Chicago's own Dad's Root Beer is reputed to be the first purveyor to package bottled beverages in six-packs, which it introduced in the 1940s.

Attachment 154605

Pharmacist Charles Elmer Hires was the first to successfully market a commercial brand of root beer. Hires developed his root tea made from sassafras in 1875, debuted a commercial version of root beer at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876, and began selling his extract. Hires was a teetotaler who wanted to call the beverage "root tea".

Attachment 154606


Attachment 154607 A Hires' Rootbeer advertisement from 1894.

One of Hires's early competitors was Barq's, which began selling its sarsaparilla-based root beer in 1898 and was labeled simply as "Barq's". In 1919, Roy Allen opened his root-beer stand in Lodi, California, which led to the development of A&W Root Beer. One of Allen's innovations was that he served his homemade root beer in cold, frosty mugs. IBC Root Beer (which stood for: Independent Breweries Company) is another brand of commercially produced root beer that emerged during this period and is still well-known today.

Attachment 154608


Attachment 154609


Attachment 154610

Sassafras root beverages were made by indigenous peoples of the Americas for culinary and medicinal reasons before the arrival of Europeans in North America, and European culinary techniques have been applied to making traditional sassafras-based beverages similar to root beer since the 16th century.

Root beer was sold in confectionery stores since the 1840s, and written recipes for root beer have been documented since the 1860s. It possibly was combined with soda as early as the 1850s, and root beer sold in stores was most often sold as a syrup rather than a ready-made beverage.

The tradition of brewing root beer is thought to have evolved out of other small beer traditions that produced fermented drinks with very low alcohol content that were thought to be healthier to drink than possibly tainted local sources of drinking water, and enhanced by the medicinal and nutritional qualities of the ingredients used.

Beyond its aromatic qualities, the medicinal benefits of sassafras were well known to both Native Americans and Europeans, and druggists began marketing root beer for its medicinal qualities.



Mmmmm, yum.......and root beer floats!!!!!!