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Building Memories At The Lake With A&W® Root Beer

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AWMemories

Don’t miss these fabulous family-favorite recipes made with A&W Root Beer at the end of this post:

building memories

Childhood Memories

Certain childhood memories stay with you for a lifetime…Riding bikes until the street lights turned on, catching fireflies and watching their mysterious phosphorus blinking, the sound of the ice cream truck luring us in with the melodic tune of “The Entertainer” – all quintessential childhood memories that I hold dear.

But the summers my brother and I spent at our grandparents’ lake house ranks at the top of my list.

Memories At The Lake

memories last a lifetime

Every summer, my grandparents would load up two cars with suitcases, kids and a dog and off we went caravaning to the lake.

We would always stop at Walmart to pick up provisions for our lake house adventures. And my grandfather would let us pick out a new fishing lure, each of us sure that the one we picked would catch the lunker. Bets would be made on who would catch the biggest fish!

Our days were spent on their boat cruising to the best fishing spots. I can still feel the cool lake water misting my face and I remember the thrill of the first tug on my fishing line.

We would spend our evenings around the campfire roasting marshmallows and trading tall tales, eventually retiring to the kitchen table to play penny poker. One-eyed Jacks were always wild.

Having so much fun, the time would fly by, and before we knew it, it was our last night at the lake house. We dreaded the next morning because our parents would pick us up and end our amazing time at the lake.

Our last night was always bittersweet because our time to leave was around the corner. But it was also a night we looked forward to because my grandparents would fry all the fish we caught during our lake adventures.

And my grandmother would bake her famous root beer chocolate cake as a special dessert. The delicious cake was a sweet ending to our time at the lake and made for great snacks on the car ride home with our parents.

Making Memories Memories With A&W Root Beer

life and memories

These timeless memories always included a timeless beverage, A&W Root Beer.

It was a staple during our summers at the lake. A&W was at the top of the shopping list when we stopped at Walmart.

You were sure to find A&W Root Beer in our ice chest on the boat, quenching our thirst in the mid-afternoon. And boy did it pair perfectly with roasted marshmallows. It toasted our poker game victories and sweetened the bitter taste of losing my last penny to my brother.

A&W was the only root beer my Grandmother would use in her much-adored root beer chocolate cake.

And this year, A&W is celebrating its 100th anniversary!

Since I have so many happy memories that include A&W, it makes me wonder how many sweet memories this centenarian has made for countless people during its first 100 years. I would love for you to share your A&W memories in the comments! Find more inspiration here.

Passing Down Traditions And Creating New Memories

Making Great Memories

My grandparents shared their time and their love to create special traditions and memories that I will always treasure. And now it’s my turn to pass on these traditions and create new memories with my children!

My love of the lake continues on today and that love is shared family-wide. My husband and I are raising our family on a lake with a boat of our own.

My love of fishing was passed down to my three-year-old daughter who practices casting her prized fishing pole from Walmart on a daily basis!

New traditions abound on the lake, from tubing and wakeboarding, to cruising to our favorite cove to swim in calmer waters.

We also share our lake adventures with friends and extended family. And after a fun-filled day on the water, we retire back to the house and enjoy an evening of tasty smoked root beer pulled pork and my grandmother’s decadent root beer chocolate cake.

Sometimes we throw in a few rounds of poker for good measure!

A&W Root Beer

Walmart

And just like my grandparents, I shop at Walmart for my provisions. They carry everything I need at amazing prices, including our beloved A&W Root Beer. Plus, I can order it online through their Grocery Pickup, saving me valuable time!

New A&W Root Beer Memories

family gatherings

A&W Root Beer is still a big part of our family’s gatherings!

Our boat’s ice chest is always stocked with A&W Root Beer. It just wouldn’t be the same if we launched out for a day of fun on the lake without our A&W!

It goes without saying that I would never use any other root beer for my root beer smoked pulled pork or my grandmother’s chocolate root beer cake.

Just like my childhood evenings at the lake, A&W Root Beer still toasts our poker victories and washes down the bitter taste of defeat on family game night!

There is just something so special and delicious about A&W Root Beer. Perhaps it’s the rich aged vanilla and the sweet memories I recall with every taste!

Moving Forward

Lake Life

We continue to make priceless memories and traditions that I am proud to pass on to our children. I have no doubt that they will be doing the same with their families someday, ensuring that our family traditions will be passed on from generation to generation.

And you can bet that A&W Root Beer will be a part of these traditions for the next 100 years!

You can help A&W celebrate their 100th anniversary by creating your own special memories with A&W Root Beer. Find more inspiration here.

And please share your favorite memories in the comments!

Want the recipe to my grandmother’s famous root beer chocolate cake or my smoked root beer pulled pork? See below.

