University of Texas Arlington

Triple XXX Root Beer Collection:

A Guide



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Triple XXX Root Beer Corporation.
Title: Triple XXX Root Beer Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1927-2011
Abstract: Triple XXX Root Beer is a historic Texas soft drink. It originated at the Galveston Brewery Company in the early 1900s and by 1923, boasted 150 distributors and 100 "thirst stations" (drive-ins) nationwide. This collection provides an insight into the company's 100+ year history, photographs of the Galveston brewery and 1930s restaurants in Indiana, and 2011 artifacts including a bottle, four and six bottle cartons, bottle cap key chain/bottle opener, and ink pen.
Identification: Unprocessed mss. 2011-82
Extent: 1 box (0.2 linear ft.)
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library

Historical Note

The origin of Triple XXX Root Beer lies in Galveston, Texas. The Galveston Brewing Company was established in 1895 by the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association of St. Louis. The brewery's annual production of 100,000 barrels of beer was sold locally under the name Hi-Grade. Its keg beer was distributed in steel banded oak barrels marked XXX. The brewery survived the 1900 Galveston hurricane and resumed production of the Hi-Grade beer for local consumption. An ice plant capable of producing 100 tons of ice per day and a bottling plant were constructed by 1913. The company diversified by developing a line of soft drink syrups including root beer, ginger ale, lemon, orange, chocolate, cream soda, grape and apple juice, all sold under the XXX brand. U. S. Patent Office registration records show the XXX trademark in continual use since at least April 1908.

The State of Texas closed the Galveston brewery in 1916 in anticipation of Prohibition. The company was renamed Southern Beverage Company and the brewery equipment was converted to produce XXX soft drinks, primarily root beer and ginger ale. After World War I, Southern Beverage Company registered an additional trademark, Triple XXX, for its line of soft drinks and adopted the slogan, "The Aristocrat of Them All!" By 1923, the Triple XXX brand had 150 bottlers and 100 "thirst stations" (drive-ins) operating throughout the country. The corporate structure of the Triple XXX company changed several times in the subsequent decades of the 20th century, including the acquisition of controlling interest by Dr. Pepper Bottling Company of Orange, Texas, in 1969. The Triple XXX Root Beer brand, bottling rights and root beer recipe were acquired from Lee Lydick on January 1, 2008, by Greg and Carrie Ehresman of West Lafayette, Indiana. Their Triple XXX Family Restaurant in West Lafayette is the sole remaining official Triple XXX Root Beer restaurant. Dublin Dr. Pepper Bottling Company distributes Triple XXX Root Beer in Texas.


Scope and Contents

Corporate history, photographs, artifacts. This small but delightful collection traces the history of Triple XXX Root Beer to its roots in Galveston, Texas, in 1895. There six photographs including a 1927 view of Triple XXX Bottling Works company in Galveston, four images of Triple XXX drive-ins in Indiana in the 1930s, and a 1950s era menu. Artifacts include a 2011 Triple XXX Root Beer bottle, four and six bottle cartons, a bottle cap key chain/bottle opener, and a ball point pen.


Restrictions

Access

Open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.


Index Terms

These materials are indexed under the following headings in the catalog of The University of Texas at Arlington Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Organizations
Triple XXX Root Beer Corporation.
Subjects
Soft drinks--Texas.
Places
Galveston (Tex.)--History.
Alternate Titles
Historical Manuscript Collection

Related Material

00185 AR317: Basil Clemons Photograph Collection. Photograph of Triple XXX Root Beer stand in Breckenridge, Texas, 1926, is located in Box 18, Folder 10.


Administrative Information

Provenance

Gift of Triple XXX Root Beer Corporation, 2011.

Citation

Triple XXX Root Beer Collection, Unprocessed mss. 2011-82, Box Number, Folder Number, Special Collections, The University of Texas at Arlington Library.

Acquisition

Gift, 2011.

Accessioned as number 2011-82.