I love root beer... even more now that I'm pregnant. You know how lemon-lime soda is supposed to settle your stomach when you aren't feeling well? Yeah, no. Doesn't work for me with this pregnancy. I suspect it's the citrus since I can't drink lemonade or orange juice at this point either.
I wouldn't say I'm a root beer connoisseur, but I have rather discriminating taste. For example: most canned root beers are barely passable as they tend to glean a little bit of a metallic taste. (With the exception of Barqs which is good no matter what.) Bottled is the way to go: plastic is okay but glass is preferable.
Of the root beers that I have sampled personally, I have a working rating system according to taste and overall appeal. For example, Dad's Root Beer and Shasta are waaaay down at the bottom of my list (sorry Dad). I can't even explain why I don't like them because I've been avoiding them for so long I've forgotten.
Mug and IBC are a close comparison in my opinion. Though decent, they don't make my list of favorites for two reasons. I like my root beer to either be smooth and sweet or slightly bitter with a bite. Mug and IBC fit into neither category and so fall a bit short for me.
Henry Weinhard falls into a category all its own because it has a wonderful head and a nice bite but it is too sweet for the bite, so I give most of those to Ben. (I do LOOOOVE their Cream Soda though.. I'll have to blog about that sometime.)
Up at the top of my list is A&W and Barqs root beers. A&W is wonderful when I am in the mood for a nice smooth root beer. It almost tastes a bit like a root beer float without the ice cream already in it, having a slight vanilla quality. Barqs, as we all know, has that wonderful bite and I simply couldn't do it enough justice. The downside for me is that it has caffeine in it, which I have been trying to avoid during my pregnancy. Ben said we'll have to hunt down some C-Free Barqs while we are in Utah. :)
I have also tried some home-made root beers that have ranged from okay to quite good, but it has been a long time since I've known anyone who makes it.
I have been interested in trying several brands out that I've seen in the stores, including Jones and Stewarts... If they're any good, I'll let you know. Oh, and did you know that Snapple makes a root beer? I've never seen it myself.