Hires To You headerThe Illustrated History of Hires Root Beer



This 48 quart, Model 5286 chest cooler was manufactured in June, 1990 by the Coleman Co., Inc. in Wichita, Kansas.

(Figure 1990-01, Coleman chest cooler)


During 1991 Cadbury Schweppes’ copywriters didn’t bother to research Hires’ extensive history and repeated historical dating errors and tired myths when developing a marketing push to recognize what they apparently believed was Hires’ 115th year of operation.  Here’s an example of a bulletin sent to Hires bottlers:

(Figure 1991-01, 115th anniversary bulletin)


(Figure 1992-01, amber 12 fluid ounce ACL bottle)


(Figure 1993-01, wooden free drink token, 1.5" diameter, front and back)


When the game of POGS (originally known as "milk caps") became popular during the early 1990s, Cadbury Beverages, Inc. in Canada partnered with Warner Bros to produce these examples picturing the cartoon characters Sylvester and Tweety.  For more information about the origin of the milk caps game search Wikipedia for "POGS."

(Figure 1995-01, Hires and Warner Bros. POGS, front)

(Figure 1995-01, Hires and Warner Bros. POGS, back)


During 1996, Cadbury Schweppes was advertising “Hires Root Beer, America’s oldest root beer, is more than 120 years old and the oldest continuously marketed soft drink in the United States…Charles Hires stubbornly insisted on using better ingredients and flavorings than his competitor.  This frustrated his accountants, but Hires Root Beer ultimately became synonymous with high quality, a Hires trait appreciated by today’s loyal customers.”


A 1998 press release made this announcement:

VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA, March 9, 1998

Brio Industries Inc. is pleased to announce that it has been appointed by Cadbury Beverages Canada Inc. as the exclusive distributor of Hires Root Beer in all territories of Western Canada and Ontario formerly serviced by Pepsi-Cola Canada Ltd.

Hires is the number one selling branded root beer in Canada.  From that lofty position, the brand last year posted strong, double-digit growth nationally. (Source: A. C. Nielsen survey for 52 weeks ended January 3, 1998.)

Brio Chairman and CEO Ralph McRae said “We are extremely proud of our new arrangements with Cadbury Beverages.  They are precisely the type of partner we have sought for our Integrated Distribution System.  I view this as a very significant relationship for our company; one upon which we look to build for the future.”

Brio’s Integrated Distribution System combines the Company’s packaging, warehousing, distribution, sales, merchandising and information resources in a unique system that provides independent brand owners with a cost-effective means of distributing their products to a broad market.

Under the terms of the multi-year relationship, Brio will purchase Hires concentrate from Cadbury and be responsible for all aspects of packaging, distribution, merchandising and marketing.  Cadbury will provide additional support to Brio for marketing and listing programs for the brand.

Brio is the largest independent packager and distributor of soft drinks, juices, waters and new age beverages in Western Canada.


Cadbury Schweppes continued limited support for the Hires brand with this 2001 press release:

Hires Root Beer Celebrates 125th Anniversary

PLANO, TEXAS – Hires Root Beer, which was first introduced in 1876 at the U.S. Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, will celebrate its 125th anniversary this week.

“Hires Root Beer is not only America’s original root beer, but it is also the oldest continuously marketed soft drink in the United States,” said Tracy Burgess, associate brand manager for Hires Root Beer.  “We are proud of the strong heritage of the product and the exceptional quality and taste it has provided consumers for the past 125 years.”

To commemorate its 125th anniversary, Hires Root Beer will take part in a special celebration at Memorial Hall in Philadelphia to honor the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which is also celebrating its 125th anniversary.  Memorial Hall was the site of the Fine Arts Gallery at the U.S. Centennial Exhibition that took place between May 10, 1876, and Nov. 10, 1876, and was also the original location of the museum.  As part of the celebration, Hires Root Beer will be served to guests attending the museum event…

Hires Root Beer is a brand of Plano, Texas-based Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc., the leading non-cola soft drink enterprise in North America and the largest subsidiary of London-based Cadbury Schweppes plc.  Its soft drink brands represent about 16 percent of the U.S. carbonated soft drink market.  In addition to Hires Root Beer, the company’s other major soft drink brands are Dr Pepper, 7 Up, Canada Dry, Schweppes, A&W Root Beer, Sunkist, Squirt and Hawaiian Punch, in addition to RC Cola.


Cadbury Schweppes spun off its soft drinks arm May 5, 2008 and renamed the beverage company Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.  Although the Dr Pepper Snapple Group still owned the Hires brand, they chose to instead promote A&W Root Beer, another brand the group owned.  Hires Root Beer was no longer sold by the Dr Pepper Snapple Group in Canada, having been replaced by Stewarts Root Beer.  Major competitor Pepsi-Cola Canada Ltd. owned and marketed Mug Root Beer in Canada.  Hires Root Beer was only available in the U.S. thru a limited number of Internet-based sources.

MTH Electric Trains introduced this O gauge model train refrigerator car No. 30-78075 in 2008.  Use of the Hires trademarks was licensed by Dr Pepper/Seven Up, Inc.  The train was manufactured in China. 

(Figure 2008-01, MTH model railroad refrigerator car and carton)


January 29, 2018 Keurig Green Mountain, a specialty coffee and coffeemaker company, announced acquisition of the Dr Pepper Snapple Group for $18.7 billion.  The merger was scheduled for completion during 2018, with the new publicly traded company known as Keurig Dr Pepper.  In addition to Hires, Keurig Dr Pepper owns the A&W Root Beer, IBC Root Beer, and Stewart's Root Beer brands.  

(Figure 2018-01, Hires can)