Using root beer syrup (either from the Ely A&W, the grocery store or ordered in bulk through the Boy Scout Base), sugar and yeast, Dorothy took the clear, cold water from Knife Lake to home-brew her very own root beer. Her recipe was not a secret (and is available at the museum) but the end product did have tendency to vary. The carbonation came from the yeast processing, or fermenting, the sugar, thus creating bubbles. Dorothy’s recipe called for the bottles to “sit” and ferment for three days up to two weeks depending on the temperatures.
Her home-made root beer production ballooned to between 11,000 and 12,000 bottles produced annually! It makes sense that people knew her far and wide by the moniker, The Root Beer Lady.
Today, the Dorothy Molter Museum continues Dorothy’s tradition of making root beer. Although it is not brewed with Knife Lake water and made in small, 8-gallon batches, the museum brews and sells over 100,000 bottles of its Isle of Pines Root Beer annually.
To learn more about Dorothy’s root beer legacy, or to purchase your own Isle of Pines Root Beer, click on the icons below: