Dad's Root Beer

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Dad's Root Beer
Dad's Root Beer Co. Products in Cans.jpg
TypeSoft drink
ManufacturerThe Dad's Root Beer Company LLC
Country of originChicago, Illinois, U.S.
FlavorRoot beer
Related productsHires Root Beer, Mug Root Beer, A&W Root Beer, Barq's, IBC Root Beer
The Dad's Root Beer Company, LLC
Key people
Keith Hedinger, president and CEO
Andrea Hedinger, vice president of sales and marketing
ProductsDad's Root Beer, Sun Crest, Dr. Wells, Bubble Up[1]
OwnerHedinger Brands, LLC.[1]

Dad's Root Beer is an American root beer created in Chicago in 1937 by Ely Klapman and Barney Berns. It is currently sold and marketed by the Dad's Root Beer Company LLC, and owned by Hedinger Brands, LLC.[1]


Dad's Root Beer was developed in the 1930s by partners Barney Berns and Ely Klapman in the basement of Klapman's Chicago-area home. The first trademark registration was filed on September 24, 1938, granted on February 14, 1939, to the Dad's Root Beer Company of Chicago, with the product name allegedly in use since February 1937. Dad's earned a loyal following. Dad's Root Beer brand was famous throughout the Midwest and by the late 1940s, was one of the most consumed brands of root beer throughout the United States. Jules Klapman, son of co-founder Ely, successfully took the Dad's brand international. The name Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer was selected in honor of Ely Klapman's father, and other fathers, who used to make root beer at home for their families (popular in the early 20th Century).

Dad's Root Beer was the first product to use the six pack format invented by the Atlanta Paper Company in the 1940s. Dad's also introduced the half-gallon bottle, becoming the first brand to market this size. Dad's was marketed as a family. "Junior" bottle size was the smallest, 7, 10 or 12 ounces. "Mama" was a quart bottle, and "Papa" was a half gallon bottle. (The image of the young boy featured on the "Junior" size bottle is Barney Berns' son, Gene Berns.) A common promotion in the 1940s was the 1 cent sale - purchase the Papa half gallon at regular price and get the Mama quart for 1 cent.

The Klapman and Berns families sold all rights to the Dad's name and logo to IC Industries in the 1970s.

The Monarch Beverage Company of Atlanta acquired Dad's from IC Industries of Chicago in 1986. At that time Dad's was distributed by the Coca-Cola bottler network, sold 12 million cases annually, and held the second largest share of the root beer category behind A & W.[1]

In 2007 Dad's Root Beer was purchased from Monarch, along with the Bubble Up, Dr. Wells, and Sun Crest brands, by Hedinger Brands, LLC and licensed to the Dad's Root Beer Company, LLC.[2] The company headquarters is now located in Jasper, Indiana.

Dad's Root Beer celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012.

The Dad's Root Beer Company[edit]

Dad's Root Beer Liter's
Dad's Root Beer 1-liter bottle products

In 2007, the Dad's Root Beer Company, LLC of Jasper, Indiana, was formed by Keith Hedinger when Hedinger Brands, LLC acquired the Dad's Root Beer brand and other soda brands from The Monarch Beverage Co. of Atlanta. Hedinger was approached as owner of Hedinger Beverage Distributing Co., Inc., the largest nonbottler distributor of Dad's. Other soda brands purchased by Hedinger Brands, LLC are Bubble Up, Dr. Wells, and Sun Crest. Dad's has added over 100 additional distributors since acquisition by Hedinger Brands. Jewel-Osco in Chicago, Dollar Tree, Kmart stores, Big Lots, Food City, World Market Stores, Quick Trip Phoenix, Spartan stores, Roundy's, Cub Foods, Marsh, Houchens, Family Express, and Smith's Utah are all retailers of the Dad's brand.[1]


Dad's Root Beer Glass Bottles
Dad's Root Beer glass bottle products

Dad's makes the following brands/flavors:[3]

  • Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer
  • Diet Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer
  • Dad's Old Fashioned Cream Soda
  • Dad's Old Fashioned Orange Cream Soda
  • Dad's Old Fashioned Red Cream Soda
  • Dad's Old Fashioned Blue Cream Soda
  • Bubble Up
  • Sun Crest Orange
  • Dr. Wells


The company's signs on the Edens Expressway (I-94) and one near Lake Shore Drive asked "Have you had it lately?" became fixtures on the Chicago landscape.[citation needed]

The product's jingle was a simple line sung several times, to a conga beat, with the "kick" coming on "Beer":[4]

{\clef bass \key g \major
g g e d g4. b8  (-^ b2)}
\addlyrics {Dad's old fash ioned root beer

In the mid-1950s, Dad's sponsored on a regional basis the syndicated TV adventure series Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.

During the 1970s, Chicago-based television advertising for Dad's featured a different jingle sung by an ensemble with the following lyrics:

If it foams up to meet you
It's gotta be Dad's, it's gotta be Dad's
If it foams up to treat you
It's gotta be Dad's, it's gotta be Dad's

(Announcer would read the ad copy while a short instrumental section of the jingle played, then the song continued)

So ask for Dad's, it's good old-fashioned
With the taste of yesteryear
If you don't ask for Dad's
All you're gonna get is,
All you're gonna get is,
All you're gonna get is,
...root beer!

IndyCar sponsorship[edit]

Dad's Root Beer became an IZOD Indycar associate sponsor in 2007 with Racing Professionals and the #19 for 3 races including the 2007 Indy 500. In 2008, Dad's joined Dreyer & Reinbold Racing as an associate sponsor of Indy 500 Champion Buddy Rice's #15 car. The distinctive blue, yellow and red Dad's Root Beer livery was unveiled that year at the 2008 season finale race at the Chicagoland Speedway.

Starting in 2009, Dad's sponsored Dreyer & Reinbold Racing's #24 car in the IndyCar Series with English driver Mike Conway. Conway drove the Dad's Root Beer # 24 primary car for 7 races that year: St. Pete, Long Beach, Kansas, Iowa (on Father's Day), Watkins Glen, Kentucky and Chicago, with the highest Dad's Root Beer car finish 6th at Watkins Glen.

Dad's was back in 2010 as a sponsor of Conway's #24 at São Paulo, Brazil and St. Pete. The Dad's car's most notable outing came in the 2010 Indianapolis 500 when Conway's car was completely destroyed in a horrific crash on lap 199 which saw the car launch off the back tire of a car in front of it, become airborne and slam into the catch fence at 200 miles per hour (320 km/h). Conway survived the crash with only a broken leg. Graham Rahal filled in for Conway at Iowa on Father's Day 2010 and drove the specially designed #24 Hot Wheels/Dad's Root Beer Car. Ana Beatriz drove the Dad's Root Beer car at Chicagoland Speedway that year also filling in for Conway.

In 2011, Dad's Root Beer returned as an associate sponsor with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing on Justin Wilson's #22.[5] Wilson drove the Dad's Root Beer car to its 3rd straight top 10 finish on Father's Day at Milwaukee, and the following week at Iowa. Townsend Bell filled in for an injured Wilson and drove the Dad's Root Beer car at Las Vegas.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "The Dad's Root Beer Co., LLC". Beverage World. Ideal Media. 2007-11-15. Archived from the original on 2008-06-12. Retrieved 2008-06-20.
  2. ^ "Hedinger Brands, LLC purchases Dad's Root Beer®". BevNET. March 2, 2007. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  3. ^ [1] Archived February 5, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ [2] YouTube video retrieved August 2016
  5. ^ "Dad's Root Beer Returns to Dreyer & Reinbold Racing for the 2011 Season". BevNET. March 4, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2018.

External links[edit]