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Barq's Famous Olde Tyme Root Beer
Barq's Root Beer Logo.svg
Type Root beer
Manufacturer The Coca-Cola Company
Country of origin USA
Introduced 1898
Variants Red Creme Soda, Diet Red Creme Soda, French Vanilla Creme Soda, and French Vanilla Diet Creme Soda.
Related products A&W Root Beer, Mug Root Beer, Dad's Root Beer, Sarsi

Barq's /ˈbɑrks/ is an American soft drink. Its brand of root beer is notable for having caffeine.[1] "Barq's" Root Beer had been labeled as Barq's Famous Olde Tyme Root Beer until 2012.[2] Barq's, created by Edward Barq and bottled since the start of the 20th century, is currently bottled by The Coca-Cola Company.

Barq's products[edit]

  • Barq's Root Beer - available caffeine-free in areas distributed by Swire Coca-Cola, such as Utah, as well as other markets nationwide, but unless otherwise stated, has caffeine
  • Diet Barq's Root Beer - contains no caffeine. Available in Root Beer and Vanilla Cream.
  • Barq's Red Crème Soda[3] (Barq's Yellow Creme Soda was also produced until the early 1990s).
  • Diet Barq's Red Crème Soda
  • Barq's French Vanilla Crème Soda
  • Discontinued: Diet Crème Soda Barq's French Vanilla
  • Discontinued: Barq's Floatz, which is designed to taste like a root beer float.[4] J & J Snack Foods Corporation once licensed the brand name for Barq's Floatz ice cream squeeze tubes.


The Barq's Brothers Bottling Company was founded in 1890 in the French Quarter of New Orleans, by Edward Charles Edmond Barq and his younger brother, Gaston. The Barq Brothers bottled carbonated water and various soft drinks of their own creation. Early on their most popular creation was an orange-flavored soda called Orangine, which won a gold medal at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition World's Fair in Chicago, Illinois.

Edward Barq moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1897 with his new wife.

Barqs Sign.jpg

The following year he opened the Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works. 1898 is often given as the debut year for what was later to be known as "Barq's root beer," but some sources say this particular product was not produced until some two years later.[5]

For many decades Barq's was not marketed as a "root beer." This was in part a desire to avoid legal conflict with the Hires Root Beer company, which was attempting to claim a trademark on the term "root beer." It was also due to differences from other root beers at the time. The base was a sarsaparilla drink of the style of the late 19th century, in a formulation with caffeine, less sugar, and higher carbonation than other brands, though with less of a foamy "head." It was decided to market the soft drink simply as Barq's.[6]

The traditional slogan was the simple affirmation "Drink Barq's. It's good."

For a time it was marketed with the slogan "Is it root beer?" before the company decided to market the product as such.

In 1976, the Biloxi Barq's Company was purchased by two entrepreneurs, John Oudt and John Koerner. An aggressive television campaign was developed based on the "Barq's Got Sparks" theme. Their plans to market the brand nationally were partially complicated by the existence of the New Orleans based Barq's Beverages, Inc., and Barq's Beverages of Baton Rouge, Inc., which had long been marketing Barq's and Barq's Creme' Soda in Southern Louisiana. The New Orleans firm was largely independent of the Biloxi firm dating back to early 20th century oral agreements between Barq family members and friends. (Those who traveled back and forth between Mississippi and Louisiana noted subtle but distinct differences between the Barq's sold in the two places, as the Biloxi and New Orleans plants each made their own syrups, and some partisans considered one or the other "better.") There were extended legal conflicts over who exactly had the rights to the Barq's name and formula and in which markets. These differences were not fully resolved until The Coca-Cola Company acquired both branches in 1995.[7]

Before the purchase, Barq's produced other sodas, such as lime green and grape, in the 1970s and early 1980s, and Coca-Cola manufactured its own root beer, Ramblin' Root Beer.

In 1990, Barq's partnered with the Pick N Save grocery store in Dekalb, Illinois to create the World's Largest Root Beer Float. It was mixed in an above ground swimming pool in the parking lot and consisted of 1,500 gallons of Barq's root beer and 1,000 gallons of vanilla ice cream.

In recent years Barq's has been marketed with the slogan "Barq's has bite!"

Regular Barq's has 22.5 mg of caffeine per 12 ounce serving (similar to green tea), while Diet Barq's has no caffeine. Barq's also contains sodium benzoate as a flavor protectant, which under the right conditions, is a precursor to the known carcinogen benzene.[8]

The Barq's that is dispensed from Coca-Cola Freestyle machines is caffeine-free.[9] This is because the system uses the same concentrated, microdosed ingredient for both Barq's and Diet Barq's; the only difference between the two is the sweetener that is added.


  1. ^ Caffeine Database | Caffeine and Ingredients in Barqs Rootbeer, OverCaffeinated.org's Report on the Ingredients in Barq's Rootbeer
  2. ^ February 22, 2012 (2012-02-22). "Coming Soon: Barq's Root Beer redesign". BevReview.com. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  3. ^ "Review: Barq's Red Creme Soda". BevReview.com. 
  4. ^ Barbara Powell (June 13, 2003). "Coca-Cola launches drink that mimics a root-beer float". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  5. ^ "Digging for facts". bottlebooks.com. 
  6. ^ The History of Root Beer, http://www.gourmetrootbeer.com/history.html
  7. ^ Coca-Cola Brand Fact Sheets – Barq's. Retrieved 2008-02-29.
  8. ^ Retrieved 2014-10-12
  9. ^ Ingredient list on Barq's Freestyle cartridge

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barq's — Please support Wikipedia.
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787 news items


Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:56:15 -0700

BILOXI -- Ella Mae Barq of Biloxi served as the official matriarch of Barq's Bottling Co. and the unofficial matriarch of her family. Mae Mae, as her nieces and nephews called her, lived a long and successful life, becoming the secretary/treasurer and ...
Bradenton Herald
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:18:45 -0700

Chef Jackie Espinoza Seavey of Island View Casino in Gulfport, Miss., makes magic with her Barq's Root Beer barbecue sauce. It's the best I've tasted. At the 2012, Barbecue Under the Oaks she and Scott Hixson placed first in the lagniappe competition.
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:11:40 -0700

DEAR ANNIE: I notice that often the advice you offer is to "get counseling." But what happens in counseling? Can you explain how it helps? -- L. DEAR L.: The point of counseling or therapy is to help you determine what it is you want to accomplish and ...


Tue, 23 Sep 2014 21:11:38 -0700

A pumpkin pie. Rolled up in a cinnamon bun. Do we have your attention yet? That's right. We took our autumn baking to a delicious new level by combining two classics, then topping them with an intensely good homemade caramel sauce spiked with flaked ...


Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:58:42 -0700

That includes everything from vintage coffee and chicory cans and Barq's root beer bottles to sno-balls, hot sauces and a sign out of New Orleans poor boy history, from Angelo Gendusa Bakery. Still, this is a southern food museum, so there is space for ...
Sat, 04 Oct 2014 22:37:30 -0700

One of the sticking points is how to preserve an old Barq's root beer sign painted on the side of the brick building. “They're going to try to tell us that the downstairs should be all wood,” said Hoover, who's put $600,000 into the Santa Monica to ...

San Antonio Express-News

San Antonio Express-News
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 18:37:35 -0700

One of the sticking points is how to preserve an old Barq's root beer sign painted on the side of the brick building. “They're going to try to tell us that the downstairs should be all wood,” said Hoover, who's put $600,000 into the Santa Monica to ...

Voice of America (blog)

Voice of America (blog)
Mon, 29 Sep 2014 07:18:31 -0700

Here, again, it's the locally made Barq's Root Beer. And New Orleans is also probably the only American city where Budweiser, Miller or one of the other national beer brands hasn't always been the most popular. The best-selling beer for years here was ...

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