This Root Beer Float Is a Glass of Nostalgia in Delaware

Matt's Fish Camp gives the classic root beer float a fun twist with additions of stout and cold espresso.

Libation of the Month

Root Beer Float

Where to Find It

All SoDel Concepts restaurants including the four Matt’s Fish Camp locations. Visit

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Ice cream fads come and go, but the root beer float has topped the charts since 1893. Generations have wielded a straw and spoon to savor every drop of the frothy confection. However, soda fountain operator Robert McCay Green was the first to put a scoop in a soda. In 1874, he ran out of ice and used ice cream instead. Behold the ice cream soda.

root beer float
Courtesy of Social Concepts

Two years later, pharmacist Charles Elmer Hires invented root beer, but it wasn’t until 1893 that Frank J. Wisner of Colorado’s Cripple Creek Brewing added vanilla ice cream. Wisner was inspired by the moon over snowcapped Cow Mountain, and he named the drink the Black Cow Mountain. His patrons, however, shortened it to the Black Cow. Most Americans, however, know the drinkable dessert as the root beer float.

At Matt’s Fish Camp restaurants in coastal Sussex County, bartenders use root beer from the Matt’s Sodas line, which also includes cola, orange-vanilla and cream flavors. Want a grownup version? Ask for a beer float made with cold Guinness stout, chocolate ice cream and cold espresso.

Related: This Rose is Ideal for Clean Drinking in Delaware

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