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Mug Root Beer
Product typeRoot beer
OwnerPepsiCo (1986–present)
Produced byNew Century Beverage Co.
Introduced1940; 84 years ago (1940)
Previous ownersBelfast Beverage Co.

Mug Root Beer is an American brand of root beer that was originally produced in 1940 under the name Belfast Root Beer. It is now made by New Century Beverage Company of San Francisco, California, which was acquired by PepsiCo in 1986.[1][2]


Mug Root Beer was originally sold under the name Belfast Root Beer in 1940 by the Belfast Beverage Company in San Francisco, California. The company had been known for making sparkling water and ginger ale since 1877.[3] Belfast Beverage Company was purchased around 1925 by New Century Beverage Company, which had successfully launched Crush Soda in 1918.

In 1936, New Century Beverage Company gained permission to franchise Pepsi-Cola products, and about four years later, it launched Belfast Root Beer. An advertisement for Belfast Root Beer appears as early as 1947.[4] According to the San Francisco Examiner, the catchphrase, 'You haven't tasted Root Beer like this in years!' filled 1950s newspaper advertisements."[3] An advertisement for Belfast Old Fashioned Mug Root Beer appears as early as 1952.[5] In the 1950s, the soda took on the title Belfast Old Fashioned Mug Root Beer before its name was eventually shortened to Mug Root Beer.[3]

In the late 1960s, Sugar Free Mug (now Diet Mug Root Beer) was introduced.[6] Mug Cream Soda and Diet Mug Cream Soda were later introduced, but they are not as widely available. Mug was purchased by Pepsi in 1986, and replaced On-Tap Draft Style Root Beer as Pepsi's root beer brand.[6] Mug Root Beer is manufactured by independent bottlers under the authority of New Century Beverage Company.

Since Mug Root Beer's acquisition by PepsiCo in 1986, the company's mascot has been a bulldog named "Dog" holding a mug of Mug Root Beer.[3] PepsiCo stopped producing its sodas in San Francisco in the early 1990s.[3]


  1. ^ "Mug Root Beer | PepsiCo Partners". Archived from the original on 2021-10-30. Retrieved 2021-12-28.
  2. ^ "THE MEDIA BUSINESS - ADVERTISING - Lois Pitts Gershon Pon Wins Mug Root Beer -". The New York Times. 2015-05-25. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 2022-04-06.
  3. ^ a b c d e Guerrero, Susana (October 2, 2021). "The brief story of how one of America's favorite root beer brands started in San Francisco". SFGate. Archived from the original on March 13, 2022. Retrieved March 13, 2022. At that point, Mug Root Beer became part of the Pepsi family, which later got rid of the root beer vessel completely and opted for a bulldog — quirkily named "Dog" — as its new soda mascot.
  4. ^ September 24, 1947, Bakersfield Californian, p. 7 (available at
  5. ^ March 4, 1952, Mountain Democrat, p. 5 (available at
  6. ^ a b Mug Root Beer Archived 2013-11-27 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved August 22, 2012.