A&W Root Beer Floats Made Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free


Root Beer Floats can be made gluten-free and dairy-free

Root Beer Floats can be made gluten-free and dairy-free

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

Dear Patty:

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.  



Consumer Relations


6 responses to “A&W Root Beer Floats Made Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free

  1. You know what worries me about their response? It’s that they address corn gluten, but NOT the caramel coloring, which, in my understanding, is usually the source of gluten in soda. Am I wrong about that??

  2. Good point. I shot off another email specifically asking about the caramel coloring and will let you know what I hear. Thanks for bringing that up.
    ~ Patty

  3. May 15, 2009
    Hi asdmommy,

    Great point. I contacted A&W again and here is the response on the caramel coloring. I am happy with it and thrilled with how quickly they respond. I really appreciate that in a company when I am trying to decide if a product is safe for my family. Hope this helps. ~Patty

    Dear Patty,

    Thank you for contacting us about A & W Root Beer. Your comments and inquiries are appreciated because they provide valuable feedback about our brands.

    Caramel color is produced commercially by heating sugar and other carbohydrates, usually from corn, under strictly controlled conditions for use in soft drinks, sauces, gravies, baked goods and other foods. This particular ingredient will always be gluten free.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact us. We hope that you will continue to purchase and enjoy our products.


    Consumer Relations

  4. AWSOME! i am actually drinking the A & W root bear right now! lol does anybody know if their french fries are gluten free?

  5. “You guys…” THANK you so much. I’ve gone ’round and ’round about whether I have to eliminate food with caramel coloring… I now feel safe in assuming that in almost all cases, I don’t have to worry about it. I went through the same problem with maltodextrin and am so glad that here in the US, we can count on it being made from corn.

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