I have always assumed that all Root Beer had gluten in it. It just looked like it would with the coloring and the frothy foam. When my GFK needed it once for Root Beer Floats at school, I ran to the nearest Whole Foods and bought Virgil’s gluten-free Root Beer. It tasted a lot like licorice and my son didn’t care for it. So, Root Beer was out of our life and we were both o.k. with it.
Until last week. Root Beer Floats are on the menu for an end of the year party for his 3rd grade class. Making a trip out to Whole Foods was on my to-do list but with our hectic schedule I was having a hard time making it out there. Then, it hit me. I have never checked with A&W to see if A&W Root Beer had gluten in it. So, I shot off a quick email and heard back within hours. I am happy to report that A&W Root Beer is gluten-free! Seems like a simple thing to those who don’t need to worry about every single ingredient they ingest. But, for me, this makes life so much easier. So, I grabbed a 12 pack at the closest grocery store and the GFK and I did a test to be sure he didn’t react to it before sending him to school today with his A&W Root Beer and his Rice Dream Vanilla Ice Cream.
One can of A&W Root Beer has 45 grams of sugar and contains high fructose corn syrup. I feed my family very healthy so this new find won’t be a regular thing around here but for today, my 9 year-old GFK can fit in with his classmates and have a great time with his gluten-free, dairy-free Root Beer Float. I can’t wait to pick him up this afternoon to hear all about it.
Below is the response I got from A&W. I am happy to support companies that know about dietary issues and can get me the answer I need quickly. I wish A&W would print “gluten-free” on the cans so others can easily identify this as a safe beverage.
May 11, 2009
Thank you for contacting us about the presence of gluten in our products. Consumer inquiries such as this are appreciated because they provide valuable feedback about our brands.
Gluten is a mixture of complex proteins found in the grain of wheat, barley, oats, rye, rice, corn, and other grains. Many soft drinks, including those produced by our Company contain high fructose corn syrup which is derived from corn and which may contain very small amounts of corn gluten. According to the Celiac Sprue Association, corn gluten is not of concern to people who have Celiac Sprue disease.
We encourage consumers with more specific questions about Celiac Sprue to contact the Celiac Sprue Association at 402-558-0600 or your health care provider.
We appreciate your inquiry and hope you will continue to enjoy our soft drink brands.