Crack open a cold one

Couple holding a case of root beer in a candy and snack store.
Suzanne and Scott Ramsey’s creation, Uncle Scott’s All Natural Root Beer, finally made its way back to Scott’s hometown, making its debut at Grandpa Joe’s Candy Store. Scott, a 1975 Mt. Lebanon grad, lives in North Carolina, and has been brewing the root beer since 2007.

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned root beer.

The foam.

The flavor.

It takes you back to being a kid.

That’s exactly the reaction the makers of Uncle Scott’s All Natural Root Beer hope you’ll have.

The “Scott” in Uncle Scott’s All Natural Root Beer is 1975 Mt. Lebanon High School graduate Scott Ramsey. He lives in Mooresville, North Carolina, now with his wife, Suzanne, who runs the root beer business. Uncle Scott’s is an old-fashioned style root beer, with herbs, spices and pure cane sugar as the only ingredients. “You can come close with synthetics, but you just can’t knock it out of the park with flavor. Real ingredients make all the difference in the world,” Suzanne said.

The Ramseys have been brewing Uncle Scott’s since 2007. It wasn’t until a few months ago that you could find it in Mt. Lebanon. That’s when  Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop on Washington Road started selling it.

The Ramseys were ecstatic to learn their root beer was being sold in Scott’s hometown when a friend found it at Grandpa Joe’s and sent them a text message. “I freaked out! I’m sitting there on my phone. I thought for a second: Did that say what I thought it did?  And, I just screamed, ‘Oh my gosh, finally!’” Suzanne said.

Root beer is a family tradition for Scott. As a young boy, he used to make root beer concentrate for family gatherings, and his grandfather also brewed root beer. “It was a very traditional drink for an older part of the country,” Scott said.

“Since Scott is from here and Pittsburgh loves root beer, of all the places, here was so important,” said Suzanne.

In addition to all Pittsburgh area Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shops, Uncle Scott’s All Natural Root Beer is also available in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Florida. There’s even a deli in the Czech Republic and a couple of delis in Spain that carry it, too.

You can also order Uncle Scott’s All Natural Root Beer online.

Photography by John Schisler