Dad’s Root Beer gained a following by the late 1940s in the Midwest, where the brand was born in 1937 and became one of the most popular root beers in the United States. The fleet of Dad’s Root Beer Bottling Co. of Portland, Ore. (circa 1960) helped distribute the brand to its fans. Today, Keith Hedinger, president and CEO of The Dad’s Root Beer Co. LLC, who acquired the brand along with Bubble Up, Dr. Wells and Sun Crest about five years ago, says he’s looking to ramp up distribution. “One goal for 2012 would be to continue to find the right distributor partners. Small companies like ours need to find brand builders,” he says.
Digging into the archives for Dad’s Root Beer, Hedinger says the company selected can graphics from the 60s, 70s and 80s to reintroduce into the market. Sold in a 12-can fridge pack, the commemorative cans are expected to be available through November. “There has been a lot of interest from consumers to collect them,” Hedinger says.
Fans of the brand have been sharing their stories with the company reminiscing about drinking the root beer growing up. Hedinger says that a Vietnam veteran sent in a photo of him and a fellow GI drinking Dad’s Root Beer on a hilltop near A Shah Valley Vietnam in June of 1968. The photo is posted on dadsrootbeer.com. “It’s amazing the stories we hear as we travel and see people,” Hedinger says.
The company has been holding a Facebook Fan of the Week contest, where fans of the brand will post their memories or stories about Dad’s Root beer. The weekly winner gets a case of the commemorative cans.
Nathan Osmond has been working with Dad’s to help promote the brand. Son of ’70s star Alan Osmond, Nathan has been featured in Dad’s television and radio ads and also is helping the brand celebrate its anniversary by promoting it during his concerts this year.