Hires Root Beer is the “basic” root beer in which all root beers are measured. Root Beer existed before Charles Elmer Hires in 1876. Reportedly Mr. Hires discovered a special brew on his honeymoon. He later named it Hires Root Beer, because Root Tea would not appeal to men.
“Hires continued to experiment with his original recipe and introduced Hires Root Beer at the 1876 U.S. Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia.
To build Hires’ awareness, Hires became the first U.S. businessman to aggressively advertise his product, subscribing to the principle that “doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark: you know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”
Hires Root Beer quickly became a sensation. Many homes in America had a Hires Root Beer Kit, which allowed families to brew their own root beer by mixing dry extract with water, sugar and yeast at a cost of five cents per gallon. Despite the success of the home kits, Hires decided in 1884 that he could sell more root beer if people didn’t have to brew it. He later developed liquid concentrate and soda fountain syrup, as well as bottled root beer.”
(taken from the Dr. Pepper/Snapple website)
Today you can buy Hires Root Beer on E Bay or from the Root Beer Store in the state of
Washington. It has a strong carmel taste and is very syrupy. It has a strong think taste.
It is also the Holy Grail of root beer. Charles Elmer Hires is my hero.
Dr. Pepper/Snapple has pushed A&W so hard and has placed Hires in the backwaters of the
international river of soda. I can’t even get them to tell me where its made. It is still
around and Im very grateful. I have a couple cases of Hires in my home.