Brands of Montana Story Inspirations: Barbara Brand’s Homemade Root Beer

Brands of Montana Story Inspirations: Barbara Brand’s Homemade Root Beer

My readers may notice that I have Barbara Brand, matriarch of the Brand family, make homemade root beer for the family when they visit Bent Tree Ranch. It’s not just some miscellaneous detail I pulled out of nowhere. It’s actually one of the deep-seated fond memories from the childhood trip that’s the basis of so much in my Brands of Montana books.

On that vacation, I got my first taste of homemade root beer. Like most kids (I assume), I loved root beer when I was young (and still do). But like so many, all I ever knew of root beer was the artificially flavored mass-produced stuff. I never imagined root beer any other way.

Until that one fateful day, when the ranch owner’s wife opened my eyes to a whole new root beer experience. After a full day of horseback riding in the mountains of Montana, hot, dirty, fatigued, and really thirsty (like a real cowgirl!), I shuffled back to the farmhouse to get something to drink. I was offered an ice-cold glass of homemade root beer.

Wow. I couldn’t get enough of it! I drank as many glasses as my stomach could handle. The subtle notes of vanilla, cinnamon, and molasses tingled so wonderfully in my mouth. I look back now and wish I’d had the forethought at 12 to get that recipe.

So, homemade root beer is one of those amazing memories I strongly connect to Montana. It seems inevitable to me that it would figure into my Brands of Montana series. And you know what? Writing this has got me to thinkin’…

I should try to make my own homemade root beer. I just found this recipe online that I’m going to use. If you give it a try—or even better, if you have your own homemade root beer recipe—please email me and tell me about it!

Haven’t read a Brands of Montana book yet? What are you waiting for? Get one for less than the cost of a good root beer float – unless you followed Barbara’s recipe and made it yourself!

Purchase a Brands of Montana Book at Harlequin


Joanna Sims is proud to pen contemporary romance for Harlequin Special Edition. Joanna's series, The Brands of Montana, feature hard-working characters with hometown values. You are cordially invited to join The Brands of Montana as they wrangle their own happily-ever-afters!

Joanna's contemporary romance novels captivate readers with their gripping plots, vivid prose, and devotion to love, realism, relatable characters, and detailed depictions of all the ups and downs that lead to a happily-ever-after.

About The Author

Sign up now!

Learn about the Brand family, get insights into Joanna's real-life inspirations, and find out about special events and offers in a monthly email from the author.

Connect on Facebook!

Add some Wild West zest to your news feed with romantic, sexy, and uplifting posts from Joanna. It's also a great way to keep up with the author and the Brands!