Slice of Amish Life: Cold Homemade Root Beer

Image credit: likeaduck/flickr

I am sure some of you are going to recognize this sign today. I would even call it semi-famous at this point by virtue of it being photographed so much due to its location. The sign is an advertisement for a long-running root beer business at an Amish farm just outside Intercourse, Pennsylvania, the heart of tourism in the country’s most-visited Amish settlement.

If you’ve driven highway 340 west out of Intercourse you’ve probably seen this quaint sign on the right-hand side of the road and maybe even stopped in to sample the beverage. I did so once some years ago. I believe this place is also on some of the guided tourist trip stops. The sign directs you down a long lane to an Amish dairy farm where you’ll find the cold root beer (and more).

A simple business, but I’ve wondered how much one can make selling homemade Amish root beer right outside arguably the biggest Amish tourist town in America. I bet it is a nice little sideline. When I google the address I get an “Olde Heritage Homemade Root Beer & Gift Shop” as the official name of this place. Here’s the “Our Story” description from a website featuring this business:

Olde Heritage is locally owned and operated by Elam & Naomi Fisher who, along with their family, have enjoyed serving their tasty homemade root beer to the visitors of their farm since 2000. The Fisher’s also appreciate the opportunity to share their wide variety of fresh baked goods, home canned preserves, and handcrafted gifts with those who appreciate authentic and unique market fare varieties.

So they have built a nice store around the root beer hook. The site also says they make small batches of root beer “nearly every day.” Here’s an additional collage showing some images of the shop and another view of the famous sign (in this shot the “No Sunday Sales” Amish-business-indicator is visible, unlike in the above photo where it’s obscured by snow):

If you find yourself thirsty for some homemade root beer in the vicinity of southeastern PA, it’s easy to find:

Olde Heritage Homemade
Root Beer & Gift Shop
3217 Old Philadelphia Pike
Ronks, PA 17572
(717) 768-8875

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    18 Comments

    1. Valora Glinski

      Recipe

      Do you have a root beer recipe?

      1. I don’t, sorry. Maybe someone else here does?

      2. Maureen

        Root Beer Recipe?

        Oh c’mon!!
        I’d love a root beer recipe !
        Can it really be made to taste delicious ?

        1. It is a drink I kind of have to be in the mood for. Not a go-to favorite but sometimes it hits the spot.

    2. Leslie Harris

      Slice of Amish Life: Cold Homemade Root Beer

      Now I’m thirsty for a cold root beer float. Mmmmm!

    3. Guest

      Yes, but do they make it with egg?

      I had homemade Root Beer at a German deli, and they said they put egg in it, for bounce or foam, or protein, or something. Really rich and yummy with a deli sandwich!

      1. Never heard of that (I don’t even have a clue how regular root beer is made)…first thought was yuck, second thought was well that might actually be not too bad. I’d try the egg version (as long as it has no egg-y taste).

    4. Lydia Good

      Root beer sign

      Who knew? I must have driven past that sign hundreds of times. I had no idea there was more to the sign than root beer. I think I’ll have to stop in there on a hot summer day and browse the quaint shop. Wonder why they don’t have a sign for their other items. Amazing, they even have a website. I love it.

      1. I don’t remember the shop being there when I stopped but it was a while ago and my memory of it is fuzzy. The root beer I think was tasty – well it doesn’t really stand out strongly in my mind either so I guess it was good enough 🙂 I think the site is run by non-Amish and promotes different Amish places. I like that the sign is for root beer only though you are right you’d think they would add notice of the other items. Maybe the sign has been updated lately (the photo I shared is from 2014).

    5. Wyvonne Sprewell Hobbs

      Amish Root Beer

      we go to Lancaster County almost every fall. The root beer is just below the temperature for freezing and it is very tasty. Just across the street from this sign is a sign for Fishers restaurant. It is a restaurant with a motel off to the side. We always eat at the restaurant. I have never stayed at the motel.

    6. Brent

      Good Root Beer

      I have had their root beer many times and it is very delicious. The family is very friendly. Drove by there today and they had a few cars stopping by.

    7. Eugenia McQueen

      Not root beer, but licorice

      Do you know where I could order REAL licorice? Not using an extract or anything other than the actual licorice plant to make the candy?

    8. Aj

      I was in the Lancaster settlement yesterday. I should have seen if any homemade root beer was sold at any of the places. What I noticed though, was that the southern part of the Lancaster settlement starting near Georgetown and which stretched deep into Chester near Elk Township and south into Maryland, there were almost no Amish stores. At least none that were advertised. It felt like it was a more conservative area than the popular tourist areas near Paradise and Intercourse. There were plenty of Amish yesterday, but very few Amish looking stores. All the back roads were filled with Amish traffic.

      Can someone give me some advice for Amish stores in the southern part of the Lancaster settlement?

      1. Amish businesses in the Southern End of Lancaster County

        That’s an interesting observation AJ. I have been to a dry goods place down there before but it was down a lane quite a ways and not especially well marked from what I remember. The Amish businesses in that direction no doubt get fewer English customers.

        On the site with this root beer business, I did come across a section for “Southern End” businesses. I think most of these listed are not Amish, but it looks like there are a few that are: https://reallancastercounty.com/community/southern/

        At least these two, by the looks of things:
        https://reallancastercounty.com/shops/art-crafts-hobbies-supplies/barbaras-stamping-delight-rubber-stamps-scrapbooking-supplies/

        https://reallancastercounty.com/markets-2/flowers-gardens/conestoga-valley-greenhouse/

    9. Jewels

      Slice of Amish Life

      I tasted homemade root beer from a place off Stumptown Rd. I thought how hard could it be? Found Root Beer extract (I think there is a recipe on the box) and attempted to make my own. It is harder than it appears. Mine was terrible!

    10. Jeff Baker

      Quick Roorbeer

      Quick Rootbeer

      2 C. White Sugar
      1 t. Yeast
      4 t. Rootbeer extract

      Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water for 15 min. Disolve sugar in 3 1/2 qts. water and extract while yeast sets. Mix together in 1 gal. jug. Let set in warm place for 1 day. Refrigerate.

      This is from Amish Country Cookbook Vol. 1 – Das Dutchman Essenhaus
      by – Betty Graber(Waitress)

      1. Maureen

        Root beer recipe

        Oh my!! I am so happy now.
        I’m off the next 2 days and guess who’s making root beer; just one guess.
        Thank you for the recipe !