Killing A Product – The Demise of Hires Root Beer

Hires – The First Root Beer, Dying A Slow, Prolonged Death

I know soda isn’t good for you. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and many nutritionists would like to slap a soda tax on sugary beverages.

I try not to drink a lot of soda, but I have a sweet spot in my heart for Hires Root Beer. I love the stuff. It is by far the best root beer ever made and I have tried many of them:  IBC, Stewart’s, Mug, A&W, Dr. Brown’s and about a dozen or more other smaller regional brands, and none compare to the unique, smooth taste of Hires.  But I have not had a sip of Hires in over six years.

I did not forsake Hires.  Instead the brand has slowly been vanishing off the shelves of supermarkets in an ever widening circle over the past 20 years. It is now unavailable in most portions of the United States and Canada.

How did the oldest continually produced soft drink and for many years, most popular root beer in America get to this situation?

The answer lies in the beverage industry and their mistaken belief that a company should support only one line of a given product.  Through acquisitions and mergers these big companies gobble up smaller soda competitors, acquiring their brands and either concentrate on expanding them or as is more often the case – eliminating them.

Charles E. Hires was a Philadelphia pharmacist who introduced the soda at the 1876 Centennial Exposition held in Philadelphia and went on to make millions with his delicious concoction.

The Hires company remained in family hands until 1960 and through a series of sales over the next 30 years, ended up being acquired by Cadbury Schweppes in 1989. Cadbury Schweppes started the decline of Hires as a brand as they decided to concentrate their soda marketing efforts on more popular sodas.  In 2008 Cadbury Schweppes spun off the soft drink division into the current Dr. Pepper Snapple Group.

Cadbury Schweppes and its successor entity Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, decision was to promote their own A&W Root Beer brand and phase out Hires.  Slowly.

I’ve spoken to supermarket managers, beverage warehouses owners and some bottlers to discover that for 20 years A&W Root Beer has been pushed everywhere.

And Hires?

When I called Dr. Pepper Snapple customer service to find out where I could purchase Hires after giving my zip code, I was told it was not available within a 100 mile radius of New York.

Up until about 1997 Hires was available at beer & soda warehouses in New York City, if not some supermarkets and convenience stores.  Then it was slowly taken off the shelves until no one was carrying it.  Three years later it was still available in upstate Fishkill, New York and the scenario repeated. The supermarkets stopped carrying it. Eight years ago it was available throughout most of Southern Pennsylvania.  The familiar scenario played out again in my travels to Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine – all stores that once stocked Hires were no longer carrying it. Hires has retreated southwards, closer to the last bottler east of the Mississippi that still manufactures and bottles Hires – the Independent Beverage Group of North Carolina.

There are apparently a few stores in Maryland and North Carolina that carry Hires, but not many. Today I called some stores in Maryland that had stocked it earlier in the year to find out they did not have it anymore.

The beverage industry is fiercely competitive and of course possesses a website devoted to all things beverage related.  In January 2011 a writer named thejax at bevnet.com started this thread about finding Hires in stores:

Hires Root Beer – In Case You Didn’t Notice

I been purchasing Hires Root Beer for some time and now its literally non-existent.

Its one of the oldest root beers in the USA and hails from Philadelphia, where I am from.

Several years ago Dr Pepper / 7up decided slow the production of Hires by enticing bottlers to bottle A&W with kickbacks. This is all to precede with a master plan to phase out Hires.

I have done months of research and I cannot find a bottler anywhere in the USA that still bottles it anymore. I called Dr Pepper / Snapple’s corporate offices several times. They tell me its still being produced. I requested a list of where its being bottled and everytime I give them my info they have my local bottler call me with no information except they do not bottle it.

I have wrote a letters to Dr Pepper / 7up and to Cadbury / Shweppes requesting information on where this LICENSED to be bottles and where. I sent both letters certified. Both letters were signed for yet months later I still have no response.

My conclusion is Dr Pepper / Snapple are basically trying to get everyone to forget about so when they stop licensing to bottle it, no one is supposed to notice. Then they can focus on their A&W Brand, which is significantly different.

So my question is, at what point are we going to stop allowing these soda giants to do this to us. They bought Hires on purpose to phase it out. Now how do we bring this to light. Should or can we do anything about it?

Dr Pepper / Snapple will not allow me to have any access whatsoever to any corporate execs to ask them to make a motion to start producing more Hires. So what do we do???

After much back and forth on the web site discussion board, (5 pages worth) the original poster, thejax wrote this post in April 2011. It shows an incredible display of ineptitude at Dr. Pepper Snapple.

What this means for Hires is certain death. How do I know? If you look at the the company’s web page for Hires you will see the history of the soda, but click on the nutritional information tab and the other brands will be there, but not Hires.

Click on the product locator and the drop down menu does not even have Hires listed as a product.

Call up the toll free number and enter your zip code to find the product and chances are unless you live near North Carolina, Iowa, Arizona, Nevada or Washington you will not be able to find it. These five states possess the only remaining bottling plants for Hires and they seem to be phasing out production of the soda.

As you scroll down on the Dr. Pepper / Snapple Hires page, the photograph says it all.

An appropriately empty bottle.

The time has run out for Hires.

Share Button
This entry was posted in Obituary and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

114 Responses to Killing A Product – The Demise of Hires Root Beer

  1. Bill says:

    I too have been looking for Hires for years now. I am originally from New Jersey, but currently live in Maine. I am not a big soda drinker, but love the taste of Hires root beer. I hope someone smartens up and they bring it back on the market!!!!!!!!

  2. Barry says:

    I too have been searching high & low for Hires for years. It was by far the best root beer bar none! It’s such a shame to have the “original” taken away & replaced by inferior substitues. Shame on DR. Pepper / Snapple Group; they market 3 different root beers , A&W, IBC, & Stewarts…all decent root beers but all inferior to Hires. Yet they still picture the Hires brand on their website but when you look at the avaiability search it is not listed.

  3. Paul says:

    I live in Southern California and last July I asked my local Ralph’s Supermarket(Kroger) general manager what were the chances of finding Hire’s Rootbeer. He directed me to their website under “specialty items” and sure enough there it was. They sell them in twelve pack cans and from what I remember they shipped from the midwest. I was so happy it was worth every penny! I don’t know if they currently have them in stock but their website say’s that they do! Good Luck!

    http://ralphs.elsstore.com/search?q=hires

  4. Kirk Bailey says:

    This really doesn’t make a lot of business sense to me but hell I only have a HS diploma! I’m from the Phila. area and grew up drinking Hire’s! These other Root Beers (I’m not familiar with IBC) do not come close to Hire’s! I don’t drink a lot of soda these days but when I do I would prefer Hire’s!! You would think they would have promoted the Original Root Beer instead of trying to bury it! It’s just a shame that this company would let a piece of American History die a slow and painful death!

  5. Charlie b says:

    Ok me too I am in rhode island and grew up with hires root beer and would really like to be able to purchase it also I called snapple to and they said if there iS a demand for it they will start manufacturing again

  6. Jan says:

    I have spent much time looking, and finally resorted to the web. So I see it has been consumed by the competition. By far, Hires is unquestionably the best! So I will now simply not buy any, I will drink Champagne on occasion and toast Hires!

  7. Chuck says:

    The person who wrote the article on the death of Hires Root Beer mentioned it was still being bottled in Washington state. I live in Washington and would love to know who is the bottler and how to get in touch with them.

    • B.P. says:

      From the Bevnet beverage web site forums as of 2011 regarding Washington State and Hires from various people:

      Hires is still available in the Northwest (WA and OR) distributed by Columbia Beverages (see coldist.com). It is probably canned by Noel/Yakima Canning of Yakima, WA. While A&W is the preferred DPSG product by many stores, Hires is available in stores that carry a larger selection

      Yep! Im in Seattle and its at most QFC and Fred Meyer stores.

      Washington State. I contacted the bottler you mentioned several times. Always spoke to the receptionist. Always asked her if they produced Hires and she said she never heard of it. Always directed to speak to the sales manager. Always sent to voice mail. Always never got a return call back. I called a few stores that were mentioned in the forum. The employees were either too busy or unknowledgable to neither confirm or deny its being sold. So since several ops mentioned in the forum its sold there and I cannot find otherwise, lets say yes. I believe the ops said its sold in cans. I would like more info on this. Maybe some pictures if possible of it being sold in the store.

      CitrusCola, I saw a post from Tacbot.. Jan. 2011 that said it was probably canned by Noel Foods, Yakima,WA. Canning plant code has a YC….so I looked up Yakima Canning…which is…Noel Foods. Talked to the plant mgr. who said they make about 2-3 batches a year. They still have a demand in parts of the state..but he said that most of the buyers were probably Hires drinkers …back in the 50’s or 60’s. So..he’s afraid that one day..the demand won’t be there.

  8. R. Woodward says:

    Hires was available in Wisconsin at Woodman’s supermarkets until just a couple of weeks ago. The shelf space is now filled with A&W products.

    I liked Hires because it was what I grew up on, as well as the fact that unlike every other root beer on the market, it didn’t taste like someone had dissolved a wintergreen life saver in it.

  9. John D. says:

    I live in New Jersey and have not been able to find Hires for over 10 years. I first drank Hires in the early 60’s, when Sally Starr was advertising it on her daily ( Popeye Theatre) TV show.I remember many lunch counters would feature a large metal container designed to resemble a wooden keg, with Hires in the center. I guess those were the good old days. None of the root beers on the market today can compare to Hires. Perhaps some local bottler could resurrect the brand with some smart advertising, they may be surprised at the results!

  10. Randy says:

    I, too, have spent years searching for Hires. And I just found some! Walmart.com
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hires-Root-Beer-12ct-Pack-of-2/17197677 Check it out. It isn’t cheap but if you order 3 cases the shipping is free which makes it cheaper than at Ralph’s. The best things in life don’t have to die. But they may need to be fought for. Keep the faith.

  11. Madison says:

    I am so sad to find Hires root beer nowhere, as a child my father brought it home for my sister and I. It was a special treat, and I was always excited to see a bottle because my name was on it. My last name is Hires, no relation that I am aware to Charles Hires the inventor. I agree Hires is better than any other root beer that has touched my lips, thus it keeps dying why? Its wrong and it should be more readily available for those of us who would like to drink it!

  12. Stacey E says:

    I’m not sure how long ago Arizona supposedly carried Hires because I don’t recall ever getting it here, and I’ve been here for over 30 years. I do recall that the last time I had some I was still in grade school. Occasionally I’ll see it listed in specialty internet stores in glass bottles, but I don’t recall if they claim to actually have some available for sale, or if it has the “out of stock” written near it.
    More annoying is the fact that people have to scramble all over the country to get pop, of all things. I have to travel across state lines to get Mr Pibb in cans. There’s nothing more moronic than knowing the Coca Cola company doesn’t want to compete with one of their own products (Dr Pepper) and stand possibly getting more revenue. I was under the impression that making money was what they were all about. So meanwhile sleazy people will sell you a 12 pack for “only” $30 or so. Give me a break.

