Does anyone remember Safeway Select sodas? They were sold at Safeway (go figure) and were extremely inexpensive. I remember the vending machines being 25 cents instead of 50 cents, so that was incentive enough to buy the soda, even though it wasn't that great. Well guess what... as far as i can tell, Safeway Select sodas have completely vanished from the market. It's a devastating loss i know, but it looks like Safeway has created a new line of "named" sodas to try and rebuild its image in the soft drink circles. So basically, this is just Safeway's new brand of root beer, and the good news is *spoiler alert!* it's a lot better than Safeway Select root beer. I hope i didn't give too much away there. Anyway, this was kinda hard to track down on the site, but it's helpful for all you calorie counters out there. And as you can see, it's still very inexpensive. And just another quick comment on the Safeway website, this store has lost HUGE amounts of credibility in my book. They sell IBC, but list it under "Interstate Brands Corporation" instead of "Independent Breweries Company". Come on Safeway, that's WAY off. This is why i didn't want to review store brand root beers in the first place. You're not devoted to the cause of root beer. I mean, that's not even close. Get with it Safeway. You're on notice.
I picked this up in the 2 liter bottle, although it's also available in cans. I didn't want to commit myself to a potentially bad root beer 12 times though, so the 2 liter bottle was the way to go for me (plus it was cheaper). The label reminds me of those old wood panel cars you see in 1960s surfer movies. It's pin striped with a couple different colors of brown and has a wooden background crest with the brand name plastered across in 1960's diner style font. Takes me back to my childhood... Ok, so not really. I was born in 1981, but i did see Back to the Future, and Michael J Fox went back to that time period so i could witness it second hand, so don't act like i don't know what i'm talking about. Geez... the things i have to put up with for being famous...
Well we already know Parker's has Safeway Select beat, but how does it measure up in the grand scheme of things? Surprisingly, Parker's holds its ground very well. It's a good root beer. Not really original, but good. I would even go as far as to say that since Safeway Select failed so badly that Safeway decided to get some pointers/steal the recipe from a successful company. So with that, may i introduce you to Parker's Root Beer, or as i call it, A&W 2. Yes, this stuff is basically just like A&W, which makes it good. I got no complaints with the taste, and it's a lot cheaper. What does that say for Safeway though? Well, we already know they don't really give a damn about root beer, they just want the money. But it wasn't a bad plan Safeway. You win this time.
My official review is that Parker's gets 7 (seven) IBCs. It's just as good as A&W, so i can't in good conscience give it less of a score. Safeway, you're a despicable store and a filthy charlatan of a root beer company. My hat is off to you.
And by the way... some things are better left in the past.