Sprecher’s Giving Out Free Root Beer Floats and Trying to Set a World Record

With National Root Beer Float Day coming up, Sprecher Brewing Company has set an ambitious goal to set a world record.

The perfect amount of dessert meets the perfect amount of fizz. No wonder there’s an entire day devoted to celebrating the root beer float.

National Root Beer Float Day is this Thursday, and Sprecher Brewing Company is going the extra mile to help Milwaukee celebrate in style — and break some records in the process.

The Great Sprecher Root Beer Floatilla will run from noon to 8 p.m. on Thursday, at the brewery at 701 W. Glendale Ave. The brewery is equipped with enough fire-brewed root beer and Cedar Crest ice cream (both made with local ingredients) to serve up thousands of floats. The floats are free, but attendees are encouraged to donate to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin by texting FLOAT to 41444.



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Sprecher hopes to set a Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest Root Beer Float Drive-Thru, so simply by showing up you’ve got a chance to become part of a historic moment in ice cream history.

Speaking of history, where exactly did the root beer float come from? The story goes that 127 years ago, Cripple Creek Brewing owner Frank J. Wisner gazed at a snow-capped Colorado peak and was reminded of ice cream floating in soda. This moment led to the creation of the “Black Cow,” a.k.a. the root beer float. Maybe nature really is the greatest inspiration. (The story also goes that the ice cream soda had been invented a few years before, but Wisner is widely given credit for the root beer/vanilla combo.)

If you can’t make it out to Sprecher this Thursday, grab a glass and celebrate at home — you can pick up a tub of Cedar Crest and a bottle of Sprecher’s at several grocery stores in the area. Other local ice cream brands worth checking out include Purple Door and Scratch, which has a vegan vanilla option if you’d prefer a dairy-free float.

With most of our usual festivals canceled, Sprecher’s drive-thru aims to brighten up your socially distanced summer. After almost five months of quarantine, you might not think you need a root beer float, but you certainly deserve one.



Elizabeth Johnson is an editorial intern at Milwaukee Magazine and a journalism major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.