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Boy’s ‘ice cold beer’ stand prompts calls to police — turns out to be root beer

A young entrepreneur in Utah caught the attention of local authorities for an audacious sign advertising

Along a local Utah roadside, a young boy caught the attention of locals and their police department, with a bold sign in big, black letters that read “ICE COLD BEER.”

Upon further investigation, authorities determined that the young entrepreneur’s business was not illegal—just ingenious.

“Yep, he’s selling beer … ROOT BEER, that is,” reads a post on the Brigham City Police Department’s Facebook page.

With school out of session, Seth, 11, needed to find something to occupy his time. His last name has been omitted to protect his privacy at the request of his mother.

“Well my mom and dad wanted me to get out of the house,” Seth tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I was at the store where they sell beer, and I remembered root beer. So I figured out a joke about beer but it’s actually root beer.”

On July 15, Seth set up shop at the side of a road in Brigham City, Utah. His seemingly audacious sign first caught the attention and concern of local residents, who believed the minor was illegally selling alcohol — in front of a church, no less.

Seth says people passing by either responded by “laughing” or “calling the cops.”

“Some people think it’s actual liquor,” the 11-year-old explained.

After receiving several reports about the boy’s stand, the local Brigham City Police Department dispatched an officer to investigate the matter. However, all authorities found upon arrival was a marketing “genius.”

Upon further inspection of the sign, the word “root” is written in a small green script above the large letters that read, “BEER.” And so, as it turned out, there were no alcoholic beverages involved— just IBC Root Beer.

“It’s just a fantastic marketing ploy on the young man’s part,” Brigham Lt. Tony Ferderber tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I think he’s a genius. I think he’s doing a great job.”

The Brigham Police Department later posted a photo of the boy on Facebook, on July 16, applauding his marketing creativity.

“His marketing strategy has resulted in several calls to the BCPD, but apparently it’s paid off as business has been good,” reads the Facebook post.

The sweltering summer days have helped, as, according to local station KTSM, the average temperature topped 90 degrees the day the boy first set up shop, on July 15. Seth’s mother, Alexis, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that on July 15, they only sold three root beers. As soon as the post hit Facebook, Seth sold a 24-pack and has had to “quadruple his merchandise.”

“I learned how to sort the money and to rebuy more supplies,” Seth says. “And I’ve learned about profit and loss.”

In addition to garnering even more sales from locals, the post has earned Seth praise and encouragement to keep up the “sweet sales.”

“My son will DEFINITELY be there tomorrow to buy his root BEER! Brilliant,” one Facebook user commented on the post.

“Awesome! Way to go ! Genius! We need more young entrepreneurs,” another user commented, with others adding the boy had a future in advertising.

Although the his future in business is looking bright, Alexis says Seth is also considering a career in law. But for now, the profits from his root beer stand will go towards Boy Scouts, his savings, buying necessities for school, and — of course — “reinvesting in the business,” says Alexis.

For those looking to purchase some “ICE COLD BEER” from Seth, one Facebook user who bought out all his goods assured his future customers, “No children were harmed in the selling of this ROOT beer.”