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The History of Root Beer Floats

Frank Wisner, the owner of Cripple Creek Cow Mountain Gold Mining Company in Colorado, is generally credited with inventing the root beer float. The story goes that on one night in August 1893, Wisner was looking out the window while thinking about the root beer sodas he was creating at the time. He noticed the moon shining over the snow-capped Cow Mountain and was reminded of a scoop of ice cream. Reportedly, the sight inspired him to drop scoops of vanilla ice cream into Myers Avenue Red Root Beer the next day. The result? A frothy, creamy beverage that tasted exactly like what it was — a combination of root beer and ice cream. The locals quickly became fans and the drink was originally known as the “Black Cow.” Today, we know it as a root beer float. Over time, the drink gained popularity all across the country and is still enjoyed in many areas today, particularly during the summer months. There’s even a National Root Beer Float Day celebrated each August!

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