Root beer is a popular beverage enjoyed by people all around the world. It has a unique taste that is often described as sweet and slightly spicy, with hints of vanilla and caramel.
But for Muslims, the question of whether or not root beer is halal (permissible to consume according to Islamic law) is a valid concern. Is root beer halal? In this blog, we will explore the ingredients of root beer and determine whether it is halal or not.
Is Root Beer Halal?
Yes, most root beer are considered halal as they do not contain alcohol, and so scholars consider it halal. Root beer is an American drink with a sweet distinctive herbal flavour. The principal ingredients include various roots and herbs, foaming agents, spices, and other non-animal-derived ingredients like sugar, molasses, and yeast.
According to information gathered online, root beer doesn’t have alcohol in it because it doesn’t undergo the typical fermentation process that makes a drink alcoholic.
The sugar and yeast will not produce enough ethanol. When it ferments, the alcohol level will be equivalent to the amount of alcohol in a piece of bread. Despite its name, root beer is not actually a beer.
The Halal Status of Root Beer
The first step to determining whether or not you can include this drink in your halal diet is to look at the ingredients list.
Root beer is generally considered halal because its original recipe did not contain alcohol and any animal products.
Here’s a look at the ingredients found in root beer:
- Dandelion root
Other roots and herbs found in root beer include lack cherry wood, berries, Picea Mariana, Picea rubens, and Betula sap, resin, or syrup.
Foaming agents include soapbark and the roots of either cassava, yucca, or the manioc plant.
Besides ginger, other spices used in root beer include; mint, star anise, nutmeg, clove, fenugreek, fennel seeds, hops, allspice, cinnamon, and chocolate.
Some of the additives include caramel colour, carbonated water, sugar, natural flavours, artificial flavours, and the Sodium benzoate preservative.
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Why Root Beer Is Considered Halal?
If the beer is free of that which causes intoxication, then there is nothing wrong with it. However if it contains any intoxicating substances, it is not permissible to drink it.
Islam Q&A issued a detailed Fatwa addressing the halal and haram of beer. It stated that the basic ruling on food and drink is that things are halal, except for those which are specifically described in sharee’ah as being haram, such as alcoholic drinks.
If the drink includes any intoxicating substance, it is haram. On this basis it may be said that beer (a drink made from barley), if it is intoxicating when drunk in large amounts, then it is not permissible to drink it.
Islam Q&A also issued a Fatwa on the permissibility (and prohibition) of beer. The ruling addressed beer with alcohol and beer without alcohol. Since root beer can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic, the same rulings apply.
First, the Islamic authority site addressed intoxicating beer (such as hard root beer). The site clarified that it is haram to buy, sell, or consume this type of beer, as it is an intoxicant.
The second type is beer that is not intoxicating, either because it is completely free of alcohol, or because it contains a minuscule amount of alcohol that does not reach the level of causing intoxication no matter how much a person drinks of it.
The scholars have ruled that this is permissible. Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymin said:
“The beer that is on sale in our marketplaces [in Saudi Arabia] is all halal, because it has been inspected by the officials and is completely free of alcohol. The basic principle concerning all kinds of food, drink and clothing is that they are permissible until and unless proof is established that they are haram.
The site further indicated that if something contains a percentage of alcohol which will make a person intoxicated if he drinks it, then it is haram. But if the amount is miniscule and does not have any effect, then it is halal.
Is A&W Root Beer Halal?
Yes, A&W is considered halal since it doesn’t contain alcohol and is vegan (doesn’t contain any animal). According to the A&W website, its root beer has no alcohol in it. At least, not enough for the company to legally have to disclose it to the public.
A&W root beer contains the standard soda ingredients: carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, coloring, preservatives, and flavoring. There is no alcohol in the beverage, per the company’s website.
Is Mug Root Beer Halal?
Yes, Mug Root Beer is considered halal. According to information gathered online, Mug root beer is not alcoholic. PepsiCo’s subsidiary is no different than that of any other commercially produced root beer.
It is confirmed that this root beer is safe for kids to drink and won’t give you any side effects of alcohol. The only thing you might get as a result of this drink is a sugar high.
Is Bundaberg Root Beer Halal?
Yes, Bundaberg Root Beer is halal because is non-alcoholic and is not intoxicating. According to the brand’s website, their product is classified as a soft drink (or soda in some countries).
The contents and procedure of making the Bundaberg brewed drink as explained by the website is the same as other soft drinks. In particular, the alcohol amount is minute and is from sugar cane and not from grapes or dates. According to Islamqa.org such soft drinks are permissible.
Is Root Beer Haram?
No, root beer is not Haram as they do not contain alcohol and is not intoxicating, and so scholars consider it halal.