Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A-Treat Root Beer - Not Racist just Pennsylvania Dutch

I love root beer.... that goes without saying.... but I love root beer with a history even more! One day during my internship I came across a root beer in the break room fridge that I had never seen. The bottle was plain, generic looking, and was simply labeled "A-Treat". Surely this is a store brand I thought, but then my Brother Mike researched the brew and found something much more than an ordinary store brand. A-Treat had a very interesting past and was in fact NOT a store brand.

Back in 1918 in the striving city of Allentown, PA a father and his two sons began a beverage manufacturing company behind their house. The name "A-Treat" is short for Allentown Treat which would certainly be alot to place on a label. The Egizio family eventually grew out of the back yard and relocated in 1932 not far from their home on the eastside of Allentown. To this day A-Treat is still produced in that same location that they established back in 1932.

A-Treat was a huge hit in Pennsylvania Dutch Country and in the 1990's they decided to cross state lines and expand their market into New York. This proved to be a disaster. The previously established beverage companies in New York ignited a massive controversy when they accused A-Treat as being owned by the Arian racist group known as the Klu Klux Klan (KKK). They even went so far as to claim that A-Treat had additives that would sterilize African-American males. The FDA debunked these wild claims but the damage had been done, A-Treat was a tainted name and they retreated back to Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

It took me awhile to actually find a location to purchase A-Treat. I was surprised to find that it was priced similar to the store brands but the taste, I was happy to learn, easily exceeded the store brands. I first found it in cans in a small grocery chain. Later I of course found the newly labeled bottles at Capt Wiso's Crab Shack.

The head was very light and short lived. The color is slightly darker than the standard and carries a distinct aroma. This brew delivered a nicely sweetened bite, possessing a Barq's like flavor with minimal if any creaminess. A-Treat maintained a solid root beer flavor and is easily distinguishable from the standard. You really know it when you drink it, it carries this good bite with a welcoming root beer flavor to back it up. On the can there is a hex sign similar to the Amish Dutch signs I have seen in Lancaster but the over flowing frosty foamy mug of root beer is a stretch. Somewhat deceiving since the foam was so light and short lived. I do agree with my Brother Mark this Allentown Treat really is a nice TREAT. I would leave it in the can rather than poor it in the mug (or boot mug if your Mike) but all the same a good Pennsylvania brew …… and for the record, the root beer really doesn't seem racist to me either...... I offer this treat 3 Frosty Mugs.


check out the A-Treat Bottling Company, they do online mail order

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