Retro Root Beer Bottles!

Not really Halloween but all around awesome, I wanted to spend a few moments talking about these fantastic looking Retro Root Beer Bottles that came into my possession the other day. While on a small road trip I stumbled across this smallish looking local hardware store. And when I find places such as these I have to stop!

I'm sure you know the kind of location. Tucked away in the middle of Main Street, USA. Surviving off the sale of lord-knows-what. There dusty corners often neglected and long forgotten. Over the years morphed from simple power tools and nails to housing little bits of everything and nothing in particular.

And each store is always completely different, you never quite know what you'll find. This particular store had a gigantic shelf of strange retro themed soda bottles. Why? Because logic serves no purpose in these mom and pop establishments.

The shelf was a thing of beauty, too Featuring probably twenty different themed flavors of root beer and other generic brands of cola. I'd never heard of any of them but somehow each bottle was more amazing than the next!

I wanted to purchase them all but at three-something a piece they were priced at least double what they probably should have been. So after much deliberation I settled upon my two favorites of the entire bunch. Here is a quick rundown of each:

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Frostie Root Beer caught my attention first, because I'm a sucker for anything with a winter theme. If these were available during the holiday season I'd buy them in the masses... regardless of price.

I'm particularly fond of the little Frostie mascot guy. Kind of looking like a cross between an Elf and the Old Man from the Legend of Zelda games. You know the one. The first time you seen him lurking about in that cave you tried to kill him, then ran in horror as those seemingly innocent lighted pillars shot flames directly at your face.

Now I will be the first to admit, I probably should have split this into two different entries and saved Frostie Root Beer for the coming holiday season. The bottle would no doubt look fantastic sitting outside in a hefty pile of snow, and does seem a little out of place here in the 2013 Halloween Countdown. But... the chances of me being motivated enough to write about root beer for a second time in a couple months are slim.

So you get Frostie now rather than later. It's not like half the retail stores don't currently have Christmas Decorations up already anyhow!

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Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer was the other bottle that I picked up and man alive is it ever the current coolest thing that I own. It's also the bottle that gives us just enough of a spooky design to consider this a Halloween Countdown entry.

Each time I pick out my favorite aspect of this bottle I find like seventeen other things that peak my interest even more. Let's start with the obvious one first. The awesome motherfucking pirate logo!

Looking like something directly lifted from set production on The Goonies, I don't think I have ever seen a logo that I want to get tattooed on my arm more than this one. Pirate skulls are pretty badass as is, this one in particular goes above and beyond the call of duty by having an eyepatch and a headband... a headband with a drawing of another skull on it! That's skull on skull action, folks. Even more bonus points are awarded for the bloodshot eyeball.

Taglines come up next. Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer has more of them than any one single product probably should. Each somehow stranger than the next. "Third time available in 420 Years" is easily the most normal phrase of the bunch. I'm a sucker for completely outrageous claims such as these, imagining that if I was ten years old again that I would have completely bought into this statement. To the point that I'd probably have treated Jack Black's like some sort of fine wine and saved it for a special occasion

"Once you've had Jack black you'll never go back!" is a second tagline, this time without the extra capitalization on the word "black" ... which sort of brings to point what exactly the name of this drink is supposed to mean.

Is it a play on Jack Black the famous actor / comedian? Perhaps it pure coincidence that it share the name of a recognizable Hollywood star. Then again it could have been done on purpose. If so, why did they write it differently in the smaller text than the main logo? If Jack Black's Dead Red Root Beer was a major motion picture, we'd need a sequel just to get the answer to all these questions!

"Better DEAD RED than just plain DEAD!" is yet another tagline found on this label and may be my personal favorite of the bunch. It's one of those statements that sort of makes sense but only if you don't really think about it. Why the hell is it better to be DEAD RED as opposed to just flat out DEAD? I've no idea. It would make an awesome inscription on a tombstone, however.

The last phrase is found on the rim of the bottlecap, "Once you've JACKED BLACK you'll never go back!" is like a fantastic alternative take on one of the bottles other catchphrases. One that I highly enjoy, if for no other reason than the vaguely implied sexual innuendo it suggests you have with Jack Black... either the comedian or this bottle. I've no idea what's going on anymore.

All in all for a couple random bottles that I found in some stupid hardware store, these things turned out quite interesting. I've no real motivation to open either of them up and drink them. If I had to guess... root beer is root beer and both of them probably taste exactly the same.

Either way these bottles were not built for drinking ... they were bought for sticking on a shelf and glancing at once every six months. It's the best almost seven dollars I've ever spent on two soft drinks, if I do say so myself!


  1. I have a recipe for homemade root beer. Now I just have to design a label, right?

    I love those bottles! Where did you get them?


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