My home brewed root beer turned out delicious. I highly recommend it if you can come by the ingredients. It does have a taste reminiscent of root beer soda, but you wouldn’t confuse the two. Earthier, stronger tasting but less sweet, and the fermentation adds its own flavor in there.
All the ingredients I found at various health food stores, except the birch bark, which I just gathered myself. A fine substitute for birch bark would be wintergreen leaves, which give the same flavor.