CCSI Cork Crowncap Database - Brewer/Bottler
   
Entered: 04 Nov 2006 02:17 - Bob Burr - Modified: 16 Jul 2015 22:55 - Jon Bailey
 Brewer/bottler #673
Name Barq's Inc.
Address Use when local bottler not shown.
City Biloxi
State/Province Mississippi
Country United States
Type Corporate HQ
Website  
Extra info The Barq's Brothers Bottling Company was founded in 1898 in the French Quarter of New Orleans, by Edward Charles Edmond Barq and his older brother, Gaston. The Barq Brothers bottled carbonated water and various soft drinks of their own creation. Early on their most popular creation was an orange-flavored soda called Orangine, which won a gold medal at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition World's Fair in Chicago, Illinois.
Edward Barq moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1897 with his new wife.
The following year he opened the Biloxi Artesian Bottling Works. 1898 is often given as the debut year for what was later to be known as "Barq's root beer," but some sources say this particular product was not produced until some two years later.
It was on the Mississippi coast that Barq met and employed a young boy, Jesse Robinson. Robinson was mentored by Barq and later moved to New Orleans to find his fortune. In 1934 Edward Barq, Sr. and Robinson sign a contractural agreement on Barq's product rights. The agreement was unique from other franchises in many aspects. One, that Robinson was allowed to make his own concentrate. The two men remained close their entire lives, working on flavors and production challenges. A distinctive difference between the Biloxi-based root beer and the Louisiana's was that the Louisiana bottle was printed in red (versus Biloxi's blue). This was to distinguish ownership of bottles as blue labeled ones were returned to Mississippi and vice-versa. There were also regional taste differences between the various Barq's bottlers. While there may have been minor formula differences, water generally defined these differences.
For many decades Barq's was not marketed as a "root beer." This was in part a desire to avoid legal conflict with the Hires Root Beer company, which was attempting to claim a trademark on the term "root beer." It was also due to differences from other root beers at the time. The formulation contained more caffeine, less of a foamy "head," and was not sarsparilla-based like other root beer brands.
The traditional slogan was the simple affirmation "Drink Barq's. It's good" which first appeared on the classic diamond-necked bottle, patented in 1935 by Ed Barq.
In 1976, the Biloxi Barq's Company was purchased from the 3rd generation of Barq family members by John Oudt and John Koerner. An aggressive television campaign was developed based on the "Barq's Got Sparks" theme. Their plans to market the brand nationally were complicated by the existence of the Louisiana-based Barq's companies which were owned and operated by Robinson's heirs.
There were extended legal conflicts over the rights and ownership of the trademark Barq’s, Barq’s Sr. and Barq’s Root Beer. The legal battle went all the way to the United States Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit which ruled in favor of the Robinson heirs. The last family-held Louisiana Barq's was sold by Robinson's heirs to Coca-Cola in 2000.
In 1990, Barq's partnered with the Pick N Save grocery store in Dekalb, Illinois to create the World's Largest Root Beer Float. It was mixed in an above ground swimming pool in the parking lot and consisted of 1,500 gallons of Barq's root beer and 1,000 gallons of vanilla ice cream.
In recent years Barq's has been marketed with the slogan "Barq's has bite!"
  
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