Back around 1919 a man named Roy Allen opened a roadside Root Beer stand in Lodi, California for a veterans parade, a common enough thing in those days when folks walked, took a trolley or drove a slow car and went to parades to honour their neighbours service. Apparently,
He had purchased his recipe from a pharmacist in
In 1922 Roy and Frank became partners and the Root Beer changed it’s name from Roy Allen’s Root Beer to the now well known A&W, for Allen and Wright. And there it has remained till this very day. A&W pioneered the drive-in with car hops in 1923, setting the stage for our modern fast food, drive-thru society
A lot has changed in the intervening years since
On hot Southern days we would sit in the car or at one of the outside tables and enjoy a nice cold mug of A&W Root Beer that had been made on the premises. I can clearly remember walking through the screen door into the place and smelling the fries, burgers and hot dogs of that now long gone place. Surrounded by tall trees that provided shade to all the folks who drove in to sample the fare, the A&W was just across the way from the
Like my now deceased and greatly missed Aunt Shirley the A&W has long since been replaced by something else. A Taco Bell now sits in the spot where generations of kids and families drove up to eat, drink and be merry. Some might call that progress, but I’m not one of those people. I find it strangely comforting, (in a vengeful sort of way) that the section of that town that was once so happy, clean and successful is now run down and anything but successful. There’s something satisfying when you see a venerable institution destroyed to make way for the new and progressive and then see that there are indeed karmic consequences. Physics applies across the universe. For every action there is an opposite and (usually) equal reaction. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Root Beer.
Now, on to the rating of A&W's latest offering. A "vintage" plastic bottle. Vintage to me would have been to offer it in a glass bottle but in this case plastic says it all. This is no freshly brewed Root Beer, such as we used to be offered at the A&W Drive-In's. No sir, this is mass produced Root Beer and gives you exactly what you expect from one. I'd let the kids drink it on a hot picnic kinda day but you'll never see this as a staple in my home.
Carbonation: Soda-like, almost too bubbly for a Root Beer.
Mouth Feel: Just shy of creamy. Almost creamy.
Root Beer Flavour: Modern Root Beer Flavour. It relies on sweetness to do the trick and not the complex Root Beer flavour.
Sweetness: Very sweet bordering on almost too sweet.
Head: No lasting head, no creaminess.
Aftertaste: Vanilla-like aftertaste. Becomes cloying after awhile. A short while.
Aroma: A decent Root Beer smell, easily identifiable as "Root Beer" in the modern world. Not displeasing, but lacking any character or complexity.
A&W Root Beer: 5