I'll round out my reviews of the juggernauts of root beer that i have sampled recently with this one. And i mean it for realsies this time... if you haven't heard of or tried this one, you have a shallow and meaningless life that you should probably just go ahead and end sometime in the near future. A&W was started in 1919, the same blessed year IBC began brewing root beer. This is the big one kids. I would wager that this is probably the best known root beer in the country, and possibly on the planet. They are such a big deal that they landed the website domain name rootbeer.com. Quite a catch, if you ask me. A&W gets it's name from the two founders, Roy Allen and Frank Wright. They combined the first letters of their last names to create A&W. Allen eventually bought out Wright and started a franchise restaurant to sell hamburgers along with his root beer. A&W has since basically become the McDonald's of root beer. There are still A&W fast food restaurants around. The food is ok, but the root beer is the real draw and appeal. There is a lot more history about the company on their site, so if you'd like to do a little research of your own, feel free.
Again, i picked this up at a gas station in a 20 oz. plastic bottle, although it's not your typical plastic bottle. It has a different shape to it which is unique to A&W (as far as plastic bottles go). The logo is displayed on a background made to look like a barrel. Again, i don't particularly care for the plastic bottles, so this one isn't a big deal to me. I think of any of the bigger named root beers though, this shouldn't be too difficult to find in a 12 oz. glass bottle. I could be wrong, and if i am, you're pathetic for wasting your time just trying to prove me wrong. It doesn't mean you're cooler or smarter than me, it just means you need a hobby. Or a girlfriend, but i doubt you're attractive enough to find someone who will tolerate the sight of you. But thanks for being a loyal reader regardless.
Addendum 7/25/2010: well look here, i found it in a glass bottle. It wasn't too difficult either. There is a place in Los Angeles called Galco's that sells A&W in glass bottles.
Also, i found a bottle of A&W BBQ sauce while i was in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and i thought it was kinda funny. They actually have several different sauces flavored with various sodas and liquors. I didn't try it or anything, but i am a fan of A&W as well as a fan of BBQ. So maybe i'll mail order some to try it out. I get the feeling it just tastes like BBQ sauce though.
Addendum 7/1/2016: I also just found these new A&W flavored Pop Tarts. Gimmicky, but they did pretty good on the taste. Not terrible. I took them on a camping trip and we had them for breakfast. The only thing that would have made them better would be to wash them down with some IBC.
I don't need to go on and on about how A&W tastes. It's good, we all know that. I will say it reminded me a lot of Stewart's with a nice carmel finish. It can't be as popular as it is by tasting gross, right? So they have to be doing something right. I will see other reviewers from time to time talk about how A&W isn't even good, it's just a low end mass produced root beer. I have a term for these people; root beer snobs. They are the same people who turn their nose up at your favorite band or movie because it's so trendy, and then list off several bands or movies no one has ever heard of to validate their own need to be individual and break away from the mainstream. Seriously, i know people have different tastes, but stop being a tool and putting down a good, classic and original root beer to promote others that no one has ever heard of so you can "express your individuality". No one cares what you think, they care what i think. And further more, no one takes your opinions seriously when you start out by downgrading a perfectly good root beer like this.
My official review is that A&W gets 7 (seven) IBCs. I am sure most people will feel this rating is more than fair. I still have my favorites, but i will acknowledge good taste when i come across it. It's a good soda, people. It's all over the place. Get one. I recommend it.
p.s. if you REALLY want to know what the worst band currently performing is, click here. It's true, they're so trendy and lame. Someone needs to stop them.
Man... i'm so awesome.