In 1924, Frank Stewart set out to develop the world’s best-tasting root beer, which he intended to sell to supplement his income as a school teacher. With secret recipes in hand for the first licorice-based root beer in America, he soon opened the first Stewart’s Drive-In, and an empire was born.
The History of Stewart's
THE LEGEND BEGINS
The Stewart’s Brand Grows
Stewart’s Drive-In locations grew from the original in Ohio, making the famous Root Beer, as well as comfort foods such as burgers and ice cream available across the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic United States.
Bottled root beer
After 66 years of being exclusively available as a fountain beverage at Stewart’s Root Beer stands and later at Stewart’s Drive-Ins, Cable Car Beverage Corp acquired the bottling rights for the brand. Stewart’s Root Beer was now available in stores in a signature old-fashioned, long neck 12-oz amber glass bottle with Stewart’s logo in white ceramic.
crafting new flavors
Stewart’s product range continued to grow throughout the 1990s, with the creation of unique flavors. Orange ‘n Cream, introduced in 1995, became the brand’s second best seller. Other standout flavors were Classic Key Lime, Old Fashioned Cherries ‘n Cream, and Grape Soda. Stewart’s had emerged as the leader in flavor innovation for the gourmet soda category.
Stewart’s continued to expand and became the fastest growing premium soda in the US. It became available in all 50 states, as well as Canada and the UK.
2000 ‘S’ by stewart’s
The first line of gourmet diet sodas on the market, “S” was launched by Stewart’s. Flavors included Orchard Peach, Vanilla Cream, and Wild Cherry and had the same premium tastes as Stewart’s mainline. They were packaged in sleek bottles etched with an ‘S’ in white.
Stewart’s Root Beer and other soft drinks remained popular across America and widely available as the rights to produce and distribute them were sold to the Snapple Dr Pepper Group, later becoming Keurig Dr Pepper, the third largest beverage company in North America.
SEI Purchases the Stewart’s Brand
With the dream of carrying on Frank Stewart’s legacy and bringing an iconic American brand to younger generations, Stewart’s Enterprises Inc. (SEI) was formed and purchased the Stewart’s brand, except for the sodas. The first product on their list? A premium spiked seltzer using Stewart’s proprietary formulas.
The Legend Continues
Almost 100 years after Stewart’s famous Root Beer was crafted, SEI introduces Stewart’s Spiked Seltzer to America. The line maintains the classic flavors and authentic tastes that have been at the center of the Stewart’s brand since its inception and adapts them to one of today’s most popular drinks segments.