Red Arrow Root Beer is a Classic Michigan Pop You’ve Probably Never Tasted Before
Say the name Red Arrow around West Michigan and you'll likely think about Red Arrow Highway through Berrien and Van Buren County, or the Red Arrow High School athletic conference. Perhaps you'll visualize Kalamazoo's Red Arrow golf course or any number of things named Red Arrow in Michigan. But you might not think of Red Arrow root beer. The classic Michigan soda is now extremely rare in the Wolverine State and brewed on the other side of the country in Washington.
Kalamazoo's Rocket Fizz shop carries Red Arrow and we wanted to learn as much as we could about the brand.
Red Arrow root beer was brewed by the Red Arrow Bottling Company in Detroit. The RootBeerStore.com which once featured Red Arrow as its root beer of the month. Says it was brewed in the 1940s and 1950s out of a factory on Church Street in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood. In addition to the root beer, Red Arrow made a lemon-lime flavor known as Morning After.
Now brewed by Orca in Washington State, they tell the story of the Red Arrow Division that gave its name to so many Michigan things and the taste of Red Arrow root beer:
Red Arrow Root Beer originated in Michigan and known for its authentic root beer flavor. Made with hints of wintergreen and licorice and a spice kick to pull the full flavor together. Folklore says that Red Arrow came from the Red Arrow, or 32nd Infantry Division of National Guardsmen from both Michigan and Wisconsin that fought bravely in WWI and II. Due to this honorable history, Red Arrow has become a very popular name in the Michigan area. The name has been given to many landmarks and establishments. There is even the historic U.S. Highway 12 that has been renamed the Red Arrow Highway to honor the men of the Red Arrow Division.
Vintage soft drinks, of course, are not the only brands that have disappeared. Here are many once-memorable ones:
LOOK: 50 Famous brands that no longer exist
Gallery Credit: Liz Barrett Foster