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Root Beer

Posted by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:24 PM
  • 14 Replies

 The History of Root Beer


In 1876, Charles Hires first sold commercial root beer to the public.


Root beer has its origins in what is referred to as small beers. Small beers are a collection of local beverages (some alcoholic, some not) made during colonial times in America from a variety of herbs, barks, and roots that commonly included: birch beer, sarsparilla beer, ginger beer and root beer.
Ingredients

Ingredients in early root beers included allspice, birch bark, coriander, juniper, ginger, wintergreen, hops, burdock root, dandelion root, spikenard, pipsissewa, guaiacum chips, sarsaparilla, spicewood, wild cherry bark, yellow dock, prickly ash bark, sassafras root*, vanilla beans, hops, dog grass, molasses and licorice.
Many of the above ingredients are still used in root beer today along with added carbonation. There is no one recipe.

Charles Hires

Charles Hires was a Philadelphia pharmacist who according to his biography discovered a recipe for a delicious herbal tea while on his honeymoon. The pharmacist began selling a dry version of the tea mixture and also began working on a liquid version of the same tea. The result of was a combination of over twenty-five herbs, berries and roots that Charles Hires used to flavor a carbonated soda water drink. The Charles Hires' version of a root beer beverage was first introduced to the public at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial exhibition.
First Bottling

The Hires family continued to manufacture root beer and in 1893 first sold and distributed bottled root beer. Charles Hires and his family certainly contributed greatly to the popularity of modern root beer, however, the origins of root beer can be traced further back in history.
Other Brands

Another famous brand of root beer is A & W Root Beer, now the number one selling root beer in the world. A & W Root Beer was founded by Roy Allen, who began marketing root beer in 1919.
 
*In 1960, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned sassafras as a potential carcinogen, however, a method was found to remove the oil from sassafras. Only the oil is considered dangerous. Sassafras is one of the main ingredients in root beer.
by on Apr. 25, 2012 at 11:24 PM
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Replies (1-10):
4kidz916
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 12:41 AM

Interesting info.

jen113000
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 9:17 AM

Neat!

MistressMinerva
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Cool. The only Rootbeer I drink is Barq's Rootbeer.

frndlyfn
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I dont drink any root beers unless i am desperate for a beverage of any type.  DD loves her generic root beers.

katzmeow726
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 4:01 PM

I'm not really a big root beer person...although I will occasionally drink an IBC, they're yummy!

Maries_Mom23
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Cool info..that's Madison's favorite soda.

She calls it dog pop.  Why?  Mug Root Beer.  She's called it that since she was 2!  LOL..

GoodyBrook
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 9:55 PM
It's been on my "to do" list for a few months now, but I keep forgetting to pick up the right kind of yeast!...
frndlyfn
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 10:36 PM


Quoting GoodyBrook:

It's been on my "to do" list for a few months now, but I keep forgetting to pick up the right kind of yeast!...


Do you have an actual recipe for Root Beer that you could share?

GoodyBrook
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 11:01 PM


Quoting frndlyfn:

 

Quoting GoodyBrook:

It's been on my "to do" list for a few months now, but I keep forgetting to pick up the right kind of yeast!...


Do you have an actual recipe for Root Beer that you could share?

Not exactly.  On the back of my Watkins Root Beer Extract bottle, it had something.  But of course the box is long gone, and my memory is fading.

BUT here's an approximation:  1/2 gallon of chlorine-free water, 1/4 teaspoon champagne yeast--NOT baking bread yeast!, 2 to 4 cups sugar, a few drops Root Beer Extract.  Put into plastic container with lid.  Place aside for a few days.  Be aware that the yeast causes bubbles to form, so glass containers can shatter.  Plastic containers can also pop their top, so store them in an easily clean-able area!

Hope it helps!

frndlyfn
by on Apr. 26, 2012 at 11:16 PM


Quoting GoodyBrook:


Quoting frndlyfn:


Quoting GoodyBrook:

It's been on my "to do" list for a few months now, but I keep forgetting to pick up the right kind of yeast!...


Do you have an actual recipe for Root Beer that you could share?

Not exactly.  On the back of my Watkins Root Beer Extract bottle, it had something.  But of course the box is long gone, and my memory is fading.

BUT here's an approximation:  1/2 gallon of chlorine-free water, 1/4 teaspoon champagne yeast--NOT baking bread yeast!, 2 to 4 cups sugar, a few drops Root Beer Extract.  Put into plastic container with lid.  Place aside for a few days.  Be aware that the yeast causes bubbles to form, so glass containers can shatter.  Plastic containers can also pop their top, so store them in an easily clean-able area!

Hope it helps!

Cool thanks.   Now off to find root beer extract LOL.

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