Root Beer Candy

  • By: Max S.
  • Date: September 25, 2022
  • Time to read: 9 min.

Enjoying root beer candies is a fond memory for many people who grew up in the 60s through 80s. They reminisce on the sweetness and the addictive flavor the root beer hard candy leaves on their taste buds. 

Root beer candy was invented at the turn of the 20th century by pharmacist Charles Hines, the inventor of the famous soft drink, root beer. The candies are made from a mixture of sugar, corn syrup, citric acid, titanium dioxide (for color), natural and artificial flavors, and artificial colors.

Root beer candies are made in different shapes, such as rolls, buttons, and barrels, and are usually wrapped in transparent wrappers. While they are now referred to as classic sweets, the hard candies are still found in some retail and various online stores.

Brach’s root beer barrels, Arnold’s candies root beer barrels, and dad’s root beer barrels are some root beer candies that are still popularly sold. Some brands also produce sugar-free variants of the candy.

What are Root Beer Barrels?

Root beer barrels are sweet candies made using the distinct root beer flavor. The initial candies produced were barrel-shaped; hence, the name ‘root beer barrels.’ 

However, the candies are now made in various forms, including buttons, rolls, and sticks. Reeds root beer candy, and Atkinsons root beer hard candy buttons are some candies made in other shapes.

How Many Calories are in a Small Root Beer Barrel?

bowl of root beer soda barrel candy

The typical serving size of root beer barrels is 3 pieces. These 3 pieces contain 70 calories, 19 grams of carbohydrates, and 14 grams of sugar.

Do Root Barrels have Root Beer in them?

Root barrels are made with the root beer flavor. Safrole oil in sassafras and sarsaparilla were used in creating the root beer flavor in the soft drink and candy, but the FDA banned it in 1960. 

Manufacturers now use artificial flavors to create a similar taste in root beer soft drinks and candies.

How old is Root Beer Candy?

close up of root beer soda barrel candy
How old is Root Beer Candy?

While root beer was first successfully marketed by pharmacist Charles in 1875, the candy was produced in the early 1900s by the same pharmacist. This means root beer candy is more than a century old.

Are Root Beer Barrels Vegan?

While some brands do not specify whether their candy is vegan or not, most root beer barrels do not contain components from animals. But, since most of the candies are manufactured on equipment that processes dairy products, there may be a risk of cross-contamination.

Can Dogs eat Root Beer Candy?

Dogs should not eat root beer candy as products with added sugar are dangerous to dogs. Sugar and sweeteners have long-term negative effects on dogs’ health, so products containing sugars and sweeteners should be avoided.

The effects of eating sugary products are mostly long-term and result from frequent intake of the products. Therefore, if your dog swallows a candy, there will be little or no short-term adverse effects. However, you should not give your dog sugary beverages or candies.

Are Root Beer Barrels Gluten-Free?

Most of the popular brands of root beer barrels, including Dad’s root beer barrel and Sunrise hard candy, are not made with wheat, barley, or any gluten products. Hence, they are mostly gluten-free. 

If you are on a gluten-free diet, you should check the ingredients of the root beer candy for any gluten products before purchasing.

Do Root Beer Barrels have Caffeine?

The answer is no. Root beer barrels do not have caffeine and are free from the most common allergens. For additional information regarding the allergen statement of the candy, you can visit the manufacturer’s website.

Other Root Beer Flavored Treats

root beer soda flavored popsicles
Other Root Beer Flavored Treats

The unique root beer flavor is a favorite of many people. Besides the soft drink and candy barrels, manufacturers have created different ways for fans of the flavor to enjoy the root beer taste. Other root beer flavored treats you can find in retail stores are:

  • Root beer candy jelly beans
  • Root beer drops
  • Root beer floats candy
  • Root beer candy puffs
  • Root beer rolls
  • Root beer dum dum
  • Root beer caramels
  • Root beer float popsicles

Root beer flavors also exist in different recipes for food and desserts. Some of them include:

  • Root beer ice cream
  • Root beer float fudge
  • Root beer baked beans
  • Root beer float cupcakes
  • Root beer Pie

Root Beer Dum Dum

Dum Dums were created in 1924 and added a root beer flavor to their variety in 1953. This candy flavor has become a favorite of many buyers, especially fans of the soft drink. The lollipop has a brown color and an easy-to-remove white wrapper with barrels designed on it.

The typical serving size is 2 lollipops, which contain 50 grams of calories, 10 milligrams of sodium, 13 grams of carbohydrates, and 9 grams of sugar. It is gluten-free, kosher certified, and free of the top common allergens.

These lollipops are sold at major grocery, drug, and dollar stores, as well as major retail stores like Walmart and Target. They are also sold on the Spangler Candy website. Other flavors of dum dum include dragon fruit, raspberry, cherry, and grape.

Root Beer Lollipops

Root beer lollipops are root beer-flavored candies that come with sticks for holding the treats. Lollipops are a popular treat for all ages and usually have numerous flavors for kids and adults to select from.

They are commonly made with Sugar, Corn Syrup, Citric Acid, Artificial Flavors, and Food Colors. They contain between 35 – 60  calories per serving size, which is usually 2 to 3 pops.

Some popular brands of root beer lollipops are A&W root beer lollipop, Brown root beer lollipop, root beer dum dum, and See’s Candies root beer lollipop.

Root Beer Gummies

Root beer gummies are delicious gummy candies that taste like root beer. The best thing about gummies is that they come in different interesting shapes and sizes, which is why people love them. 

