Originally written for eVent! magazine [ep] on 03/09/06.
Dear Lover of Henry’s Old Tyme Root Beer:
I suspect when you purchased this bottle of Henry’s Old Tyme Root Beer you expected to find it filled with our wonderful tasting root beer and not this letter. That is understandable, desire for the taste of our fantastic beverage will drive a man to purchase a bottle whenever he has an extra $1.75 left over from gassing up his car at a petrol station or having his shoes fixed at the local cobblers. It is a glorious taste, one that has remained the same throughout our company’s history since our founding in 1992 to capitalize on the market for nostalgic beverages.
The reason that you have received this letter in your bottle of root beer, dear root beer lover, is that our company is facing the sort of fiscal Armageddon that you only hear about in John Grisham novels where the “evil” tobacco company gives someone lung cancer and an up and coming young lawyer takes them on and wins millions of dollars of compensation for the “victims”. Of course Mr. Grisham being a novelist gets to play fast and loose with whom really is a victim and who really is evil. This letter, inserted in your root beer bottle in the place of our typical Old Tyme Root Beer, is our way of speaking directly to our devoted drinkers to let them know what action they need to take in order to protect us from one of these Grisham-esque lawsuits.
We brew our flavour filled root beer the same way that the pioneers and the founders of our great country brewed their own root beers. Following these traditional methods sometimes requires us to skip some of the more modern or “non-traditional” sanitary procedures that modern drinks without the intense flavour of Henry’s Old Tyme Root Beer may take. Did Sir John A. Macdonald, a lifelong brewer of his own root beer, know anything about the Ebola virus or how hepatitis is transmitted? The answer of course is no, he did not. So if his home brewed Old Tyme root beer had say, killed one of his children, would he have blamed the root beer? No he would have thought that it was God’s will and gone out and built a railway across this great nation to unite us as a people.
Perhaps this modern world, with its so-called “medical evidence” and so called “health and safety standards” it a confounding place. I am sure I am not alone in wishing for simpler times, when people would simply have blamed God or the Devil if their extremities started to feel numb ten minutes after drinking a bottle of root beer and not the bottle of root beer. It is not our root beer that is at fault, but this new religion of science.
So I ask you true believer, you lovers of our Old Tyme Root Beer, made the traditional way that root beer has been made not only since 1992 but since this country was majestically formed by great root beer lovers like Sir John A. Macdonald and the Fonze from Happy Days, I call on you to stand up for our great tasting root beer (and also our cream soda). I ask you to write to your Member of Parliament, to write to our new Prime Minister Stephen Harper and let them know that you are a person who loves their root beer, and that all the medical or scientific evidence in the world that might claim we use unsanitary techniques to Henry’s Old Tyme Root Beer won’t change your faith in our smooth taste.
Mr. Andrew H. Plinkton
President and Founder
Henry’s Old Tyme Root Beer