August 6 is National Root Beer Float Day! Root beer floats are a favorite summertime staple and we have Frank J. Wisner to thank for them. Wisner, owner of Colorado’s Cripple Creek Brewing, created the drink after realizing that the snowy peaks on Colorado’s Cow Mountain reminded him of ice cream floating in soda. He combined root beer and vanilla ice cream, and called it the “Black Cow”, or more popularly known today as a root beer float.

Since the creation of the root beer float, other popular floats have been created such as:

Coke Float - Coca-Cola and vanilla ice cream

Boston Cooler - Ginger ale and vanilla ice cream

Purple Cow - Grape soda and vanilla ice cream

Orange Float - Orange soda and vanilla ice cream

Although root beer floats are rarely referred to as Black Cows anymore, there are still many variations of the classic float that carry on with the name. In fact, there’s a whole family of “cow” drinks including White Cows, Brown Cows and Black Cows, which are all slightly modified versions of root beer floats, depending on the region. If you Google “Black Cow Drink” you’ll find a variety of recipes. Some say it’s a root beer float with a chocolate syrup drizzle, while others consider it simply being a blended root beer float.

Now that you’ve been schooled in a brief history lesson, here are some of the best places in Oshkosh to enjoy a refreshing float (or cow).

A&W Restaurant

A&W Restaurant in Oshkosh is celebrating with FREE Root Beer Floats from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on August 6th. That’s right, FREE. No purchase necessary! However, donations are encouraged for the Disabled American Veterans.


Some things are better together and Culver’s creamy vanilla custard and signature root beer is a match made in heaven.

Ardy & Ed’s Drive-In

Voted #1 float in Oshkosh, Ardy & Ed’s Drive-In serves old fashion root beer and orange floats. Try them blended and enjoy a refreshing Black (or orange) Cow!


Rhapsodies Frozen Custard allows you to create your own float! Choose classic root beer or try something new to mix in with that creamy, vanilla custard.

So, root beer floats or Black Cows? Which do you prefer?

Stay the night in Oshkosh—click here for overnight options!