A&W Root Beer

Difford's Guide

Vintage: Non-vintage

Aged: Unaged

Product of: Product of United States United States

The A&W Root Beer business was established in 1919 by Roy W. Allen when he opened a roadside root beer stand in Lodi, California, using a formula he purchased from a pharmacist. In 1922 he partnered with Frank Wright and their combined initials formed the brand name "A&W".

In 1924, Allen bought Wright's share, and began one of the first franchised restaurant chains in America. He sold the syrup exclusively to the franchise owners to ensure quality. By 1950 when Allen retired and sold the business, more than 450 A&W Root Beer stands were operating. The company went through several changes of ownership and the brand only became available in groceries for the first time in 1971 under the ownership of United Brands. It is now owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group.

Review and Tasting

Sampled on 02/06/2014


Clear, deep tawny brown with ruby glints (no head).


Chocolate and coffee, mild antiseptic-like sarsaparilla and faint wisps of smoke.


Very sweet, burnt caramel, sarsaparilla with vanilla and faint raspberry jam notes.


More sarsaparilla emerges in the finish with chocolate and vanilla.

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Product Information

Closure: Ring-pull can

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