Last year my wife gave me this wonderful book for my birthday (I know, I’ve taken forever to write about it). 100 Years of A&W as released in 2019 as a celebration of, 100 years of A&W. At first I thought it would be a history book, but it’s actually more like a museum in a book. There’s not a chronological timeline of events, and they even say they didn’t want that, but there are photos of restaurants, root beer mugs, and advertising through the years, coupled with anecdotes from old employees and fans, which is actually sort of better honestly. It’s more a coffee table book, one you can just open to a random page and see pictures of uniforms throughout the years, or read the short memories of car hops who met the loves of their lives on the job, or see pictures of old menus. It’s a fabulous addition (edition?) to any root beer collection or anyone who just loves A&W root beer and all it stands for in American history. So if you don’t have it yet, I highly recommend getting a copy.
My first root beer book post. Well, I mean, my first root beer book post since I started doing Wednesday posts about other root beer products and things. I thought I’d take a break from hard candy (I’ve got more, fear not) and check my local library to see if there were any good books on Root Beer. This is written by Tom Morrison, who is/was one of the more avid collectors of root beer paraphernalia, in 1992. At over 100 pages, it is filled with photos from his collection.
The book is organized in 12 chapters: History, Bottles, Caps, Cans, Dispensers, Drinking Glasses, Magazine Ads, Matchbook Covers, Mugs, Trading Cards, Signs, and Miscellaneous. Each chapter has a brief description of how that type of item featured in the history of root beer, followed by pages of photo examples.
This book is a treasure trove of root beer history and nostalgia. That guides you through its storied past to the present day. Many long lost brands are represented as well as many that have been resurrected and endured. I was pleased to see some now dead brands that I was able to review mentioned here. This book is a must read for any true devotees of root beer, as it simply and eloquently paints the picture of root beer’s past in a way that is hard to surpass. It’s also a very good starting point for anyone looking to start their own root beer collection. I wish I’d read this years ago.
When I first learned about this I knew immediately that I had to have it. With a 2 1/2 year old and a 7 month old, I spend a fair amount of time reading children’s books and was thus eager to work some root beer curriculum into their early development. Especially since my toddler son already knows and loves gourmet root beer as I’ll occasionally share a bottle of Seal of Approval brew with him, pouring an ounce or two into a child size A&W mug. Whenever he sees me drinking it he asks “roo bree?” It’s way cute. I also knew that he would therefore love the book since he could relate to the characters.
SPOILER ALERT! This book is the story of a bottle of Happy Root Beer, who becomes very sad when he is the last bottle on the shelf. He is rescued from his solitary gloom by a young boy with a newly acquired allowance. The new friends then live happily ever after. This is a wonderful tale that is surely destined to become a classic along the lines of Goodnight Moon and The Very Hungry Caterpillar in my opinion. Why do you ask, because in addition to a loveable character (a bottle of root beer) and cute artwork, it teaches valuable life lessons that aren’t found in most other children’s books. First and foremost is that root beer should come in glass bottles. The importance of this cannot be overstated and this book makes it very clear, that Happy Root Beer is in bottles with crowns, hence glass bottles. Children reading this will be much more inclined to ask for “root beer like in the book” which can help fight Childhood Canned Root Beer Syndrome.
Another important lesson is the value of friendship, that a lifelong friend is worth your allowance, and that no one should be lonely. It also gives hope to all lonely children that they need not despair, for like the root beer, better days are ahead. And finally, that true happiness can be found in a bottle of root beer, the earlier learned the better. Therefore I am proud to give Happy Root Beer my Seal of Approval. If you have young children, you should get this book.