Hires Root Beer was created by an entrepreneurial pharmacist named Charles E. Hires, who discovered a delicious herbal tea made of roots, berries and herbs while on his honeymoon.
An American Original
At more than 120 years old, Hires Root Beer is America's original root beer.
A Gala Occasion
Hires wasn't the only product introduced at the Centennial Exposition. Other notable inventions such as Alexander Graham Bell's telephone, the Remington typewriter and Heinz Ketchup, made their debut too.
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.
Through the years, Charles Hires' stubborn insistence on using more expensive ingredients and flavorings than his root beer competitors may have frustrated his accountants, but Hires Root Beer ultimately became a product that was synonymous with high quality. That high level of quality is still appreciated by today's loyal Hires consumers.
Today, Hires is part of Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper Snapple Group, an integrated refreshment beverage business marketing more than 50 beverage brands throughout North America.