In Defense: Root Beer

Utah has two state vegetables, but no official state beverage, which is surprising considering how crazy Utahns are about root beer. In other places, root beer is usually an afterthought, an old-fashioned soft drink eclipsed by national brand sodas.

If you’re not a fan of beer, celebrate International Beer Day with Utah’s other favorite beverage: root beer.


The Beehive Grill in Logan was founded by Logan native Dee Jones and John Borkoski, the operations manager at The Moab Brewery since 1996 and a longtime restaurateur, when the two decided to bring the success of The Moab Brewery to Logan. While The Beehive Grill sells Moab-brewed beer, they brew their own root beer. They also make root beer gelato, root beer barbecue sauce and, wait for it, root beer fry sauce.

“Root beer has no caffeine or alcohol in it, so it’s popular with Church members. I think Utahns love root beer because of our pioneer roots,” says Beehive general manager Terri Hardman, who grew up in Mendon. “We love do-it-yourself things and the whole idea of homemade, and root beer is something you can make yourself at home.” Beehive’s recipe is simple: Spin cane sugar into hot water, chill to just above freezing, add CO2 until the mixture is fizzy, and add root beer extract.

255 S. Main St., Logan, 435-753-2600

Make Your Own Root Beer

You can order root beer extract—regular and diet—from Hires’ online store, and the recipe is on their website here.

The easiest way to carbonate it is with dry ice. For one gallon of root beer, you’ll need:

  • 4 quarts (16 cups) cold water
  • 2 1/2 cups (1 1/4 pounds) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 bottle)
  • The Big H Root Beer Extract
  • 1 pound broken
  • dry ice

Mix water, sugar and extract in an open food-safe container. Do not cover the container; pressure can cause it to explode. In a well-ventilated area, add the dry ice. Stir to prevent clumping until all the dry ice is dissolved, about 15 minutes.

Salt Lake Magazine
Salt Lake Magazine
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