Tag Archives: Root Beer

Death By Root Beer

A Soda Tax Would Not Have Prevented Henry Koerner’s Death

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg doesn’t like soda and would like to tax people to discourage them from drinking it. But it wasn’t obesity or the root beer itself that caused Henry Koerner’s demise, it was a bizarre accident.

In the August 20, 1892 New York Times, a brief story appears about Henry Koerner, who worked for Lighte Brothers (a mineral water manufacturer) at 509 East 17th Street and how he was killed when the root beer he was loading on to a wagon exploded.

When Koerner slipped on a fruit peeling on the sidewalk, the ten pound pressurized tank of root beer he was carrying dropped on the stone pavement and exploded like a charge of dynamite.  The tank shattered in all directions with one piece going right through Koerner’s head, killing him instantly. The explosion was so powerful, the top of the tank went 150 feet into the air and fell to the ground with a deafening crash.  The poor man left behind a wife and three children.

I’m sure there was little if any compensation for his loss of life, as accidents like this were dismissed as being part of the hazards of working.  Below is the original newspaper story.

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 Continue reading