20 Sprecher Soda Flavors, Ranked From Worst To Best

Are you a soda fan? Then congratulations on being a Sprecher fan. Don't try to tell us you've never had Sprecher; you've already savored it in your dreams. The Wisconsin brand has won a big fan following and frequent visitors for its fire-brewed root beer and honey-based recipes. In fact, we named it the king of our best root beer brands.

Well, Sprecher saw that post and sent us its entire active lineup of soda labels to review and rank. It's a no-colas-barred showdown to see who will be the top pop. Small disclaimer: We're sticking to the main Sprecher sodas here with an asterisk on Green River, so no subsidiaries or flavored sparkling seltzer waters. If you're looking for Strawberry, Blueberry, or Black Cherry, they didn't send us any, so either this is a slightly incomplete list, or your favorite flavors are no longer in production. So sorry you had to find out (or wonder without confirmation) this way.

Okay, fighters — back to your corners and come out fizzing when you hear the bell.

20. Ginger Ale

One of the best ginger ale scents you'll ever inhale gives way to an unpleasant surprise. While it smells more like ginger beer, and you wouldn't be disappointed to find actual chunks of the aromatic root in here (you won't), it delves into a medicinal bitterness on the finish.

It's a pity because Sprecher Ginger Ale opened so strong. Even swigging, it has the potency to feel more like ginger beer than ginger ale. If anything, it definitely has the bite of ginger beer, but let's not confuse it with Sprecher Ginger Beer coming up later.

Sprecher Ginger Ale is not as sweet as you would fear given how hard this line of sodas goes at your insulin, and it is actually one of the lower-sugar sodas on this list. The ginger is allowed to be the star of the show and it pays off. But then some bitterness on the back is more than anybody bargains for. You expect a certain amount with ginger soda, but this is enough to hold it back from a higher ranking. Enjoying it with a meal does nothing to diminish the bitterness and may even accentuate it a bit. This might be the only soda we review in this article that wouldn't medal in the Olympic competition for its flavor category. And it's not even the first time we've ranked this bottle at the bottom of a soda list — just check out our ranking of ginger ales from worst to best.

19. Red Apple

On the one hand, this is a quality soda, as all of Sprecher's honey-sweetened, fire-brewed line must be. On the other hand, the nose on this is through the roof. A very strong mega fruit flavor wafts out of here that hits like bubblegum rather than the apple juice that it uses. Weirdly, this has happened to us before with our Olipop flavor ranking, so maybe apple juice is the secret bubblegum ingredient? 

That juice gives it great flavor but is so sweet it aches. The honey adds a rich extra dimension to the soda's sweetness that just brings it someplace other than light and crisp.

For people who love the sparkle of hard cider but not the alcohol, here's how you avoid hangovers this winter. If you don't care about fizz and just like the taste, stick to the jugs of kid-friendly cider that appear every autumn. If you need both, drink the booze for the same taste minus the sugar bomb. Ultimately, Sprecher Red Apple is checking every box in the category to the detriment of any purpose held by leaning into one characteristic or another. Stuck in the middle, it's too much of everything without enough of any one drink.

18. Maple Root Beer

Alas, poor Maple Root Beer. We had such high hopes. You were supposed to bring balance to the Root Beer Force, or at least a fantastic detour into Vermont in autumn. Day after day, Reddit sings its praises unprovoked. Did we get a dud bottle or something? Who doesn't love maple flavor? It's enough to break your heart.

Readers who cherish Sprecher Maple Root Beer, hear us out: Ultimately the wintergreen just comes out too strong, tasting more like root beer-flavored hard candy or a popsicle than the real soda. With a very similar nose to regular root beer, the maple is barely traceable. It's not even that prevalent in drinking the liquid either. Maple Root Beer tastes sweeter than standard Sprecher Root Beer and with a darker anise flavor that thins out on the back end to less body. The maple is indistinguishable and only detrimentally detectable.

Even still, some people would rank this even higher than standard Sprecher Root Beer, but it lacks the victorious balance of spices and has a taste that's more root beer-adjacent than true. Maple Root Beer damages its body by overdoing it with spiciness and sugar, but never in a unified fashion. It's only half a gram more sugar per ounce, but it hits harder. Oh, it hurts to report.

