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Capt'n Eli's Soda Van available for samplings at your store, event, or location!
Contact: Scott Doyle 207-761-0807 x7167 [email protected]

A Brief History of Rootbeer

In 1876, America's first commercial root beer made its debut at the US Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It's been estimated that as many as 2,000 different brands have entered the root beer market since that time. Over a century later, Capt'n Eli brewed his first batch of root beer in 1995, in the world-famous Kennebunkport, Maine.

Root beer, the original American soft drink, is only 100 years younger than the nation itself and predates colas and other popular sodas. As the name implies, original root beer was brewed by fermenting a blend of yeast and sugar with juices extracted from various roots and barks, such as sarsaparilla and sassafras.

Historically, the flavoring comes from the root of the sassafras tree or the sarsaparilla vine. Originally, people brewed the root like a tea to make an extract, but, today, root beer lovers can buy the extract already made. The root beer extract is mixed with sugar, yeast and water. When this mixture is placed in a tightly sealed container, the yeast generates carbon dioxide at a high enough pressure to carbonate the water and you end up with fresh, fizzy, delicious root beer! Capt'n Eli's Root Beer and Barney's favorite Sea Dog Root Beer are two of only a handful of root beers hailing from Maine.

Capt'n Eli's Rootbeer

Capt'n Eli's Root Beer is a full-bodied, hand-crafted, traditional root beer with the essence of wintergreen oil, anise, and vanilla. It's sweetened with natural cane and brown sugars, not corn syrup. That might seem like a minor difference, but not to Eli! The use of sugar versus corn syrup in his special recipe makes Capt'n Eli's taste more subtle and less sweet than mass-produced commercial brands. Sugar is more expensive than corn syrup - about three times as much - but it's worth it.

Try it and you'll see why!

Click to see our Reviews

Capt'n Eli's Root Beer Bottling Video
Quicktime Video (4.9MB) | Real Player Audio Video (436K)

Capt'n Eli's Root Beer Expands Distribution to West Coast

The Shipyard Brewing Company has expanded their market for Capt'n Eli's Root Beer to the west coast. Maine's largest brewery has shipped 1,200 cases of their hand-crafted soda to Real Soda in Real Bottles in Carson, California.

Real Soda in Real Bottles supplies distributors in California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.

"We have the most extensive and exotic selection of glass-bottled soft drinks under one roof anywhere in the United States," remarked Real Soda president Danny ginsburg. "We are attracted to Capt'n Eli's Root Beer because it is an excellent product. I also like the fact that, in addition to being good root beer, Capt'n Eli's has its own daily Web comic and comic book - which are innovations a lot of other manufacturers do not have. I have always believed that sodas are fun and one of the great pleasures in life. I think that Capt'n Eli's good quality and unique innovations bring color and fun back into this industry."

In addition to shipping 960 cases of Capt'n Eli's Root Beer, the brewery sent 240 cases of Sea Dog Root Beer which is also produced at Shipyard.

"They are the only products we will have that are produced in the state of Maine," continued ginsburg. "We pride ourselves on having products from all over the place, and Maine is the cornerstone of our great country which helps form that unique familiar shape that the world recognizes as the profile of the United States."

"It is always exciting to send a full trailer to a new market," remarked Master Brewer Alan Pugsley. "This gives us the potential to open up a far flung market for these traditional, old fashioned root beers."

Sea Dog Rootbeer

Barney the Sea Dog has also brewed up his own unique Sea Dog Root Beer. He's recreated traditional American root beer using the original ingredients - wintergreen oil, vanilla, anise, pure cane sugar, and select roots, herbs and spices. Simple but elegant, Sea Dog Root Beer is smooth, satisfying, and easy to drink. Just how Barney likes it!

The Great Rootbeer Battle