HANNIBAL, Mo. -- For decades the Mark Twain Dinette in Hannibal has been synonymous with root beer, whether it be the frosty mug the drink is served in, that first cool gulp on a hot day or the large root beer mug sign outside of the restaurant.
Soon, people will be able to take a bottle of the dinette's homemade root beer home with them. The dinette is holding a release party of its bottled root beer sometime in mid- to late-August.
"Dad and I have been wanting to do this since before we took over in 2015," general manager Kenna Bogue said of her and dinette owner Jody Bogue. "People often order traditional drinks like Pepsi products, but we by far sell more root beer. It's our most popular drink."
The dinette's tradition of homemade root beer dates back to when the restaurant was part of the Frostop franchise beginning in 1963. Frostop Drive-Ins were most popular in the 1950s and '60s and were well-known for their creamy root beer and large root beer mug signs. Fast food led to Frostop's decline in the 1970s.
SDLqWhen that ended, we continued to make our own root beer," Bogue said.
A company in Louisburg, Kan., will bottle the dinette's root beer, which will be sold individually or in a pack of four.
"We gave them our recipe," Bogue said. "The hardest part about all of this has been trusting someone to make the root beer exactly like we do."
The root beer will initially be sold in the restaurant, although the Bogues aren't ruling out selling the root beer elsewhere in the years to come.
"The biggest reason we wanted to bottle our root beer is so people can take a piece of Hannibal home with them," Bogue said.