Hires Root Beer, almost extinct

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,242
280
126
Hires is the original root beer. But it was sold to Dr Pepper Scwheppes, who also owns A&W, and they decided to only focus on A&W. Hires is now very difficult to find. Call the company and they can neither sell any directly, nor tell you anywhere you can buy it, only confirming they still make a very small amount.

Looking online, there are almost no sellers. I see one twelve pack of cans for $26, another small amount for over $50. Comments say it's sold in at most 5 states at all, maybe fewer. Anyone else see it for sale where they are in the country? Anyone had it in years?
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,424
2,599
126
Haven't seen any for a long time, but it wasn't one I would look for either. All I ever see of major Brands are A&W, Mug, and Barqs.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,242
280
126
If people want 'premium' brands, I'd say look for A&W at the restaurant made fresh, Virgil's, some like Boylan's. I think the worst I've run across are Dad's and Shasta and generic store brands.
 

sandorski

No Lifer
Oct 10, 1999
67,424
2,599
126
If people want 'premium' brands, I'd say look for A&W at the restaurant made fresh, Virgil's, some like Boylan's. I think the worst I've run across are Dad's and Shasta and generic store brands.
Ya, A&W in restaurant in the frosted mug is the only way to drink it. Store bought doesn't compare. I have seen Boylans, but never tried it. Stewards is good. Of the majors I mentioned earlier I prefer Barqs from the Store.

There is a local Craft Root Beer that is really good called Captain Electro's Intergalactic Root Beer. It is a multiple layered root beer, one drink tastes peppery, next one clovey, another one minty, etc. I really like it, but only drink it occasionally so it won't get boring.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,242
280
126
Ya, A&W in restaurant in the frosted mug is the only way to drink it. Store bought doesn't compare. I have seen Boylans, but never tried it. Stewards is good. Of the majors I mentioned earlier I prefer Barqs from the Store.

There is a local Craft Root Beer that is really good called Captain Electro's Intergalactic Root Beer. It is a multiple layered root beer, one drink tastes peppery, next one clovey, another one minty, etc. I really like it, but only drink it occasionally so it won't get boring.
Agreed on A&W in the restaurant, not a fan of Barq's.

That local one sounds a lot like Virgil's. It's probably the most distinctive taste, which you may or may not like. It looks like the local one doesn't ship.
 

kage69

Lifer
Jul 17, 2003
15,625
3,903
136
Hires is basic stuff. If it ain't Boylans or Virgils I don't want it. Sorry. Syrup in carbonated water does not suffice when I want a rootbeer, or a float. Rootbeers like Mug are quite lame.

I think Boylans is the best I've tried, and I've tried a lot.
 
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Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,242
280
126
I remember drinking it in the 80s. I doubt very much that it's the "original" root beer.
It's the original root beer going back to the 19th century, though of course it's changed. It used to be a very big seller, the dominant brand of root beer as I understand.
 

lxskllr

No Lifer
Nov 30, 2004
53,664
3,858
126
I don't think any of these products that old are the same products. For example, Hires was originally made with Sasafras root and Cuban cane sugar. Who knows how different it was from today.
Sassafras contains safrole, which can cause cancer in sufficient quantity. That ingredient has been banned by the FDA, and I imagine most manufacturers decided chemistry was a better solution than removing safrole from natural ingredients.
 

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