Does Mug Root Beer Have Alcohol?

Mug is a brand of root beer owned by PepsiCo. Its history dates back to San Fransisco in the 1940s when it was made by a company called Belfast Beverage Company. Pepsi acquired Mug in 1986.

The Mug brand has four products associated with it. These products include Mug Root Beer, Diet Mug Root Beer, Mug Cream Soda, and Diet Mug Cream Soda.

Is There Alcohol in Mug Root Beer?

You might suspect that Mug Root Beer has alcohol in it based on the word “beer” in its name. However, Mug Root Beer does not have alcohol. In fact, no Mug products contain alcohol.

The ingredients of Mug Root Beer are as follows:

Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel corn. sodium benzoate, citric acid, natural and artificial flavor, calcium disodium EDTA, and quillaia extract.

Why the “Beer” in Root Beer?

So, why does Mug (or similar root beer) have the word “beer” in its name when it doesn’t actually have alcohol in it?

The people of Medieval Europe and later Colonial America produced “small beers”. These were made from things like herbs and bark. The beer contained up to 12 percent alcohol. It was believed that the alcohol in these small beers helped produce a healthier drinking option than the potentially contaminated local drinking water. For many, it was more about having something safe to drink rather than the beer buzz.

The first root beer is thought to have been developed by a pharmacist experimenting with the small beer concept using roots as an ingredient. The goal of the pharmacist was to produce a sort of elixir to help cure an assortment of common bodily problems.

Is All Root Beer Non-Alcoholic?

The major root beer brands that you find at most grocery stores do not have alcohol. Some of these brands are A&W, Barq’s, Hires, IBC, and Mug, as previously stated.

However, you can purchase certain root beer beverages that do have alcohol. These root beer products are often referred to as hard root beer or hard soda. Not Your Father’s Root Beer is a popular hard root beer, which has 5.9 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). Examples of other hard root beer brands are Coney Island Brewing, Sprecher, and Rebel Yell Whisky Root Beer.


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Featured Image Credit: gingerbeardman via flickr