Hires Root Beer, from its debut in the mid-1870s, was sold as a refreshing beverage (with no medicinal expectations). The name, chosen by Charles H. Hires, to appeal to tough coal miners, who’d never find “root tea” attractive, ended up causing Hires Co. a bit of trouble with Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). Who knew that “beer” in a name, and the common knowledge that root beer extract was percolated with alcohol (though the finished drink had no more than a whole loaf of homemade bread), to cause banning of the beverage?
At the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Charles Louis Fleishmann offered pieces of freshly baked bread made with the world’s very first commercially prepared yeast from an exhibit modeled after a Vienna Bakery. An increase demand for Fleischmann’s yeast soon followed,Â bringing about the building of Fleischmann plants in New York. In this article, I share five key concepts about 19th century bread baking that stood out as surprising key concepts–and I’m a bread baker…so finding myself caught off guard by such research was really something.