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Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Barq's Root Beer

Edward Charles Edmond Barq bought the Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works on Keller Avenue in Biloxi in 1897 and invented Barq's root beer in 1898.

After experimenting with soda flavors using backyard tubs, Barq created the sharp tasting recipe that many enjoy today in the form of a Root Beer Float. Barq began bottling and selling his soft drink he named after himself in 1898.

Barq's was the iconic root beer of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the greater South and eventually was marketed in cities from New Jersey to Hawaii.

Although root beer was never as popular as the cola products, Barq’s nevertheless spread throughout the United States and branched out with flavors such as Grape, Moon-Glo, Imitation Strawberry, and red creme soda.

By day Barq and his wife sold the drinks, and then spent the rest of their time mixing the formula for them and refilling glass bottles. But first the bottles had to be sterilized and then each process had to be created in large pots in the couple's backyard. In 1936, Barq's operation was moved from Keller Avenue to a larger plant at 604 Lameuse Street, also in Biloxi. Demonstrating the product's appeal, by the 1950s, there were more than two hundred Barq plants across the United States.

Barq’s added Bubble Up, franchised through the Bubble Up Corporation of Peoria, Illinois, in 1955 and prepared for an even greater expansion.

In 1976, New Orleanians John Oudt and John Koerner bought Barq’s and moved the company’s headquarters to New Orleans. The company was sold to Coca-Cola in 1995 for $91 million.
Barq's Root Beer

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