  13. Jeff says:

    I did see that Ralph’s and Wal-Mart still offer Hires! It’s pricey but well worth the price! It’s like a good wine! Long live Hires! =]

  14. steve says:

    Hires is not only the original, but will always be the best…unless some other can match it. root-beer.org is helpfull, even tried most of them but regardless what they say on there, hires is king. available in limited areas and can get online at walmart and amazon to note a couple. 2nd best ever would be barrelhead which is a different style, draft…please post where to get if known or found. Also please post where to get tahitian treat, original and best fruit punch soda ever…shamefull how the top soda makers dictate availability based on what they want despite what is the best product such as hires, barrelhead, tahitian treat…the ones i grew up with and the ones that still to this day has not been beat

  15. Todd says:

    I just found Hires at several different stores in Olympia and Seattle, WA. I am glad we still have it in Washington State.

  16. steve says:

    Todd, I am in central new york now but was stationed in tacoma wash north-fort lewis in 1984…frequented seattle, mt rainier, yakima, puget sound, etc….can you tell me which stores you found them in

  17. John Buchanan says:

    John says: Hires is without a doubt the #1 Root Beer in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I , like the other baby-boomers, were there and are still here wanting our most loved “Hires Root Beer”. How about it? Manufactorer’s are you up to the “Risk” as so-called business men call themselves, knowing the value of the almighty dollar ? Do you need investors? How sad it is to think that such a “Well Known Name” – “Household Name”, best of all “Drive Inn Lovers” – “Tall Frozen Real Mug full of the best root beer ever!!!” Looking for new or better when the best is already there! “WELL, We want our “Old Days” BACK ! !!!!!! Baby-Boomers !!!!! buy more from these two websites and show the other manufactorers of so-called root beer where their money can STOP! Power is in people buying what they love. Supply / Demand makes them wake up! I have no ties to any manufactorers, ” I am a “True Lover of Hires Root Beer” The two websites are from previous reeview replies and they are copied only from them to help you click more easily. I take no credit for their replies or websites.
    See: Paul says… http://ralphs.elsstore.com/search?q=hires
    See: Randy says… http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hires-Root-Beer-12ct-Pack-of-2/17197677

    Hope this helps all lover’s of Hires Root Beer!

  18. I live in Portland Oregon metro area, my local Walmart does not have Hires, i tried in Vancouver WA, they don’t have it either, I last got it in Seattle,but that is 170 miles away. Would Longview-Kelso have it? (about 50 miles)

    • Todd says:

      Richard..it is not in Longview/Kelso area. The closest place that I have been able to get it is WINCO in Lacey, WA. I have tried to get local WINCO’s to order it but it is proving to be a huge pain. The merchandising manager at QFC has submitted an order for it and we are still waiting for Kroger to have it ordered and sent to the store as a special order.

  19. Paul says:

    You can buy Hires Rootbeer at walmart.com I just did! They ship in 2 12 pack cases and if you place an order of 3 meaning 6 12 packs they will ship it to your home for free! Cheers!

  20. Bill says:

    I really appreciate the work of people posting here in finding Hires Root Beer at Walmart.com! It is the BEST root beer I ever had – although it’s been many years since I have enjoyed a bottle. Unlike A&W, it’s not so overly sweet so you can drink more of it. A&W, after a while, is just too sweet for me.

    Again, thanks for all the investigative efforts. I thought Hires was one more ‘good thing’ lost to the profit motive.

  21. Tia says:

    Im with all of you. I’ve been looking for years. Best Root Beer ever made. We have an old 7up machine at work with an old Hires label in, so want to push it but I know that gross A&W will come out which is just syrup. BRING BACK HIRES ROOT BEER. But all brands screw us in the end, Post, Kellogg’s, Wonder Bread, ext….

  22. steve says:

    Hires in a glass bottle cold…is best ever root beer which happens to be the original. Barrelhead same way…milder but foamier is 2nd best ever but not made anymore sadly. Tahitian Treat same way…is best ever fruit soda. As the years went by since I used to drink it in the 70’s, ingredients changed slightly because of supply sources and technology and other small factors but not nearly enough to make Hires or TT a lesser drink. Strange how the best tasting drinks are not made available like the lesser tasting drinks are but that is how business can go. Not just with this subject, but any other products out there that have been made or currently make. Take the Marathon bar which is the best ever chocolate carmel candy bar ever…dumped by the same maker of m&m’s and snickers because the shape did not fit the standard candy bar causing shipping and storage issues. BTW, Cadbury’s Curly Wurly is a sad attempt at marathon bar duplication. Like Barrelhead, marathon bar needs to come back . Hires and TT needs to be back in bottles and/or made more readily available like A&W which isn’t too bad The only way…that this will happen…is if enough people are pro-active enough at stores and suppliers to bring it back. Do what I do…after I drank my 6 12-pack cans of Hires from walmart.com for $16/case, I secretly distribute the empties in area grocery stores strategically where A&W, Barf’s(oops, I mean Barq’s), Mug is on the shelf to wake them up and get them thinking…………………………………..

    • George says:

      I am quite familiar with all the comments regarding the Hires Root Beer unavailability in the U.S. I was formerly in the Soft Drink Beverage Industry and sold Hires Root Beer and Orange Crush and they both did quite well sales wise. I slowly watched Dr Pepper/Snapple Group tie a sales noose around both brands almost fifteen years ago preferencing their A&W Root Beer and Sunkist Orange products. If you look at the availability of Hires it almost non existent. Fortunately for Orange Crush, the Pepsi Cola Bottling Group looked at their orange product that was suffering competitevly and chose to propose to Dr Pepper/Snapple to franchise Crush to their Pepsi Bottling Group. So in reality this became the reincarnation of Orange Crush Nationally. Unfortunately Hires is still suffering from the decisions that Dr Pepper/Snapple Group made fifteen years ago. From the standpoint of competitive root beers, Hires has the longest History of successful sales of a Root Beer product than all the others. It really is a shame that DrPepper/Snapple Group made the decision on Hires many years ago.

