A&W Restaurants Returns to Freshly Made Root Beer
In a testament to its original craft beverage roots, freshly made Root Beer is now being served at all A&W restaurant locations across the globe, including 630 in the U.S. The beverage is created through a mixture of the brand’s top-secret blend of spices, real cane sugar and water to create the signature A&W taste. This summer the last U.S. restaurants pouring Root Beer made from a pre-mixed bag switched to mixing it fresh.
“Our commitment to serve made-fresh root beer in all of our restaurants signifies a return to our company roots, when our founders Roy Allen and Frank Wright introduced it at a parade honoring World War I veterans. This beverage has been the cornerstone of our brand identity for almost 100 years, and we are proud to once again make it in each restaurant and serve it fresh,” said Sarah Blasi, vice president of Marketing. “Consumers today clearly prefer fresh, hand-crafted food and beverages,” she said. “The move to making root beer fresh in each and every one of our locations is a key part of our strategy to continuously improve the quality of everything on our menu.”
The switch to bagged concentrate was a cost- and space-saving move made back in the early 2000s by previous ownership. At the time, large kettles and paddles were required to make the beverage from scratch. The kettles took up needed space and required constant mixing from employees. A&W found a solution in a new auto-mixer, which is smaller, requires far less labor and makes root beer from scratch in much less time.
“Our root beer, like our brand, is iconic, and we want to treat our signature beverage with as much love as we can,” Blasi said. “Now that A&W’s root beer is again made fresh in-house in 100% of our restaurants, it can rightfully assume its position as an original, all American craft beverage.”
In 1919, Roy Allen set up a roadside drink stand in Lodi, California, to introduce a new beverage at a parade in honor of World War I veterans. An instant success, Allen and partner Frank Wright named the beverage A&W® Root Beer and started franchising roadside stands. A&W Root Beer is still made fresh in the restaurants from real cane sugar, water and a proprietary blend of herbs, bark, spices, and berries that are served in a frosty mug alongside burgers, fries, hand-breaded chicken tenders and other All American Food® favorites. There are nearly 1,000 locations worldwide.