The History of Root Beer

Root beer has its origins in Colonial America when alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks called small beers with made from roots, bark and herbs. Some of the earlier ingredients used to make root beer were allspice, juniper, hops, dandelion root, vanilla beans, sarsaparilla, yellow dock, dog grass, molasses and licorice. Today many of those ingredients are still used.

Charles Hires, a pharmacist in Philadelphia, discovered a recipe while on his honeymoon that he originally turned into a tea, then later added carbonation and made it a refreshing soft drink. The Hires family began making and distributing bottled root beer in 1893.

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