17. Low-Cal Dr Sprecher

Well, you have to give it up to Low-Cal Dr Sprecher: it's a close approximation of Dr Sprecher, which is itself a close approximation of Dr Pepper. The only detectable difference is a sort of graininess (in the malted sense) when you're tasting a drop rather than a swig. But it's the reduced version of a somewhat simplified standalone whose many imitators have never given it a serious run for its money, and Dr Sprecher is not going to break that streak. The proudly declared "cherry soda" is the last among cherry sodas even in the world of Sprecher, but hey, at least Sprecher used real cherry juice to make it.

While it's easy to make the case for this stuff, it's hard to see a large audience. Dr Pepper fans, but not loyalists, but also low-calorie dieters or just people with sensitivities to glucose ... sure, all of those people exist and some of them intersect. But the rest of us will be sticking to the real deal.

16. Dr Sprecher

A Wisconsin take on Dr Pepper right down to the lack of period in the honorific title, Dr Sprecher never attains quite the complexity of its inspiration. But it does explain the reason why the two sodas don't punctuate to standard on the Sprecher blog.

This agnostic cola exhibits strong cherry on the nose, maybe a bit less than the Cherry Soda, but about as much as the Cherry Cola. And in fact, in a bit of an upset, surprisingly comes in behind Cherry Cola. Our expectation was that the Cherry Cola would be an unnecessary half-measure between this bottle and the outright Cherry Soda. But if anything, it's the Dr Sprecher that can't elbow out enough space between identities. At its best, it tastes like a Luden's cough drop with a bit more nuttiness. At its worst, it swings closer to Robitussin but better. At times there's a very nice, almost chocolate-cordial quality to it, but you have to chase it around your mouth to catch any of it. That's actually fortunate because although tasty when cold, it benefits more than most flavors from warming up in your mouth.

All in all, it's a good soda, but a bit more medicinal than Dr Pepper, and so hard to pin down. You're probably better off lancing straight to what carries its highest performance: the cherry flavor. More on th

15. Ginger Beer

In contrast to Ginger Ale, Sprecher Ginger Beer has very little scent at all upon opening. It's much more citrusy where you can catch it at all. The ginger taste is much more subdued as well, which is to its benefit. There's no bitter back end here, Just a familiar nice ginger flavor with more earthiness than Ginger Ale showed.

This is definitely the one of the two to get even if it has a little more sugar per ounce. Once again the honey gives it an interesting back note, imbuing the sweetness with a complexity that strongly influences the front flavor profile.The only mystery is ... what is this label? Sprecher does have a Griffin Ginger Beer on its website, but that's not the bottle we received. Customer reviews mention it's a recent release, so perhaps you'll espy it on Midwest shelves as Griffin, or maybe it'll be as pictured above.

14. Low-Cal Root Beer

There's very little nose, though this may be truer of the bottle than the canned version. Low-Cal Root Beer lacks the body of its benefactor. Coming out of a can, Low-Cal Root Beer does have a pleasant creaminess, though it's less present in the bottled version (branded as Lo-Cal on the bottle neck). Both versions use the same recipe and have the same nutritional info. With that said, this gets some of its body back with a chew and a swish, but it fades too quickly, putting this in the company of perfectly fine but lesser root beers. We'd try this again with a little more yucca/quillaia extract to see if extra creaminess can't extend the hit of that good flavor.

If we're being honest, Maple Root Beer ranks ahead of Low-Cal in taste, failing by being too bold, whereas this root beer cuts it too thin. Still, for 6 grams of sugar and keeping the honey and maltodextrin included in deference to that great Sprecher flavor, this is a good deal. You get most of the way to Sprecher Classic on just 12% of the sugar. If you're choosing between Sprecher low-calorie root beer and some of the major brands, you're definitely getting a top comparable experience for less sugar and fewer calories. Go with the fire-brewed.

Our suggestion, mix a Maple Root Beer with this one to balance out their complementary strengths and weaknesses. Enjoy a quart of good root beer at only half the calories.

