National Root Beer Float Day
annually on August 6th
Quite obviously, National Root Beer Float Day, a holiday that dates back at least until 1983, celebrates root beer floats! These ice cream sodas are made when vanilla ice cream is set atop root beer. A frothy foam forms, and along with it, a new flavor combination. It isn't known how the day came to be, but it has been embraced by restaurants, breweries, and hotels. One of the most prominent companies to take part is A&W Restaurants, where the root beer float is a signature menu item. Since 2013, they have given out free small root beer floats on the day, while accepting donations and raising money for Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Root beer floats date to the nineteenth century. One day in 1893, Frank J. Wisner of Cripple Creek, Colorado, owner of a tavern and gold mine, looked at a nearby mountain topped with snow and thought it looked like ice cream on top of soda. It gave him the idea to invent the root beer float, and he called his creation a "black cow." Nowadays, the name for a root beer float varies from region to region, but in some places, it is "black cow" or "brown cow." In some places, these names refer to a float made with cola instead of root beer, in some places a "brown cow" or "chocolate cow" means the float has chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla, and in some places, a "black cow" is a root beer float where ice cream is mixed in instead of being put on top. Sometimes rum or bourbon is even added to root beer floats, or hard root beer is used to make them.
How to Observe National Root Beer Float Day
Celebrate by having a root beer float or two! You could make one at home or have one at a place that is taking part in the day. Restaurants like A&W Restaurants and Wienerschnitzel's have given out root beer floats, some hotels have set up root beer float stands and raised funds for children's hospitals, and breweries, such as Sprecher and Abita, have also celebrated the day.