root beer but want to skip the caffeine, this guide can help you find the can for you!

Does the Mug Root Beer Have Caffeine?

Quick Look:

  • Caffeine:No
  • Serving Size:12 oz
  • Calories:160
  • Carbohydrates:40 g

Mug started out around the 1940s. However, they did not sport the name yet and were still known as Belfast Root Beer at the time.

Their root beer does not have caffeine and is a root beer enjoyed by kids and adults alike. It is one of the most popular root beers on the market today, that wherever people know root beer, Mug is also probably known too.

Does the A&W Root Beer Have Caffeine?

Quick Look:

  • Caffeine:No
  • Serving Size:12 oz
  • Calories:160
  • Carbohydrates:47 g

A&W is caffeine-free and is known to be one of the standards in the root beer industry.

A&W has been in the industry since 1919. In other words, they have been in the industry for more than a century! As you can see, they rightfully deserve to be one of the standards in the field and to have a spot on your caffeine-free root beer to-pick-up list.

Does the IBC Root Beer Have Caffeine?

Quick Look:

  • Caffeine:No
  • Serving Size:12 oz
  • Calories:160
  • Carbohydrates:43 g

IBC  is another brand that offers caffeine-free root beer.

Like A&W, they have been in the industry since 1919. If you want some good root beer that does not have caffeine, you can consider adding IBC to your list!

Does Boylan Root Beer Have Caffeine?

Quick Look:

  • Caffeine:No
  • Serving Size:12 oz
  • Calories:170
  • Carbohydrates:42 g

Boylan is one of the oldest companies on this list, as they have been in the industry since 1891. Their version of the drink is a caffeine-free one. However, it does not stop at that. The brand also boasts that it is free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. With that, it can be a fine choice for someone trying to go all-natural.

Does the Culver’s Root Beer Have Caffeine?

Quick Look:

  • Caffeine:No
  • Serving Size:12 oz
  • Calories:220
  • Carbohydrates:59 g

Culver’s has been around since 1984, and their root beer also does not have caffeine. While almost all root beers make for a good base for a float, Culver’s might be one of the best ones to reach for to make such a concoction.

Does the Barq’s Root Beer Have Caffeine?

Quick Look:

  • Caffeine:Yes
  • Serving Size:12 oz
  • Calories:160
  • Carbohydrates:45 g

Barq’s is a tricky one.

As you might have already noticed from the quick look, we said that this root beer has caffeine, as it generally does have it. However, that is not always the case. That is because the company apparently omitted caffeine in production in some places.

You do not need to worry, though. You do not need to memorize where those places are. Whether we are talking about Barq’s or another root beer, there is a way to tell if a can of root beer does or does not contain caffeine.

Again, as we have said, root beer generally does not have caffeine. With that, manufacturers are supposed to include it in the ingredients list. You only need to check this list if you want to check if a root beer does or does not contain caffeine. (Note: This trick only works for products that do not generally have caffeine. You cannot expect caffeine to be in the ingredients list of other drinks known to have the substance.)

Now, let us go back to Barq’s root beer. Generally, this root beer does have caffeine. However, its caffeine content is still considerably low compared to other drinks known to have caffeine. If you do not plan on completely avoiding caffeine, this root beer could still likely fit into your diet.

On the other hand, Barq’s does have a diet root beer known not to have caffeine. If you like how Barq’s tastes but want to avoid caffeine, you can opt for this one then.

Of Root Beer, Caffeine, and Sugar

Before we go ahead, let us briefly discuss the sugar content of root beers.

Many opt to get a can of root beer thinking it is a healthier choice when compared to drinks similar to it. However, that is not always true. It all depends on what a person’s goal is.

If it is to avoid or lessen caffeine intake, this drink is undoubtedly one of the best choices out there. On the other hand, if the goal is to reduce sugar intake, this soft drink is not one of the preferable choices.

While this drink is generally caffeine-free, it is also usually known to have a high sugar content.

On the other hand, there is a way to get the best of both worlds. If you want a caffeine-free drink that is not high in sugar, you might want to try and see if your favorite root beer brand has a diet variety. With all the innovation, many companies have already made a diet version of their root beer.

Finally, while we mainly only pointed out the caffeine and sugar content here, keep in mind to also check the other nutrition facts of the root beer you are eyeing to make sure it aligns with your goal. For one, as you have seen above, not all root beers have matching calorie counts.

Comparison Chart: Root Beers and Caffeine Contents

Now, let us show you the root beers we discussed above side-by-side to give you a better picture of things.

As we have said above, root beer generally is caffeine-free but high in sugar. With that, to help you decide on what root beers to include in your to-pick-up list, we have also included how much carbohydrates each root beer we discussed above generally has.

Root Beer Caffeine-Free Carbohydrates
Mug Yes 40 g
A&W Yes 47 g
IBC Yes 43 g
Boylan Yes 42 g
Culver’s Yes 59 g
Barq’s No 45 g


Note: The data on this chart is based on a 12 oz serving.

Final Words

Does root beer have caffeine?

Well, the answer is not so clear-cut. Traditionally and generally, root beer does not have caffeine. However, like many other things, root beer has advanced through the years. Today, there is now caffeinated root beer too.

Still, as we have shown in our guide, there is no need to fret. Knowing which root beers do and do not have caffeine can be easy-peasy!

We hope we got to be of help with your root beer concern today. If you have other root beer questions you would like answered, you might want to visit our other talks then!

That is all for now, though. Grab your favorite caffeine-free (or not caffeine-free) root beer, and enjoy!

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