      You can buy Hires in 12pack cans at QFC in Seattle at 9999 Holman Road.

  23. Glen says:

    While I was doing a search to find out where I could try to purchase some Hires Root Beer I came across this site here. I see I am in good company with others wanting that product back. It is nice to know there are still a few places left you can get Hires at. Thanks to those who left places here you can order it from. I just ordered 4 boxes from Walmart. I doubt there are any places left in Alaska you can get it from directly. Years ago Sam’s Club carried it, but that was the last time I have been able to have of taste of the best.

  24. Jon says:

    In the Cincinnati area you can find Hires at Jungle Jim’s for $7.99. Stand up for your soda!! Make phone calls ask for store managers, restaurant employees, store clerks spread the word about Hires to everyone. When Coke was trying to phase out Mello Yello up north around 2007, this is what I did. I can not help but to feel a tiny bit responsible for the resurgence of my favorite soda plus the addition of a diet version. Good Luck, long live Hires!!!

  25. Daniel says:

    I’m up here in Canada. Hires appeared in Costco stores briefly in 2003 as 24-pack cans. It appeared in 7-Eleven in the 591ml format for a year in 1996(?). It seems to sprout up, then vanish. Probably due to a lack of marketing. I haven’t seen it in the 1L or 2L size. I definitely haven’t seen it in glass.

    Whenever I do see it in the stores, I buy a bunch of it and then hand it out to my friends and coworkers. Its amazing the expressions you get when you offer it to someone who had it as a kid – its like they just rediscovered their favourite childhood toy again.

    From a business point of view, I think it’d be very profitable to bring back Hires with a full marketing compaign. This christmas there is a strong trend in people buying “Retro” toys. A&W rebranded themselves in the late 90s to bring back the Burger Family. Retro sells.

    The only Root Beer that is available in our stores is Mug, Barq’s, A&W .. and the more expensive variety: Dad’s.

    Pop is dying a slow death unfortunately. Even up here in Canada they are proposing putting graphic warning labels and a tax on soft drinks. They need more natural healthier sodas. Perhaps they can reintroduce Hires with an unprocessed cane sugar version, and the original recipe in a glass bottle.

    Anyways – thanks for putting up the page.

  26. Jaime says:

    I’m a Hires by birth rite, sadly our family has lost the brand and beverage

  27. Rodney says:

    Thanks for this posting, and a big thank you to Randy for commenting about Walmart.com having Hires for sale. I just put in an order for 4 boxes.
    Hires is the original, and the best root beer. Dr. Pepper/Snapple is missing a huge opportunity to sell this, but they seem intent on pushing A&W and IBC instead.

  28. John says:

    If you are ever in SLC – Haven’t been there since 1990 when it was just “Hires” with the familiar original Hires logo – Someone in that area please check them out and report back .. The extract that you can buy from the website looks intriguing.

  29. Bob C. says:

    It’s the assassination of a great brand! I remember that Hires Root Beer was THE only root beer when I was a kid in Brooklyn. Now that I live in No. California I came across a 1950s Hires cooler (shaped like a wooden keg with its logo on it) in an antique store. It made me thirsty for Hires again. I came across this blog during my research and, of course, I checked the Dr. Pepper/Snapple site and only got depressed. Sad that bad decisions and failed takeovers cost the “life” of the brand of root beer we all like best.

  30. Paulette says:

    Love Hire’s Root Beer, it was my favorite as a kid. What I like about it was it was not as sweet as A & W. IBC is OK but not in the same league in my opinion. I did manage to locate it in cans at a few other websites but I would love to locate it in bottles, but have been unsuccessful thus far. Dr. Pepper/Snapple is making a poor business decision killing off a wonderful product. Maybe if we’re lucky someone can purchase the formula and bring it back. Since it was the original this could be a effective marketing tool.

  31. Tom Jurgenson says:

    For those of you that can’t find Hires Root Beer at a Wal-Mart or other local outlets. I bought some last week on Amazon after not seeing it for over 7 yrs. I bought 2 12 paks for just over $30 with shipping. A little pricey, but when you can’t find it elsewhere, the price is justified.

  32. Gerry Zehr says:

    I really miss drinking a great product like Hires Root Beer. Our family store carried it for years.Then it was discontinued.I bought it around 1996 or so from &-11 stores Now it is only found on the Internet order systems..A heritage product of quality like this ; which sold quite well ; is a sad thing to cancel . Snapple people have no idea what they are doing by discarding HIRES…

  33. Randy Carlson says:

    I have not seen Hires in years and I agree that if given the chance people would drink Hires over A&W any day. Please bring it back.

  34. Kent Snyder says:

    I too am a great fan of Hires Root beer. I live in Northern California and the last time I found Hires was in 1987 up in Sacramento. Though I live in the Bay Area I’d make the drive to do some Steelhead fishing up there and I would purchase no less than 5 cases each time up there of my favorite root beer.
    In the mid 1980’s I had a quest to find the best root beer float any where. I worked for a company that would fly me all over the lower 48 States. I used this period to try as many root beers as I could find, but for a crisp clear taste, I always came back to the root beer of my youth, Hires. I did find my favorite vanilla ice cream, but like Hires, it was difficult to locate anywhere else. I purchased a dish of vanilla ice cream at a Victoria Station restaurant in Universal Studio and yum, it was what I was looking for, but they did not carry Hires root beer. They told me their ice cream was Carnation’s brand, but when I bought a half gallon the taste wasn’t the same so I wrote Carnation and they wrote me back and said the two should be identical in taste, it wasn’t though. So, I never could bring the two best tasting items together for the best root beer float.
    I should add here, I was once in upstate New York, back in 1987 for my company and I found a store that sold Hires. I bought 5 six packs and brought 4 six packs home in my expandable briefcase. You should have seen the surprised look that the airport security gave me. They asked me why in the world would I be carrying root beer in my briefcase. I explained that Hires wasn’t available anywhere in the Bay Area, back home.

