A&W Root Beer of Lodi
216 E. Lodi Ave. Lodi CA. 95240 Tel:
(209)368-8548 / awrootbeer.com
tour buses arriving in Lodi head
straight for the wine. Wine tasting,
wine tours, and the Lodi Visitors Center
where wine is sold are the popular
stops. When the nostalgia crowd arrives
in town, they are looking for another
popular beverageA&W Root Beer. Lodi is
the birthplace of the brew, the world
record setter for the largest root beer
float, the home of the Cruise
Night on Thursdays during the summer,
and the place that will celebrated the
100th birthday of A&W Root Beer in 2019.
History: On June 20, 1919, while the citizens of
Lodi held a parade honoring
returning World War I veterans, a young
entrepreneur named Roy Allen set up a
roadside drink stand to cure the thirst
of the spectators. His new thick and
creamy drink concoction, root beer, was
an instant success at a nickel per glass
At the time, Allen was known throughout
the southwestern for buying, renovating,
and selling older hotels and motels.
During his travels he sampled a recipe a
pharmacist at a soda fountain gave him
while he arranged a hotel deal in
Tucson. He liked it and bought ownership
rights to the recipe, using it for the
launch of a hamburger and root beer
stand in Lodi in June 1919.
The Volstead Act of 1919 had prohibited
the sale and consumption of alcoholic
beverages, so the clever businessman
decorated his new establishment to look
like an old saloon, complete with bar
and barstools. With soldiers returning
from France after WWI, suddenly
faced with no available liquor, they
began sampling Allen's root beer,
then spreading the word about his stand.
By the summer of 1920 Allen knew the
root beer craze was hot, so he opened a
second root beer stand in a nearby city.
The responsibilities of running and
growing this type of business were a bit
different than selling hotels, so he
formed a partnership with one employee,
Frank Wright, to open five more root
beer restaurants in the Sacramento area.
A&W Root Beer combined the initials of
the two partners' last names, Allen &
Wright. While Wright eventually sold
back his portion of interest to his
partner, the name was trademarked and
Allen continued to grow earnings through
many business dealings. He sold
franchise rights in five Western states
(including California where he launched
the first stand) and went national with
capital raised. Credited with creating
the first restaurant chain in America,
the national brand "A&W Root Beer" was
launched with stands that offered drive
up, car-hop service. By 1950, Allen had
grown the A&W stands to 450 outlets,
then sold off the entire operation, thus
paving the way for its incorporation and
growth. His wife was ill, he'd run
the business successfully for close to
30 years, and he was satisfied with
where he'd taken it during his
A&W Root Beer has been passed through
a succession of owners loosely as
1950 - 1963 Nebraskan, Gene Hurtz
owned the company immediately incorporated his
holdings as the A&W Root Beer Company in
1950. He gave franchisees discretion in serving
food and developing outlets as drive-in restaurants. By the end of the decade, there were more than 1,900 A&W restaurants throughout the United States, and the first outlet outside the country had opened in Canada.
1963 - 1966 J.
Hungerford Smith Company, the firm which
had been brewing the root beer extract
and bottling it since 1919 bought A&W
1966 -1969 United
Fruit Company buys & owns Hungerford
1970 AMK Corporation buys
United Fruit Company in order to form United Brands Company. A&W Root Beer Company
changes to A&W International focusing
less on the root beer brand and more on
the drive-in restaurant.
1971 - A&W cans & bottles
1982 - United Brands Company sold A&W Restaurants, Inc. to well-known real estate developer, A. Alfred Taubman.
1993 - Cadbury Schweppes PLC of
bought the company, including all of its assets and operations, for $334 million.
1994 - A&W Restaurants, Inc. was purchased by Sagittarius Acquisitions. The president of Sagittarius, Sidney Feltenstein,
sought to revitalize the company's operations in the United States. Despite the separation of the beverage business from the restaurant chain, it is the tradition and legacy of the root beer beverage that most people are attracted to, and what people continue to drink through the myriad changes in ownership of the brand-name product.
2008 - Dr Pepper Snapple Group was established in 2008 following the spinoff of Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages (CSAB) from Cadbury Schweppes plc.
A&W Root Beer is one of 50 beverage
2011 - A&W is part of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, an integrated refreshment beverage business marketing more than 50 beverage brands throughout North America.
DPS operates 22 manufacturing and
bottling facilities in North America and
more than 200 warehouses and
distribution centers. Manufacturing
facilities in California include
Buena Park, Sacramento, Vernon and