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Dad’s Root Beer offered at College cafeteria

Alicia Smith | Monday, November 16, 2009

Gone are the days of the Pepsi and Coca Cola oligopoly in Saint Mary’s Dining Hall. A new beverage choice has been introduced this semester, and for one student, it has a special place in her heart.

Dad’s Root Beer reminds senior Micki Hedinger of home. Her father, Keith Hedinger is the president and CEO of the company, which is located in Jasper, Ind. 

“I am sure students are enjoying the wider variety of soda options in the dining hall,” she said.

According to Hedinger, the brand was established 72 years ago. However, according to a press release, Hedinger Brands, LLC did not purchase the company until 2007.

Since that time the company has been making a comeback, and has grown by 21 percent in 2008. By the end of 2009, the company is projected to dispense three million cases of product in the United States, growing 26 percent.

“Today there is a lot of interest in nostalgic and retro brands. Root beer is a unique flavor and simple pleasure, which combined with ice cream (a root beer float) or milk (a black cow) makes an inexpensive dessert,” Keith Hedinger said in a press release.

Dad’s Root Beer does not just offer root beer. Instead the company offers several varieties of cream sodas including blue, red, orange and original.

“I think Dad’s Root Beer is a simply unique. It’s a root beer that has been around for 72 years, and was the second most popular root beer in America in 1986,” Micki Hedinger said.

Hedinger said she enjoyed having Dad’s Root Beer at the College, and said she believed other students enjoy it too.

“It is great having Dad’s Root Beer in the dining hall. What’s not to love about having the root beer right next to the ice cream machine — Dad’s Root Beer Floats! It’s like having a little taste of home in the dining hall,” Hedinger said.

In honor of Senior Dad’s Weekend — an annual event at the College — Hedinger and her father hosted a root beer float party along with the Student Activities Board featuring Dad’s Root Beer. 

Seniors and their fathers were invited to partake in the party, as well as a variety of other events throughout the weekend such as a formal dinner, a game watch at the College Football Hall of Fame and karaoke.