  35. Carl E. says:

    Just got back from a trip to Myrtle Beach SC and found Hires Root Beer at Lowes Food store. I was shocked to see it! It is still the best. Brought back a number of two liter bottles. Lowes is throughout SC and NC. But here in VA I cannot find Hires. So sad!

    Maybe I will move to the Carolinas!

    Bombard the Dr Pepper Snapple site with emails and they might get the message that there is a demand for Hires

  36. JOHN says:

    BEEN SEARCHING FOR YEARS FOR HIRES. DID NOT HAVE COMPUTER TO LOOK OUTSIDE LIVING AREA. NOW SAW WALMART WEBSITE PROVIDED BY ANOTHER CORRESPONDENT. WENT THERE TODAY (5/29) AND SITE SAID PRODUCT NOT AVAILABLE. WHAT OTHER OPTIONS ARE THERE FOR THE BEST TASTE EVER?

  37. EDWARD LITTLE JR. says:

    Love that Hires Root Beer, from Marlton, N.J. I looked for years and wonder where it went. It is a shame to let that brand of root beer to disappear, it was the best.

  38. Peggy says:

    Back in 87, while pregnant with my daughter, the only thing that quenched my thirst was Diet Hires. I loved how the smooth vanilla taste predominated; so unlike the wintergreen flavor of other brands. My daughter is now 25, and pregnant. She just sent me an e-mail about craving cream soda, so the vanilla taste must be genetically encoded. Too bad my grandbabies will miss out on “real” root beer floats!

  39. Richard says:

    I live in Battle Ground, WA and have been trying to find Hires for years. I did see that Walmart carries it online. Does anyone have or can anyone find the receipe so I can make some myself?

    Finally, does Hires still have caffeine in it?

    • Richard says:

      As of June 8, 2013, when one goes to the Walmart web site using the link posted above it says only available in store and not sold online.

      • Doug Otoupalik says:

        Perhaps we could convince Walmart to purchase the brand and sell it in their stores exclusively (as they did with Grapette).

  40. Steve says:

    I too have sorely missed my favorite rootbeer for years. Best I have ever had by far. Appearently thought I will be visiting a state noted up above that still sells it. IOWA !! Here I come ! Is there any truth in this ? What stores ? If so I will be hoarding a truck load back to Michigan very soon.

  41. John says:

    To me, it’s sad I grew up on Hires it’s by far the best root beer out there. I’ve been calling the Dr. Pepper/ Snapple people for time, they will only tell you where you can purchase it within a 100 mile radius of your zip code and the store that carries it is only allowed no more than 4 twelve packs on the shelf.

  42. Mark says:

    You are very much correct about Hires. A few years back I lived in Chicago and one supermarket chain sold Hires 12 packs they had about 4 locations and were called Treasure Island foods. There is also a massive supermarket that has several locations in Wisconsin it is called Woodmans they sell the product but here is the thing about Hires and all sodas. They are being run by the giant Monsanto so all of it with the possible exception of mexican coke, mexican pepsi mexican sprite, throwback pepsi and sierra mist are genetically modified and made with high fructose corn syrup. Back in the day it was made with Cane Sugar. Anyways we should all demand that they get rid of the high fructose corn syrup and all GMO ingredients and make our sodas like they used to be made and yes bring back Hires nationwide. FYI Pepsi in Vietnam is healthy ours is not.

  43. Kenny B says:

    I live in Vermont and just returned back from vacation and there I was at a Food Lion supermarket in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina picking up some items for my kids to survive the week and there it was “Hires Root Beer” I thought it was gone forever and like all of you this is the root beer I grew up on and loved – unfortunately my 2 kids are now in love with it and I am also having trouble finding someone who ships Hires – if anyone has an updated link on how to get it to New England I would greatly appreciate it – our car was dragging it’s bumper for 1000 miles returning from S.C. with root beer:)

  44. PeteR.. says:

    I’d like to add my voice to this little conversation. Hires was my drink of choice until I went into the USAF. Pepsi had the contract at the bases I was at. I got used to Pepsi. Then stationed overseas where Coke had the contracts. Got used to Coke and that’s what I drink. But I always wish I could get my hand on Hires root beer. The last soda “of choice” I enjoyed. Enough to search for it today and find this page. So this is what all the old timers would complain about when I was a kid. Stuff you love disappears. (Shakes fist at the sky) I did manage to order a case of it (glass bottles) a few years ago. No help on the internet this time it seems.

  45. Todd says:

    I think WE all should get together, pool our resources, and BUY the Rights to Hires Root Beer from these twits!!! Make it ourselves. I just can’t tolerate idiots!!

  46. Todd says:

    It appears, since they are presently showing it On Line, that Lowes Food #214 in Morehead City, NC sells 2 Liter plastic bottles of Hires Root Beer for between $1.79 and $1.89 per bottle. However, they do not ship, but only have a Pick-Up in store, and a Local Delivery service you can request when you place your order on-line.

    lowesfoods.grocerydirect.com/pd/Hires/Root-Beer/67-60-fl-oz/041710412783/

  47. Todd says:

    A number people over the past year 2012-2103, from across the country, have stated that they have been able to find Hires Root Beer in Walmart!!!! Might only be sold in 12 ct (pack of 2) cans. Not sure though.

