Antiques & Collectibles: Have a smashing time collecting root beer bottles

Who doesn’t enjoy a big frosty mug of root beer in the summertime? But did you know that root beer started out as tea?

In 1875 a Philadelphia pharmacist took his new bride on their honeymoon and came back with the recipe for the great root beer taste we know and love out of it.  As you might expect, this wasn’t his intention.  As with all great things, root beer happened by accident.

While having tea with his wife, he commented to the inn keeper how phenomenal the bark and herb blend tea was and that he just had to have the recipe.  Upon arriving back at home, he created his own version of the herb tea recipe.  Unexpectedly, he married the resulting herb tea with a carbonated soda and came up with Hires Herb Tea.

He took this beverage to the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 under the name “root beer” by suggestion of a friend and the rest is history.


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