Friday, May 13, 2011

The A&W Root Beer Standard - but why????

We have often been asked why we use A&W as our standard? We Rootbeer Brothers literally drink an A&W along with the brew we are reviewing to actually make a comparison. Although each of us brothers evaluate root beer very differently we all begin with A&W. Having A&W as a starting point helps guide us as we attempt to make a very informed review. But why A&W????


When Jeff and I first began we both decided that this review approach would be the best way for us at RBB. We certainly appreciate and enjoy reading the reviews from Anthony's Root Beer Barrell, Thirsty Dude's, Cosmo's Root Beer Reviews, and Root Beer Reviews For The Rest Of Us all of whom have a very particular and individual way they approach their critiques. Some are very scientific and standardized others are more free form and literary. We wanted to be a little bit of both.

Over the last 4 years we have often been told that we chose the wrong root beer to be our "top" standard. This I often correct to the fan and explain that we do not view A&W as the top brew, but the brew that sets the line between standard and substandard. We appointed A&W with 3 out of 5 frosty mugs within our rating system. Thus it was right in the middle.

There is an old psychology theorist, Donald Winnicott, who termed the phrase "good-enough mother". His point was not that a good enough mother was substandard, in fact in his eyes this was ideal. A passive mother allows their children to run free and learns no responsibility or discipline. The over bearing mother shelters her children and does everything for them, thus robbing them of their independence. The good enough mother balances passivity and overbearance to foster a well adjusted child. A&W is the "good enough root beer"!!!

A&W is cheap, you can buy it by the case at half the cost of some of the more snooty root beer. A&W is way better tasting than the other store brand and economic choices. A balance so to speak.

We also appreciate the history of Allen & Wright and the way they carefully branded their brew to become a household name. The fact that A&W diners now polka dot America is a testament of their innovative spirit being carried on nearly a hundred years later.

The fact that it is and has been the #1 selling root beer is also a big reason!!!!! That and the fact that they own the domain name www.rootbeer.com speaks volumes to the worthiness of A&W!!!!

Yes we may continue to be asked why we use A&W as our standard but trust me, we have our reasons!!!!

-Adam

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