  48. Mike Mullin says:

    Hey folks – good news I went to Jungle Jim’s in fairfield Ohio last week (August 2, 2013)
    And they indeed did have the 12 packs at $7.99.

    I was elated!

    It was tricky to find as JKims has 3 massive aisles of sodas.
    If u go down the aisle with the individual bottles (lots of odd soda varieties) the 12 packs are on a shelf waist high.

    My first thought was getting back to this site to let you folks know they are indeed for sale at JJims (another poster also mentioned this)

    Enjoy

  49. Doug Otoupalik says:

    Like many other posters, I have also hit a brick wall in trying to locate Hires locally. Until recently, there was a store here in Lincoln, Nebraska that carried it, but the Chicago distributor they ordered it from has stopped carrying it and so far, they have been unsuccessful finding another distributor who still has it.
    You can order online through Amazon.com, if you don’t mind paying an arm and a leg for it.

  50. John Graff says:

    I grew up in the Philadelphia area also and Hires was the only root beer I knew except when we went on vacation; Frostie root beer was available in the soda machines. By the way you can’t find Frostie root beer either. Carling Red Cap Ale was available in the Philly area until the mid 80’s, but is manufactured by the Brick Brewing Company in Canada and not available in the States. Some other items are no longer manufactured because they didn’t make enough profit, or companies merged and wouldn’t carry more than one type of the same soft drink. Canada Dry products: Wink and Bitter Lemon have gone the way of Hires also, at least in Florida.

  51. mike says:

    I’ve been getting 2 ltr bottles in maryland, around the baltimore area

  52. Big Phil says:

    Howdy!
    Just thought I’d reiterate what an earlier poster said, Amazon has Hires IN STOCK!
    sold by Peters Select- a little pricey at 28.00 for 2 twelve packs of cans, but worth it,
    I hadn’t had any in almost 20 years! Damn, it’s good! I have tried all the retro brands,
    all the boutique ones,they’re all crap, like drinking toothpaste!
    My family was so into Hires when I was a kid we used to MAKE IT! Now all I need is a source for Hires EXTRACT! God bless Hires!
    http://www.amazon.com/Hires-Root-Beer-pack-12-ounces/dp/B004743S5O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1378960882&sr=8-1&keywords=hires+root+beer

  53. Kevin says:

    I just found Hires! For the first time in MANY years, I found it on the shelf of a Marsh Supermarket in Carmel, Indiana. It’s a regional chain, but my local Marsh stores don’t have it. It was stocked by the smaller specialty sodas, like Dr. Brown’s. And it was about $7 for a 12-pack!

  54. Kevin says:

    It’s listed on the Walmart website, but says it’s only available in stores. No way to tell which stores, though.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hires-Root-Beer-12ct-Pack-of-2/17197677

  55. Larry says:

    Maybe I will boycott Dr. Pepper products…A & W etc. Killing Hires is as stupid as changing Coke.

  56. Scott Jaegly says:

    Josephs beverage center in Toledo Ohio has 12 pack cans for 7.49.. I bought 5 of them today. 10/07/2013..

  57. Paul Sorensen says:

    I live in Minnesota 2 years ago I was amazed to see Hires (in the can) on a local grocery store shelf. It appears the managers were attempting to sell it as a specialty branded root beer and presented it away from other Dr Pepper brands. I had net seen Hires Root Beer in years and picked up a 12 pack. The next time I went shopping it was gone and I keep checking to this day. What can we do to get it back on our shelves?

  58. Paul Monaco says:

    I live in Portland Oregon, and within several blocks of my business off of 12th and S.E. Powell is still a HUGE ** H-I-R-E’-S ** root beer advertising with the Frosty Cold bottle that I remember as a kid. I had my first bottle in 1956 at 3 yrs old, and yes I burped.

    I’m thinking there must be many of you readers that are salivating while reading these reply’s. I’m driving to Seattle tomorrow, I can’t wait another day!! Hahahahaha! I wish they still had it in the tall bottles, but if it tastes as good as I remember, you will get NO complaints from me. 11/7/13

  59. DK says:

    The nutritional information IS on the company’s Web site. Using your link, I went to the site, clicked on Nutritional Information. I chose Hires from the list of products, and then got to a page that showed the can. If you put your cursor on the can, all the information comes up. It also allows you to compare nutritional information for multiple products. — JSYK

    • B.P. says:

      Yes you are correct. I had not checked in a while. Over two years after writing this story – Dr. Pepper / Snapple Group corrected their omission. They have now added the nutritional information. They also changed the product locator which used to be an interactive search via zip code, to an email form and Hires is listed in the email form. The original main point being that Hires was not listed as a product in the locator field. Still, good luck finding Hires if you are not in the 4-5 states that carry it.

  60. Jessica W says:

    I am not a pop drinker, but my husband’s family in California loves hires. We are in the Seattle area and ship cases down to several households in CA thanks to UPS.

    I wound up here checking to see if I could find a map of where it is available.

  61. spyjammer says:

    I have been a lover of root beer since the day I knew what it tasted like. I have tried practically tried every root beer brand that has ever been made. I tried Hires for the very first time two years ago, and in my very personal honest opinion, it was, is and will continue to be the very best I have EVER had the truest pleasure to taste! To find out the brand is no longer being manufactured is crushing and heartbreaking! If I had my way, Hires root beer would be the #1 soft drink brand in the world! Forget Coca-Cola and Pepsi in their useless, pointless cola war! As far as IBC, A&W, Old Keg, Barq’s, Mug, Shasta, Dad’s, Frosty and many other pretenders… they knew they were taking a comfortable back seat to the very best tasting brand ever created! I will NEVER drink root beer again if Hire’s is no longer my choice!

