Flickr: Dyxie

Barqs Root Beer Started in a Small Mississippi House

Root beer soda is a soft drink that has been around a long time and there's a reason why. With its explosion of unique flavors like french vanilla, sassafras, and licorice, there's no doubt that Americans love their root beer. I'm sure you've heard of A&W root beer or have been to an A&W root beer stand, but another popular brand, bottled by the Coca-Cola Company, is Barq's Root Beer.

Known for its delicious flavor and containing caffeine, as they say, "Barq's has bite." Going all the way back to the 1890s, the Barq's Brothers Bottling Company bottled carbonated water and other soft drinks in New Orleans, Louisiana, which was founded by Edward Charles Edmond Barq and his older brother Gaston. In 1898, they moved to the town of Biloxi, Mississippi. Even more interesting, the brothers bottled their products right in this small home pictured below.

Where Was Barqs Root Beer Created?

Advertisements for Barq's root beer, Pepsi-Cola and 7Up in the French Quarter or Vieux Carré of New Orleans, Louisiana,  July 1961.

(Photo by Frank Gordon/Pix/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

This historical structure was built around 1898 and home to Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works. Edward Barq, Sr began experimenting with different flavors of soft drinks and eventually created Barq's Root Beer at this site. A huge hit right off the bat, Barq's Root Beer went on to become the number one favorite soft drinkabove sprite, Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew, Fanta, and every other soda.

With its simple slogan, "Drink Barq's. It's good," this soft drink was produced at this site until 1936 and then moved to a bigger plant in Biloxi. By the 1950s, there were over 200 Barq plants across the United States.


This is the perfect mug root beer, ideal for a root beer float full of vanilla ice cream or on its own. One serving size is a 12 fl oz can, which contains 160 calories and 45 g total carbohydrates, or 10% of your daily value. As for the ingredients, this delicious soda is made with carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, sodium benzoate (to protect taste), citric acid, caffeine, artificial and natural Flavors, acacia.

While soda should be consumed in moderation if you're watching your cholesterol or on a low-calorie diet, a treat-yourself moment with Barqs root beer every once in a while can only improve life!

circa 1950:  Two children drinking root beer in Wilfred Allen's county store in Sudbury, Massachusetts. It was the first soda fountain installed in New England, in 1881.

(Photo by Orlando /Three Lions/Getty Images)

Is Barq's Root Beer Caffeine-Free?

For a period of time in 1938, caffeine was banned in root beer soda by the federal government, so a caffeine-free formula had to be created. Eventually, the ban on caffeine-free root beer was lifted in the 1960s, allowing the original formula to be produced once again. To this day, Barq's Root Beer is one brand of root beer that contains caffeine, making it unique from other brands. In 1995, Barq's became part of The Coca-Cola Company with its headquarters moving to Atlanta, Georgia.

Nowadays, you can grab a variety of Barq's products at the grocery store and fill up your favorite root beer mug. Barq's red creme soda, cream soda, diet root beer, or just stick with the classic root beer. Whatever flavor you choose, you know Barq's won't let you down.


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This post was originally published on May 19, 2020.