A&E Root Beer

Editor-in-Chief Annelise Wells takes a different route in her writing and decides to write about something else she feels passionately about, root beer.

One of my goals this semester was to write a weekly column, and up until this week I could find something I was passionate about to write about. I have written about the importance of being informed before caucusing, the Iowa State Daily's goals for this semester and my own personal story of getting to this point in my life.

But with the crazy news cycle that is this week, my column fell to the wayside as I focused on the lack of caucus results and acquittal vote. 

I was struggling to find what to write about, when my staff encouraged me to finally write about something that I take very seriously: root beer.

I pushed this idea off for a long time because I thought columns could only be super serious, but I have very strong opinions about root beer for some reason, and I have a lot to say. So thank you to my staff for encouraging me to write this nonsense column. I also think they are just sick of hearing my root beer opinions in the office. 

So without further delay, here's to writing about silly things sometimes, just because something is fun doesn't mean it's not important!

On a level of it's own: Culver's

Culver's has it's own blend of root beer, with regular and diet available. Growing up in the Midwest, Culver's is a classic fast food restaurant. I quickly discovered their own blend of root beer is not only the perfect accompaniment for their chicken tenders and custard, but a perfect mid-day pick-me-up if I have had a rough or long day. It's super foamy and is very smooth, no store bought brand I have tried has ever compared. 

Top tier of store brands: Barq's Root Beer

Now, I don't drink Barq's nearly as much as the others on this list for one true reason: I don't want to ruin it. Barq's to me is for more special occasions when I really need a treat or something with caffeine. If I had it all the time, it would ruin it's special nature. It's a bit sharper of a taste than when it comes to the others. Additionally, the McDonald's in Ames don't carry Barq's, while my local one back home does, and that makes me very sad because it's just that good.

The classic: A&W

The go-to root beer for me is A&W. Whether it's the classic, diet, cream soda or even better the diet cream soda, A&W is a staple in my diet for better or for worse. Its taste is dependable and familiar, and has gotten me through some long work days and study sessions, despite the lack of caffeine. I think it has a placebo effect on me at this point. A&W is my standard that I compare all of these on this list to, and you can't go wrong with it. Also, at A&W restaurants, you can get a glass of root beer in a frozen mug that makes the drink super cold and creates little flakes of ice, so it's very hard to beat that.

Bottom tier: Mug

Now I will never turn down root beer, let me start there. But if you lined all these different bottles in front of me, Mug would be what I pick last. It doesn't taste like much to me, and can be very frothy in a bad way, compared to the light foamy nature of Culver's. It is the most watery of all these options, and that is why it deserves the bottom tier here. But still, it's important to note that I would take Mug any day over any other soda.

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Letter to the Editor Submission Link

(2) comments

Steve Gregg

Well, I suppose it was inevitable after years that I would find common ground with a loony lefty editor of the Daily: Barq’s Root Beer is the King of Root Beers. I’m particularly partial to Diet Barq’s Root Beer. It has no caffeine, so it’s my preferred evening beverage, since it won’t keep me up at bedtime.

A&W Root Beer is not what it once was. The bottled version has an unpleasant aftertaste. Way back in the day, when my parents pulled up to the A&W hot dog stand, back when there were carhops who brought you a cold foamy mug of the heavenly drink, the root beer tasted different and better, more fresh. They have put some sort of chemical preservative or something in the bottled root beer that has ruined it for me.

Aaron Brand

Culvers is definitely the top for me as well and maybe A&W over Barq's but they are both very good. I would throw the Blue Sky Root Beer at Blaze Pizza into the ring as well as 1917 Root Beer in a pony keg for parties into the ring for best root beers.

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