  62. Ken Cox says:

    Thank you very much for the research and fine write-up on the disappearance of Hires Root Beer. I grew up in Utah, California, and Arizona and drank nothing but Hires until I got to college. One of my fondest memories is of making homemade Hires root beer as a child. I currently live on the Mississippi Gulf Coast I’ve looked for it for years and I can’t find it anywhere. I mourn it’s slow demise. It needs to be revived and returned to the mass market place.

  63. Raymond Lugo says:

    i like a&w, but Hires is the best and I’ve tried tons of the rest!

  64. Raymond Lugo says:

    I care!

  65. Wolfy says:

    I’ve had Hires one time at the Delaware State Fair and its hands down the best rootbeer I’ve ever had. By far better than anything else. And I’ve had no luck finding it either. A real shame they’re brushing it under the rug as none of their other brands are anywhere near as good. They managed to bring RC cola back from the dead here, why not Hires?

  66. Christine says:

    I bought Hires Root Beer today at Winco. I never go into the soda (pop) aisle but was looking for a related product – and there it was.

    This is the Winco in Bellingham, WA.

  67. Tom says:

    For all that care, I saw hires root beer 12 packs in a super 1 store in kalispel, Montana

  68. Aaron says:

    I live in Iowa and went to a local Fareway today to discover only 3 12-packs remaining of this delicious soda. I only purchased one but discovering how rare it is I might go back and purchase the remaining 2 as I don’t believe they will be restocking it. Anybody want to puchase one of the 12 packs let’s connect! albergseventynineathotmaildotcom

  69. Chris Sobieniak says:

    Kind of a shame when companies pull stunts like this out of beancounter ethics as I put it. I was only thinking of Hires recently out of nostalgia for having gone to a restaurant that served it as a kid in the 80’s. Seems rather pathetic to own trademarks to something you’re not going to do much with at all really.

  70. Rodney says:

    Thanks to everyone that keeps updating this thread with Hires information.
    I especially want to thank Chris Halarewich for letting us know about Hy-Vee Direct. Best price online that I have found so far. I just ordered 4 12-packs.
    Get it while you can, for who knows how much longer they will continue to make Hires Root beer, the original and still the best.

  71. Wade says:

    Loved Hires as a kid here in Vancouver BC. Tahiti Treat too, and Mr Pibb lol. Found a specialty corner store on Pender st that sells single cans. Drinking it was a memory rush and my girlfriend became determined to track it down. You can buy it in Bellingham Washington at Winco in 12 packs of cans. We bought 24. No rootbeer compares.

    • Mo says:

      Wade, I’m from Vancouver, BC as well. Where on Pender St? I’m craving for Hires Root Beer and Tahiti Treat. Thanks.

  72. Ilan says:

    Just went onto http://www.therootbeerstore.com, which boasts the world’s largest root beer selection, and they do not have Hires!

  73. Chris says:

    I actually have a pretty good source of 12 packs in the Toledo , Ohio neighborhood. If anyone is from around here, or is really desperate and would like a 12 pack shipped, email me. Hires is by far the best and we need to activate to save it!

  74. Ted says:

    I was asked by my father to look for a Hire’s root beer kit, after finding this page I’m a bit sad.

  75. Jerry Brant says:

    Are we missing something here. Lets put in a few bucks, buy bottle rights, start
    product and give A&W the demise!

  76. Larry Larsen says:

    Here it is July and I can’t find Hires. I live in the “Bay Area” in California. I plan to call HYVee to see if they really have it. If they do, I plan to order some for my Uncle in Utah as well as some for me.

  77. Pingback: Hires Root Beer | Old Main Artifacts

  78. paul says:

    I grew up with Hires and Dads root beer. Sams Hofbau in Sacramento had Hires on tap until a few years ago. Now I live in Colorado and can only get Dads in the summer at Costco. Oh well.

  79. McKay Kesler says:

    I run a family owned grocery store in Blackfoot, Idaho, where we have always sold Hires, up until about a year ago. We have a strong customer following that is very upset about the lack of Hires. I don’t understand that the large bottler corporations cannot see the interest in this great root beer. They will obviously sell the heck out of it if they made it more readily available. So, listen up Bottlers!!!!, Give us back our Hires, you’re making us and our customers very upset! Stop being so political. Give the CONSUMER what THEY want! HIRES ROOT BEER! -a concerned grocer:)

  80. Eric says:

    I’m drinking a can right now. They have it at Jungle Jim’s in Cincinnati.

  81. Maureen says:

    We drank a lot of Hires growing up in the 1960s on Vancouver Island. I would love some now! My dad also used to make rootbeer using the Hires syrup. Would like to get some of that to make root beer ice cream. Actually I think growing up in the 1960s the food selection for many items was far greater than today…and most things had some flavour. Things these days have no taste. We need to start complaining to the Dr. Pepper group I think. My daughter is in Vancouver, will have to send her to Pender St. to hunt out Hires as she loves root beer.

  82. Ed says:

    I have recently purchased a few cases of Hires Rootbeer. Brand new cases not expired. I`m located just outside Winnipeg. Search Hires in Kijiji Winnipeg and buy some for yourself.

  83. Peter says:

    The Root Beer Store in Lynnwood, Washington (425-673-9999) currently has 12 packs of cans of Hires. They are not showing them on their website, however – therootbeerstore.com . Amazing place if you are into root beer .

    Peter

  84. Ricky says:

    I just bought 6 12 packs at Fareway Food store in Rochester, MN. $3.19 each. First time I have had a Hires in 10 years or more. My kids, wife and I enjoyed.

