People have been enjoying Barq's for over a century. Barq's root beer started the way any good root beer starts, with a bunch of brothers swishing and gassing around ingredients in a basement. They simply called it "Barq's" because of the legal gray area of calling anything "root beer", which was apparently trademarked.
Many decades later, now 70 years old, Barq's root beer was purchased by outsiders and they began marketing the drink heavily. Apparently the business deal that gave control of Barq's to these outsiders wasn't solid enough, and more legal complications arose. Things got to the point where different arms of the company were using slightly different ingredients.
Always eager to bring some structure to potentially profitable drinks, the Coca Cola company stepped in and acquired Barq's. Now streamlined, widely available, and consistently marketed, Barq's has secured its place in the marketplace.
I was lucky enough to get my hands on one of one of the glass bottles that seem to be popping back up all over the state. While I was tempted to drink it straight from the bottle, there's only one right way to drink root beer, and that's in a giant foamy mug that's been chilled before pouring.
It's certainly dark and silky. People have said that Barq's doesn't quite get the foamy head that other brands get, and I do see a little of that.
Upon taste, I notice it's a little sweeter than many root beers. It's got a little bit of kick but not as much as you'd expect given some of the advertisements. You can feel the caffeine a little bit. I like the caffeine, even though the amount of caffeine Barq's has is lower than most sodas.
If you're looking to get hooked on a good root beer that's commonly available, you can't go wrong with Barq's.
We rate Barq's 4 out of 5 on our Flat to Fizzy scale!
- There's also a Diet Barq's, if you're a wuss.
- There's a variation called Barq's Floatz, which is gradually becoming easier to find and comes in a nice glass bottle. The idea is that it tastes like a root beer float. To me it tastes like root beer with three times the sugar and some cream soda swirled in. I think I jumped about three feet in the air, hit my head, and fell asleep after drinking it. I'd like to do that more often, I like it.
- Marketing slogans include "Drink Barq's. It's good.", "Barq's Got Sparks", "Barq's has bite!", and the infamous "Barq's root beer jingle" where the company had supposedly "spent all its money on music and couldn't afford to buy lyrics".
- Around the time Coca-Cola purchased it, Barq's advertised heavily in comic books where it started to gain following among a generation smitten with the high caffeine content of modern drinks.
- Barq's is commonly available, appearing in supermarkets everywhere as well as fast-food chains.