They are usually added to themed candy bars because of their various shapes, sizes, and exciting colors. Gummy candies shaped like food or bottles are some popular gummies made by brands.

Root Beer Gum

root beer flavored gum

For root beer fans who love bubble gum, this is a perfect treat. Root beer gums are bubble gums made using root beer flavor. They are popular for their lasting flavor among customers. A&W makes one of the famous root beer gums with its Hubba Bubba. 

Extra dessert delight produced a sugar-free root beer float gum with a refreshing and strong taste. However, its production was discontinued after some time on the shelf.

Extra Root Beer Float Gum

The root beer float gum is a sugar-free gum manufactured by extra desserts delight for a while until it was discontinued. It contained only 5 calories and a considerable amount of sugar per serving. 

A mixture of several ingredients, including sorbitol, gum base, glycerol, hydrogenated starch hydrolysate, and natural and artificial flavors, tastes more like the root beer float and not the regular root beer. While this root beer gum cannot be found in retail stores anymore, old packs can still be found in specialty online stores.

Extra desserts delight manufactured several bubble gum flavors, which were also discontinued, such as mint chocolate chip and strawberry shortcake flavors.

Root Beer Licorice

Root beer licorice twists are firm-textured root beer flavored treats that are produced using wheat flour, sugar, water, artificial flavor, glycerine, salt, sunflower oil, glyceryl monostearate, citric acid, soy lecithin, caramel color, and corn syrup.

The chewy twists are not as popular as the candies of the same flavor and are only sold in some online stores. A serving size of 4 twists contains 120 calories and 14 grams of sugar. Backroad and A&W are some companies that produce root beer-flavored licorice twists.

Root Beer Jelly Beans

Root beer jelly beans are produced by Jelly belly in conjunction with A&W root beer. The magically delicious beans taste exactly like A&W root beer and have a brown color. They are peanut-free, kosher-certified, fat-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free. 

The root beer jelly beans include various natural ingredients in its production. They are made from sugar, corn syrup, modified food starch, with small amounts of natural & artificial flavors, color added, vegetable & fruit juice (color), beeswax, carnauba wax, and confectioner’s glaze. 

Many people especially love the root beer flavor of jelly beans because of how close it comes to the soda taste. However, there are many other flavors of jelly beans.

Root Beer Jello

Root beer float jello shots combine root beer and whipped cream-flavored vodka that result in an amazing treat. Jello shots are mildly alcoholic and are usually associated with college parties. They can be made using different flavors and served in disposable paper or plastic cups.

Inspired by root beer floats, root beer jello shots can be easily made at home using the following ingredients and methods: 


  • One cup of root beer
  • Three-quarters cup of vanilla or whipped cream flavored vodka
  • One-quarter cup water
  • One and a half or two envelopes of unflavored gelatin (the more gelatin, the firmer your shots)
  • Garnish using whipped cream
  • Straws, for serving


  • Add root beer to a small saucepan, sprinkle with gelatin and mix for one or two minutes.
  • Stir mixture under low heat until gelatin dissolves. Add vodka and water and fill up small, plastic shot glasses about three-quarters full. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight.
  • To serve, cut straws to suitable sizes and insert them into the side of the glasses. Add the whipped cream topping and use straws to remove shots from the glasses.

Do Root Beer Popsicles Exist?

The answer is yes. Root beer popsicles exist and have been around for a long while. Although, many ice cream brands that produced root beer-flavored popsicles in the past have either stopped or reduced production due to diversification into other treats. 

However, some brands still make popsicles, which can be found in the frozen aisle of some grocery stores. Root beer popsicles can also be made at home with simple steps and easily accessible ingredients.

Root Beer Float Popsicles

root beer flavored popsicles
Root Beer Float Popsicles

Root beer float popsicles are yummy treats inspired by root beer floats. While they are sold in some grocery stores, if you can’t make that run to the store, you can easily make a root beer popsicle at home using root beer and sweet condensed milk.

The popsicles are made by mixing any root beer flavor and the condensed milk in a popsicle mold and allowing it to freeze. It can also be made without a popsicle mold by mixing in a paper cup and freezing. You can add the sticks when the popsicles are partially frozen to keep them in place.

Root Beer Twin Pops

Budget saver twin pops and country fresh twin pops are popular treats with a root beer flavor. These sweet treats taste like a mix of root beer and vanilla and are enjoyed by all ages. 

Manufactured by Ziegenfelder, budget saver twin pops contain 40 calories per pop and 22 grams of carbohydrates. Country Fresh Dairy produces country fresh twin pops. They contain 30 calories per pop and 14 grams of carbohydrates.

Lindy’s Root Beer Italian Ice

Italian ice was first created by lucky lindy in his kitchen and sold around his neighborhood. Now, Lindy’s Italian ice has various flavors sold in most grocery stores, including their yum root beer flavored Italian ice. 

The root beer Italian ice tastes like root beer soda, and its main ingredient is ice. It contains 100 calories per serving, 27 grams of carbohydrates, and 21 grams of sugar. Some recipes of Lindy’s Italian ice are made with alcohol, but according to their website, the recipes are great without alcohol.

Do they still make Root Beer Popsicles?

The answer is yes. They still make root beer popsicles. Many companies stopped producing it while diversifying to other treats, but few brands still make it, and you can find it in some grocery stores.


Root beer candies and other root beer-flavored sweets are delicious treats and can be enjoyed by kids and adults of all ages. Infact, as a classic treat, root beer treats are enjoyed more by the older generation.

Many root beer treats can be easily made at home, allowing you to modify the treats and enjoy them without going to the store. The root beer flavor also delights in many foods and desserts.