  85. Aj says:

    Heads up folks. Emailed Dr. Pepper/Snapple this morning about my frustration with both not finding Hires in the Myrtle Beach area or around my home area of Ottawa.
    I got correspondence from a nice CSR named Emmy who kindly checked for me if there was any sold within 100 miles of those areas but couldn’t find anything. Bummer.
    However she was very receptive to my support and kindly passed my email along to members of her team to check the feasibility of bringing Hires to Canada.
    “While we do not offer the direct sale or shipping of our products, I will forward your request to see Hires offered in Canada to our team. Your request will be added to others, and hopefully we can get Hires to everyone that craves a taste of the original root beer! ”

    The lesson here is to write in folks. Write in numerous times. Get family members to write in. Friends, co-workers, anyone really. The more messages they get, the more likely they are going to bring it back, especially as they seem considerate of the idea and respectful of Hires as the “original root beer”.
    Here is the link to communicate with them:
    http://www.drpeppersnapplegroup.com/locator/

  86. skeet says:

    Aj,
    I wish you luck in your attempts to get Hires available in Canada. I talked to a rep @Dr. Pepper/Snapple 2 years ago about the scarcity of Hires. The rep said they were putting their emphasis on A&W….. and Hires wasn’t a priority..and never will be.
    I can still find it up here in Washington state…but don’t know long it will be available.
    Last year..I talked to the plant superintendent @Noel canning in Yakima,Wa…who has a license to bottle Hires. He told me that he sees Hires going away because the current generation doesn’t even know it exists…it’s only available in certain parts of the U.S…and Dr.Pepper/Snapple isn’t eager to market or mass produce it.
    I used to drink glass bottles of Hires as a kid..and you can’t beat the flavor when they used real cane sugar…as opposed to the corn syrup crap being used today.
    Keep us up to date on your “Hires quest”.

  87. Loris says:

    Years ago, to satisfy my craving I ordered Hires Root Beer from The PopShop online. After shipping and taxes it cost me about four dollars a bottle. Worth every penny. Just as I remembered it.

    Now, having found this site during a search months ago, I learned that Hires Root Beer might be available in Bellingham at Winco. I live in Vancouver Canada and I knew of a work buddy who goes across the border with his family for long weekend getaways. I asked him to watch for my favorite old time soft drink and offered him dinner upon his successful return. To my surprise, he finally got the goods last weekend. Two dozen Hires Root Beer to help me wind down Summer. My first chance to try cracking a can was today. It was so good, but having had to go without for so long, and substituting until now with a local good option, (Jones), I’m not so sure that DrPepper has maintained the recipe. No cane sugar anymore. Have my taste buds been deceived? I hope that the Canadian rights holder can bring it here with no changes.

    • skeet says:

      Loris,
      Just my opinion…but I don’t think you can duplicate real cane sugar..with corn syrup. Sometimes..I’ll buy a bottle of Coke( bottled in Mexico with cane sugar)…and one bottled here in U.S. with corn syrup. I can definitely tell the difference. Give it a try and see what you think.

  88. JRC says:

    You can still buy Hires at the Cub Foods in Stillwater, MN. If you’re around the area stop in and buy some. Keep it on their shelves.

  89. BBOBB says:

    I have a really old Hires can i found and cannot find any remnants of hires cans that are 280 ml caffeine free. If someone could point me to a site where I could maybe find out how old it was that would be awesome.
    Thanks

  90. Chris says:

    I grew up in Detroit on a diet of Hires, Nehi, and Vernors ginger ale. At least I can still get Vernors but it doesn’t taste quite the same since they moved production out of Detroit. I’ll try to find Hires at on line specialty shops.

  91. Raymond Dalessandro says:

    The Vermont Country Store actively asks consumers to request historic memorable brands they miss so they can find who still makes them and they will stock and sell the product. I think they’ve even convinced companies resurrect old brands by offering to buy and stock a quantity of product. Maybe they can help with Hires. Another option is to lobby Coca-Cola and/or Pepsico to obtain the Hires formula and sales rights. Pepsico, in particular, is going strong with “throwback” versions of Pepsi Cola and Mountian Dew, so there is a nostalgia/specialty market they are interested in. Younger generations, college educated, would respond and purchase if they learned that Hires is the original. They shop at places with specialty foods like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and Wegmans. I also remember a root beer brand called “Click” that competed with Hires in the 1960s here in the Philadelphia, PA–Atlantic City, NJ area. Does anyone remember that brand?

  92. Pingback: Popular brands from yesteryear - GenXZ.com

  93. Hailey Hires says:

    Hi, I am Hailey Hires. First of all, I don’t really like how the website is “stuff nobody cares about” because obviously you still have many things to remember. I also care about Hires’ Rootbeer because I am a Hires and it’s good! They do still sell it in few places. http://www.amazon.com/Hires-Root-Beer-pack-12-ounces/dp/B004743S5O : Amazon sells 12 packs of Hires root beer still, if you were wondering.

  94. Sheldon R says:

    This is the so called “free market” at work. You acquire a competitor and then let it die. Just today I finally found out what happened to Chung King soy sauce. It was part of a line of Chinese foods that were widely distributed at one time. Then they were sold, sold again and ended up in the hands of the parent company of LaChoy, spelling the end of a product line. I see items vanish from stores on almost a daily basis. People are increasingly left with a choice of 20 brands of any given item, none of which may be the one you like. The shelves may be full but product variety is actually decreasing. Very frustrating.

  95. Sheldon R says:

    As frustrating as such cases are, they can also be opportunities. Look into how to get the stuff from point A to point B and then convince some old fashion burger shop owner in your area that they need Hires to round out their menu. Could be a new endeavor. Of course that’s assuming the bottler does want more customers and that there’s not someone paying to shut out competition at the other end.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Anti-Spam Quiz: