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  • Jim Vaughey

The Museum of Root Beer


That phrase does not need a catchy headline. If you are ever in the Wis Dels, then may I suggest a visit to the Museum of Root Beer. If you like root beer, you can order a flight. If you like commercials, they have a screening room. If you like memorabilia, you know they have that. If you like package design, this is your place.




What follows are the cans that caught my eye. In a good way.


Electric Cheetah. The name, on its own, is enough. But look at that dapper Cheetah! This is the root beer of rich and famous. This is the drink you take on safaris and voyages on yachts. You wear white cotton shirts, the kind that has buttons, when you drink this root beer.



Cozy Dog. I'm not sure how newlywed hot dogs fit in with a root beer, but it Rt 66, so does it have to make sense? They look happy. The road trip seems to be going well! That is probably the feeling you want to convey, when selling a product. Two married hot dogs yelling at each other would turn off adults and just confuse children.

Product Placement is almost always a winner. Or it was. it is a tricky game to play these days those. I mean, do we know Hagar's stances on all the key issues? And they are all key issues. marketing was simpler back in the day. Maybe not correct. But simpler.


El Barto. Everyone's favorite little scamp. Unless you hated him. I'm just glad the can didn't have stupid sexy Flanders in his ski outfit. Barney would have been a good one.



Rootin' Tootin' This mug looks like a good time. I bet he has all sorts of good jokes. All PG-13 of course. He is a Uncle you do talk to your friends about and invite to parties. But with that hair, he could also just as easily be Larry Dallas.


Lady Lee has that look like it was a Tab of root beer. Except it wasn't a diet root beer. It just wanted you to think it might be, so you buy it, because you never know. And it was on sale.


I don't think this was associated with K Mart. Oh! It is associated with Kroger. That surprises me. This particular can has an Atari feel to it. maybe this is what the kids were slinging when they were playing Tapper?


Is Sarsaparilla a root beer? I don't know. But the folks in the Museum of Root Beer say it is fair game. And I am not about to argue with this cowboy. He is all business. And taking no guff. I imagine he always asks to make it a double.


Now here is your diet root beer. Except they aren't worried about your weight, just your waist. That is a somewhat modern take from what looks like an older can. It is like they are saying "we aren't here to judge. But we are paying attention."


And when you get sick of all the marketing and you feel like people are just trying to sell you a brand, and you know they don't care about the liquid gold within the can, you go for good old American generic root beer. I'd say you can't go wrong with this choice. but you can. I am sure it is adequate.


And now to the two special offerings, that we brought on the road with us. Diet Dang! it claims it is good. Put it right there on the bottle. I will say this for it, it tasted of butterscotch. Take that how you will. Weiner Dog root beer might be some of the best root beer I have ever had! Way to go little guy or girl! It was a treat!


Curious what products have root beer in them, flavoring or otherwise? This sassy young shopper is happy to help show you some or most of those things! Go ahead, rummage through her cart and peer over her shoulder. It has a real grocery store feel to it!


And I don't know if this is too small, but if you were every curious about the whose who of root beer mascots, you are in for a great day! Because they have it. Test yourself, or just read it. No one is going make you feel bad for choosing either option.


Museum of Root Beer

513 Broadway, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

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