13. Mt Sprecher

It's all inarguably good sodas from here. So this would be Sprecher's equivalent to a Mountain Dew. Like the rebranded MTN DEW, Mt Sprecher uses actual orange juice and citric acid and the citrus flavor comes through much stronger. It is an immediate improvement over the big-name competition. Once again, the honey is bringing the flavor to a different place. The orange juice is nice, and it's curious why your beverage tastes like you're drinking something more than just orange soda. This is a very different profile than the orange cream.

Moving past Mountain Dew's artificiality, Mt Sprecher delivers a superior soda that would be one of the best drinks to mix with whiskey. It comes in view of the glories of Ecto-Cooler, though it doesn't fulfill the tangerine dream. Even so, it's the closest you're going to get in soda form unless you try making it yourself. But why would you go to that effort when you could combine an order of Mt Sprecher with your regular shipment of Sprecher Root Beer to save shipping costs? Now you're all prepped to throw a party themed around FX's "The Bear," featuring not one but two beverages recently featured on the show. (Well ... one featured and one close enough to it.)

This flavor also receives kudos for keeping the honey in balance here. High marks across the board.

12. Cherry Cola

Folks, we are veering into a very fruitacular stretch of the terrain now. In this garden, we find ourselves in the first of two cherry groves. Cherry Cola tastes similar to Cherry Soda with about a quarter cola-ness towards the end. It makes a very Dr Peppery presentation. We had originally thought it would taste like the medium between Cherry Soda and Dr Sprecher. Then we tasted the good Dr's handiwork and that came in so strong with cherry, it almost makes a cutout profile of Cherry Cola. Both that flavor and this one come through as more cherry than cola, but this bottle of Cherry Cola does better work with the combination. If it doesn't land the balance exactly, it succeeds by being exactly what it purports to be. Its simplicity is a boon, whereas in Dr Sprecher it feels like unused potential.

Even if Cherry Cola could stand to be stronger on the cola back nine, the real cherry juice used here is more than welcome. Cherry Cola will satisfy fans of agnostic colas and fruity sodas even if it leaves cola heads craving more.

11. Grape

Wow, nobody's going to mistake Sprecher Grape Soda for any other flavor. A powerful grapeness takes you right from the first whiff. No wonder the mascot for this mighty maltodextrin maceration is a gorilla, because this is one powerful flavor. And it works — the label doesn't specify which mixture of concentrated grape juice they use, but it's got a strong Concord flavor, aka the best grape juice. Thank you, grape ape!

As one customer said in their review of this bottle, it's the grape soda for people who thought they didn't like grape soda. And in fact, that's a good summation of the fruit flavors throughout this line-up. If orange or grape sodas always feel like the sugar's tightening the screws too fast on the fruit flavor, try out Sprecher's versions and let your fruit flag fly. You'll never eyeball a Welch's again.

10. Raspberry

Sprecher Raspberry is creamier than you'd expect, but only in pleasant surprises. Any gourmet chef worth their salt knows a bit of raspberry foam only ever sweetened a presentation.

While it's assuredly raspberry, the flavor comes in so strong that we would also believe anyone who wanted to convince us this was strawberry-grape. Compare that to Red Apple, where the taste is just too much. Here the intensity of the tart berry plays against its own natural and augmented sweetnesses.

As admirably as Sprecher compares to existing sodas with its own alchemical concoctions, it really shines when it strikes out on unclaimed territory. Raspberry is definitely a strong showing for Sprecher's fruit soda line, where the honey supports the profile. Perhaps the lack of maltodextrin keeps it from exacerbating the nuance? Wow, that's a lot of fancy words to say this is sweet and tangy and we love it. Pour one for your friend who needs to stop drinking wine coolers, or anyone who came back from Brussels drinking lambic.

9. Cherry Soda

Boy, does the cherry come through strong and legit on the nose. It sticks around for the flavor, too. This is like drinking a jar of Maraschino juice but in the best way. Credit the Door County cherry juice Sprecher Cherry Soda uses. No weird additives, no isolated multi-syllabic molecules, just straight, sweet, rich stone-fruit goodness. It may not help you with muscle soreness the way Men's Journal says the tart cherry juice will, but man, who cares when the soda is this good? It's high in sugar for the lineup, though not the highest. Just chalk it up to post-workout glycogen refills, bruh.

People who dislike it are going to think the cherry is too much. But us? We're all in. While it's obviously comparable to Cheerwine, it doesn't feel like the two are playing in the same sandbox, even if they have the same toys. For the intensity of flavor, this is one that's better sipped and swished than taken in big mouthfuls like the root beers and cream sodas tend to be. It's the proud presenter of a very nice bite, and even if it could use a touch more fizz, all in all, it's a drink that's not only different but great at what distinguishes it.

8. Low-Cal Cream Soda

Low-Cal Cream Soda has less body than the regular edition Cream Soda, yet seems to actually be a little creamier and fizzier. An odd paradox, or at least a discrepancy. There's almost something reminiscent of pumpkin pie about it, probably due to the vanilla interacting with whatever classic spices go into true cream soda from the days when people used the same six spices in everything.

We'd say it's one of the finest ... well, let's not say diet sodas, but for 40 calories and seven grams of sugar you could do a lot worse. There's very little artificial taste to it. When you catch it at all, it still works with the flavors present.

If the reduced sugar here doesn't replicate the same indistinguishable perfection of the original the way Coke Zero does, consider that it also has to live up to the legend of one of the finest cream sodas ever produced. This cream soda, despite its hobbling, has a functionality that the root beer variations just couldn't land. Again, thank the honey. And if you do add a scoop of vanilla to make this one into a high-performance float, don't begrudge your willpower the calories. You're just fulfilling the original definition of a cream soda, according to the Sprecher blog.

7. Low-Cal Orange Dream

Look, we ought to put these low-calorie sodas behind the group of fruit sodas we just concluded, and we know that. But we're spotting Low-Cal Orange Dream and Low-Cal Cream Soda some points for living up to a couple of lofty flavor profiles that make great work of not-so-low-cal ingredient goals. So forgive us if this can isn't quite the taste powerhouse that Orange Dream will prove to be, and then save your forgiveness for something that matters, because this calorie-conscious powerhouse actually profits from less sweetness, which lets that creamsicle flavor shine even brighter.

Unfortunately, that flavor itself is somewhat altered by the change in sweeteners, which is both unavoidable and excusable. While it ultimately falls a spot behind on notes of saccharin, It's about 85% as good for 16% of the sugar and calories. That's a deal you'd be silly not to take.

The result is a very satisfying soda, even if the aftertaste is where the artificial sweetness makes itself known. Good bargain if you ask us. However, it does stop short of the glorious, next-tier accomplishment of its sister flavor to merely compare well with other orange sodas. Hey, it's still an achievement.

6. Green River

Gather round for the best Green River outside of Chicago on St. Patrick's Day and the better version of Sprite. While Sprite does have a brutal bite not replicated here, this charming emerald edition also doesn't coat the palate with filmy sugar the way the big brand does. That's a quality trade-off some would even call a double win.

Opening it up, the nose is pointedly citric, with an air freshener aspect to it that isn't going to cost any points because it comes from real lemon and lime juice. (Also, very few people open up their soda for the bouquet. This isn't Scotch.) No artificial citrus is present in the much-more subdued taste, either. The green is beautiful, and it seems like a really nice bottle to slowly sip on a hot summer evening. It's not going to feel heavy and saccharin. No glurge here. Ultimately, it does its own thing by asking: What if a lemon-lime soda used actual lemon and lime? And who would have thought it would have worked? You know, besides everyone.

Green River is one of the few flavors without honey, because it didn't originally fly under the Sprecher banner. The brewery's been buying up local brands such as WBC from Goose Island, and Green River, named for the St. Patrick's Day sight, just celebrated its centennial. While Sprecher seems intent on keeping brands such as WBC and Black Bear distinct, they sent us this one — and we're glad they did.

5. Orange Dream

Until now you probably thought you disliked orange soda. The truth is you just never had a great orange soda. Or maybe you've had a Boylan, but you're sitting here impressed all the same. Perhaps it's an unfair comparison, as this is a little less of an orange soda and more of an orange creamsicle that comes in a bit light on the orange itself amid a big, huge — no, like yuuuuuge — vanilla and marshmallow cloud. There's some spice near the end that isn't cinnamon but has a nice pepper to it, and that's that. You are happy.

Here the honey's deepness works with the flavor, unlike on the Red Apple. The amount of fizz is just right. It all comes together. Orange Dream is a dream indeed: great in a way reality seldom achieves, gone too fast, and difficult to precisely recall. We're going to be revisiting this bottle in our best dreams and hope we don't wake up thirsty.

4. Puma Kola

The truest, most beautiful cola aroma greets you with the hiss of a popped pop top here. You'll never utter the words Coca-Cola again (unless you do, because Coke is still amazing stuff). But Puma Kola is, in our opinion, the better cola.

Yup. We said it.

So of course you're going to ask, does this taste more like Coke or Pepsi? Well, it definitely favors Coke, but once again the honey comes in and makes it Sprecher's own thing. There's this rich and golden taste working in tandem with the cola flavors. What a phenomenal drink. It would go so well with a slice of pizza or a dripping cheeseburger. It would cleanse the palate while complementing the fatty flavors in a tide of spice-based double sweetness. Honestly, it's difficult not to chug this one. Does America have room in its heart for a third-best cola? (Sorry, RC, but you've been keeping too low a profile this century, and no amount of Ad Age attention for your micro-indie films is going to bring you back. Roll up your sleeves!)

3. Cream Soda

Take everything we said about Orange Dream and deduct orange. Cream Soda arrives with an absolutely beautiful vanilla and marshmallow nose that delivers on every promise it makes. This is one of the most elegant cream sodas you'll ever encounter. It drinks best in swigs. A sip of this is a lovely treat whose back end comes within sight of being citrusy, but a nice mouthful is what really does it. Once again honey provides essential greatness. It comes through at the end so beautifully, it's like watching Michael Jordan leap from the free throw line, yet at the last moment Scottie Pippen jumps up and ballet-lifts him even higher.

Now that said: it could use a touch more fizz. And holy moly, 60 grams of sugar in a pint is a whole lot. For an occasional pleasure like this, moderation requires no restraint, but if you're curious what it would be like with a little more body and creaminess, you're not going to deduct any points for how far Sprecher goes with it.

It's so good they ought to take the caramel color out of it. Let it be whatever nature wants. There's no color shade nauseating enough to detract from this cream soda's achievement. It might just redefine what cream soda's supposed to look like, just as it redefined what it's supposed to taste like.

2. Rev'd Up Root Beer

We're in the endgame now. No surprise, really, as Rev'd Up Root Beer is all but identical to the regular edition, with the added advantage of perking you up. Depending how you like your root beer, the caffeine's either a boon or negligible. Unless your religion bans caffeine, in which case, you can't drink this and you don't have to worry, because you'll get the nearly same experience enjoying the standard release. This one's got perhaps a little bit darker note on the finish.

The recipes are identical with a touch of caffeine at the end. Sprecher's blog doesn't say how many milligrams of caffeine it contains, but if it's anything like Barq's, it would have a little under 2 milligrams per fluid ounce. It's unclear if this is just a new name for the same recipe on Gourmet Root Beer's experience with Sprecher Caffeinated Root Beer, but likely so.

If you're looking for a lunchtime root beer to get you over the early afternoon siesta slouch, stop looking. If you need to go harder than that, possibly bridging a night so late it becomes early morning, consider Pilcrow Coffee's Sprecher Root Beer coffee float.

All in all, another great Sprecher root beer that might be ranked No. 1 in your personal, caffeine-addicted repertoire. As for us, we love the classics for a reason, but we can all still get along.

1. Root Beer

Well, we've had a lot of fun here today, and definitely made some new friends. There are a lot of sodas in this line-up that should make Sprecher proud. But in the end, one flavor reigned supreme, just as it did when we ranked the best root beer brands out there. It still has that perfectly herbal nose, and how often can you say a root beer is creamy before you even take a sip of it?

The spices are masterfully balanced and represent everything a root beer should be. The sugars come in waves, like vibrating strings of a harp: honey, cane sugar, glucose syrup, maltodextrin. While some of these flavors bring their best out as they warm up to room temperature, Sprecher Root Beer thrives in the cold. Rather than muting the flavor, chilling it gives this pour a full-bodied crispness that seems to diminish as it approaches room temperature. This remains a root beer that's hard to beat.