Root Beer Chocolate Cake

A&W Root Beer Chocolate Cake with Root Beer Chocolate Glaze

A&W Root Beer Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients – Root Beer Chocolate Cake

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups A&W Root Beer
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients – Root Beer Chocolate Glaze

  • 1/4 cup A&W Root Beer
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 10-cup Bundt pan or a 9″ x 13″ pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, baking soda, salt and spices.
  3. In a medium saucepan, bring the root beer, butter and cocoa powder to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool for 5 minutes, then mix into the flour mixture.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and stir into the flour mixture.
  5. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes for a Bundt cake or 35 minutes for a 9″ x 13″ cake, until the edge of the cake begins to pull away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven. Gently loosen it from the pan around the edge, if you can. Place a cooling rack on top, across the surface of the cake. Very carefully turn the cake and rack over so that the cake (in its pan) is resting on the rack. Wait 15 minutes, then carefully lift the pan off the cake, jiggling it gently first to make sure it’s not stuck.
  7. To make the ganache: Bring the root beer to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the butter and cocoa powder, stirring until smooth. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, then whisk in the confectioners’ sugar, spices, and salt until smooth and glossy. Pour over the top of the cake while still warm.

Smoked A&W Root Beer Pulled Pork

Smoked A&W Root Beer Pulled Pork

Ingredients

  • 1 6-8 pound bone in pork butt (pork shoulder)
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite BBQ Rub
  • 1 cup flat A&W Root Beer for the injection
  • 1 cup A&W Root Beer for the braising liquid

Instructions

  1. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees.
  2. Inject your bone in pork butt all around with 1 cup of A&W Root Beer. Season on all sides with your favorite rub.
  3. Smoke your pork butt until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. This takes approximately 6 hours.
  4. Transfer your pork butt to an aluminum pan. Pour 1 cup of A&W Root Beer over the pork butt in the pan and then cover tightly with foil. Return the covered pork butt to the smoker and cook at 225 degrees until the internal temperature of the pork butt reaches 200 degrees. This step usually takes anywhere between 3 and 4 hours.
  5. Remove your smoked pork butt from the smoker and allow to rest in pan (still covered tightly with foil) for at least 45 minutes before shredding. Remove the bone and any gristle or excess fat. Moisten the pulled pork with the braising liquid from the pan before serving.

A&W Root Beer Chocolate Cake       Root Beer Pulled Pork

 

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15 Comments

  1. Marilyn Jones
    June 5, 2019 / 12:30 pm

    When I was growing up in 50’s, we had an A&W drive-in in our small downtown. Our treat was to go for a “root beer float” with our parents and 4 girls. That was our family tradition, especially in the hot summer months in Texas (no air conditioning!). A wonderful memory I will always cherish.❤️

    • June 5, 2019 / 1:41 pm

      What a perfect A&W Root Beer memory! I can picture all of you drinking root beer floats.

  2. June 13, 2019 / 7:38 pm

    When I think of A&W Root Beer, the fond memory of making root beer floats at my grandparent’s place as a kid comes to mind. A huge mug of root beer and 2 scoops of ice cream made a for a great summer afternoon

    • June 16, 2019 / 6:06 am

      Great memory! And nothing beats a root beer float during the dog days of summer!

  3. June 14, 2019 / 2:49 am

    So many beautiful memories! I have similar memories with my grandparents, and I treasure them. The root beer recipes do look amazing too. I can only imagine the taste, but if I can find A&W Root Beer here in Norway I will definitely try to make both!

    • June 16, 2019 / 6:05 am

      It’s all about those precious memories. I love your blog and recipes!

  4. June 14, 2019 / 9:48 am

    Wow! What special memories! And omg that pulled pork looks YUM (typing as I’m starving for lunch!)

    Meagen | ToasttoPost.com

    • June 16, 2019 / 6:03 am

      It’s so yummy and very easy to make!

  5. June 14, 2019 / 4:17 pm

    A&W root beer is just the BEST! So many incredible summer memories tied to A&W for me and my family – it’s a classic! I absolutely love a good A&W Root Beer Float in the summer, but your recipes sound SO delicious! Saving them!

    • June 16, 2019 / 6:02 am

      It’s hard to beat a good ol’ Root Beer Float on a hot summer day!

  6. June 15, 2019 / 9:18 am

    SO I have to admit growing up in New Orleans we Love our Barq’s Rootbeer, however with that said, A&W Root Beer is definitely my 2nd favorite! Plus I love A&W Root Beer for my Rootbeer floats! The taste is just better to me. I also showed Darcee that A&W Root Beer Chocolate Cake and told her that she needs to make this for my birthday. That looks amazeballs!

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