One hot day in June of 1919 in Lodi, California an entrepreneur named Roy Allen mixed up a batch of creamy root beer and sold the first frosty mug of this delightful beverage for one nickel. Now, more than seventy years later, A&W Root Beer® is the world’s number one selling root beer and is still mixed fresh daily and sold at hundreds of A&W® restaurants.
Allen purchased the formula for his root beer from a pharmacist in Arizona. To this day, the unique blend of herbs, spices, barks and berries remains a proprietary secret.
With the success of his first root beer stand in Lodi, Allen soon opened a second stand in nearby Sacramento. It was there that what is thought to be the country’s first “drive-in” featuring “tray-boys” for curb side service, opened up.
In 1922 Allen took on a partner, Frank Wright, an employee from his original Lodi location. The two partners combined their initials – “A” for Allen and “W” for Wright and formally named the beverage, A&W Root Beer®. Three units were opened in Sacramento, then on to other northern and central California locations and to the states of Texas and Utah.
via A&W Root Beer Lodi.
If you take Hwy 680 across the Sacramento River and turn East on Hwy 12, crossing again the Sacramento River in an area known as the Delta, you
will arrive in a small city of Lodi. Roy Allen had found a root beer recipe in Flagstaff, Arizonia, and he wanted to try it out. He sold it in
the streets to returning WWI vets in the Summer of 1919. It was a hit.
Dr.Pepper/Snapple bought out A&W, along with IBC, Stewarts, and Hires root beers. By hiding away Hires root beer, A&W is the most popular root beer in the World.