Hires Root Beer is the second oldest continuously made soft drink in the United States after Vernors Ginger Ale, which first appeared in 1866. Hires got it start a decade later in 1876. I am sure their was a lot of stuff going on in the United States during the Civil war. But it seems an odd time to introduce a Ginger Ale. While people are battling to hold the country together, Vernor is up in Detroit mixing ginger into fizzy water. So good on Charles Elmer Hires for waiting till 1876 and Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition to introduce the world to his delicious Root Beer.