Cart  0

Birch Beer is a carbonated soft drink most popularized in Pennsylvania. It is made from the essential oils derived from the bark of the Black Birch Tree also known as the spiced birch or the sweet birch. Birch Beer is in the same family as root beer and sarsaparilla but to call it the same thing isn’t only wrong, but it could start a fight in Pennsylvania.

The flavor of birch beer is earthy, spiced and sweet, like root beer, but flows across the tongue first with a rich creamy-ness followed by a distinctive minty finish. The oil of the birch tree is the main ingredient of birch beer. It is made by distilling the sap found in the bark then filtering it followed by the  addition of bubbles (carbonation). Next the sweetness is added (we prefer pure cane sugar at the North Market Pop Shop) as well as various spices like cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg or cloves depending on the brand or on your recipe.

There are three main kinds of birch beer each from their own tree, original (brown), creamy red which has added vanilla and almost no bite, and white birch beer which is clear and heavy on the wintergreen.  

You can’t find Birch Beer just anywhere, though. It is a regional soda specific to the northeastern part of the United States as well as some parts of Canada.Pennsylvania, being the southernmost point of the Birch Beer region is also the largest consumer of the beverage.

A recipe for alcoholic birch beer has been around since the mid 1600’s and involves fermenting the sap rather than reducing it to an oil. Long before the 1600’s, Native Americans relied on Birch Trees to make herbal remedies and to add spice to their meals.

There are numerous popular brands making Birch Beer. Many recognize the popular yellow Pennsylvania Dutch can, but it’s not the only birch beer worth noting. Companies like Boylan, Reading Draft, and Kutztown Soda works have been making soda for decades, birch beer being their staple soda. Other notable birch beers include Hank’s, Stewart’s, Foxon Park, Hipposize, Sioux City, Avery’s and Appalachian Brewing Company; all of which are available at the North Market Pop Shop.

Related Posts


North Market Pop Shop Mentioned in Washington Post Article

We are very pleased to share that we were recently mentioned by the Washington Post in their article titled, “Weekend Getaway: Hands-on Family Fun in Frederick County, MD”! We are mentioned regarding things to do in Frederick on Saturday but you know we’d love to see you any day of the week!. Here’s the excerpt: […]

Moxie soda pop

Pop of the Week, Episode I: Moxie

Join us as our very own Michelle Schaffer debuts the very first of our new weekly video series, the North Market Pop Shop “Pop of the Week”! This week, in the spirit of the Olympic Games, we are featuring a wonderful glass bottle soda which is also the official State Beverage of Maine… Moxie! This […]

store sign in downtown frederick

North Market Pop Shop Featured by ‘Only In Your State’

We are proud to have been recently featured by! The website recently devoted a section to our Maryland soda shop, which you can find right here! Our vast varieties of soda are mentioned, along with ice cream, floats and other menu items! Check out the piece and then afterwards, come see us in downtown […]



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *