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Barq's Root Beer
Barq's Root Beer Logo.svg
Type Root beer
Manufacturer The Coca-Cola Company
Country of origin USA
Introduced 1898
  • Diet Root Beer
  • Red Creme Soda
  • Diet Red Creme Soda
  • French Vanilla Creme Soda
  • French Vanilla Diet Creme Soda (Discontinued)
  • Floatz (Discontinued)
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, created by Edward Barq and bottled since the turn of the 20th century, is currently owned and bottled by the Coca-Cola Company. It was known as Barq's Famous Olde Tyme Root Beer until 2012.[2]

Barq's products[edit]

Nutrition facts
Serving size 12 fl oz (355 ml)
Servings per container 1
Amount per serving
Calories 160[3] Calories from fat 0
% Daily value*
Total fat 0 g 0%
   Saturated fat 0 g 0%
   Trans fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 70 mg 3%
Potassium 0 mg 0%
Total carbohydrate 45 g 15%
   Dietary fiber 0 g 0%
   Sugars 45 g
Protein 0 g
Vitamin A 0%      Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 0%      Iron 0%
*Percent daily values are based on a 2,000‑calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • Barq's Root Beer - available 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[4] (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.[5] 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 1898 in the French Quarter of New Orleans, by Edward Charles Edmond Barq and his older 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. (Needs verification.)

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.[6]

It was on the Mississippi coast that Barq met and employed a young boy, Jesse Robinson. Robinson was mentored by Barq and later moved to New Orleans to find his fortune. In 1934 Edward Barq, Sr. and Robinson sign a contractural agreement on Barq's product rights. The agreement was unique from other franchises in many aspects. One, that Robinson was allowed to make his own concentrate. The two men remained close their entire lives, working on flavors and production challenges. A distinctive difference between the Biloxi-based root beer and the Louisiana's was that the Louisiana bottle was printed in red (versus Biloxi's blue). This was to distinguish ownership of bottles as blue labeled ones were returned to Mississippi and vice-versa. There were also regional taste differences between the various Barq's bottlers. While there may have been minor formula differences, water generally defined these differences.

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 formulation contained more caffeine, less of a foamy "head," and was not sarsparilla-based like other root beer brands.

The traditional slogan was the simple affirmation "Drink Barq's. It's good" which first appeared on the classic diamond-necked bottle, patented in 1935 by Ed Barq.

In 1976, the Biloxi Barq's Company was purchased from the 3rd generation of Barq family members by 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 complicated by the existence of the Louisiana-based Barq's companies which were owned and operated by Robinson's heirs.

There were extended legal conflicts over the rights and ownership of the trademark Barq's, Barq's Sr. and Barq's Root Beer. The legal battle went all the way to the United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit which ruled in favor of the Robinson heirs. The last family-held Louisiana Barq's was sold by Robinson's heirs to Coca-Cola in 2000.

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.[7]

The Barq's that is dispensed from Coca-Cola Freestyle machines is caffeine-free.[8] 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,'s Report on the Ingredients in Barq's Rootbeer
  2. ^ "Coming Soon: Barq's Root Beer redesign". 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  3. ^ "The Coca-Cola Company Product Nutrition". Retrieved 2014-10-26. 
  4. ^ "Review: Barq's Red Creme Soda". 
  5. ^ Barbara Powell (June 13, 2003). "Coca-Cola launches drink that mimics a root-beer float". The Augusta Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-02-29. 
  6. ^ "Digging for facts". 
  7. ^ Retrieved 2014-10-12
  8. ^ Ingredient list on Barq's Freestyle cartridge

External links[edit]