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View Poll Results: Favorite Root Beer
IBC 40 20.30%
A & W 60 30.46%
Dads 5 2.54%
Barq 31 15.74%
Mug 8 4.06%
Other 45 22.84%
Can't Stand Root Beer 8 4.06%
Voters: 197. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:14 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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Best Root Beer

I've been a big root beer fan all my life. There was an A & W Root Beer place in Little Rock that was very popular in the 60's and 70's. The car hops served it in big, frosted glass mugs. Root Beer floats are still my favorite.

I've read that root beer isn't as popular as it used to be.

There's still a lot of brands. IBC is my favorite. Barq and Mug my least. A & W used to be only available as a fountain (tap) drink. They started selling it in cans in the 70's. Somehow, it doesn't taste the same.

Root Beer is naturally caffeine free. I get too much caffeine from coffee. It's nice having a soda that doesn't get me jumpy.

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-05-2010 at 01:19 AM..
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:20 AM
cstamets cstamets is offline
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Bottled, ICB might be better, but overall, the best is still A&W draft in a frosty mug.
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:20 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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IBC is definitely up there, though I wouldn't swear it's the best.

A surprising one is the Albertson's store brand: It's not as good as the only-sold-in-glass-bottles brands, but it's a fair bit better than Barq's, Mug, or A&W (at least, bottled A&W; I'm not familiar with it from a tap), and for half the price.
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:25 AM
Spud Spud is offline
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Sprecher is my brand of choice. I can find it at my local butcher shop, and surprisingly at some hardware stores. It comes from Milwaukee so it may not be a national brand.

Otherwise I agree that IBC is good, but if you can find A&W on tap that is hard to beat.
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:27 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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Another good root beer is Hires Root Beer. If you can find it. It's been 20 years since I found one.

I guess the worst root beer I've had was at Sonic. I don't think they sell enough to keep it from going flat.

Last edited by aceplace57; 03-05-2010 at 01:31 AM..
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:54 AM
Sir T-Cups Sir T-Cups is offline
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Barqs all the way...and that's not even counting that it DOES have caffeine.
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:12 AM
garygnu garygnu is offline
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Henry Weinhard's

How could you leave it off the list, when it's the best root beer in the history of the world?
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:29 AM
Shawn K Shawn K is offline
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Barq's but A&W is good too.
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:50 AM
installLSC installLSC is offline
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Quote:
Another good root beer is Hires Root Beer. If you can find it. It's been 20 years since I found one.
Actually I just bought some at Bartel's Drug (a Northwest pharmacy chain). Haven't seen it in a long time either, but it was part of a RC cola/Canada Dry promotion. Gonna try it out tomorrow.
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2010, 03:08 AM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is offline
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My favorites are:

Zuberfizz
Thomas Kemper
Henry Weinhard

I've tried over 120 different root beers. Yes, I keep a list.

If you want to start your own check off list, may I suggest you join the rest of us root beer lovers at Root Beer World.

Here is the list of US brews.
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2010, 10:11 AM
Terraplane Terraplane is offline
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Boylan's is the best I've ever had although I haven't had very many outside of the major brands. Of those, I always liked Dad's a lot but I can't find it anymore. The worst that I've tried is Mug.
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  #12  
Old 03-05-2010, 10:12 AM
silenus silenus is offline
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AJ Stephan's Root Beer is the best. All others pale in comparison.
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2010, 10:17 AM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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I voted IBC, but am curious about the lack of love for Stewart's, which is my second choice.
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2010, 10:33 AM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Stewart's is my favorite among brands I can actually find without going to a great deal of trouble.

My original favorite was Frostie Root Beer but I haven't had one in a long long time.
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  #15  
Old 03-05-2010, 10:39 AM
Hampshire Hampshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spud View Post
Sprecher is my brand of choice. I can find it at my local butcher shop, and surprisingly at some hardware stores. It comes from Milwaukee so it may not be a national brand.

Otherwise I agree that IBC is good, but if you can find A&W on tap that is hard to beat.
My favorite also. A bit more mellow than others cause of less carbonation but may be a bit sweeter. They don't use HFCS or sugar but rather pure honey.
They sell it at Menard's in Minnesota.
(I actually like their cream soda even better).

Last edited by Hampshire; 03-05-2010 at 10:40 AM..
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  #16  
Old 03-05-2010, 10:40 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is offline
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
Stewart's is my favorite among brands I can actually find without going to a great deal of trouble.

My original favorite was Frostie Root Beer but I haven't had one in a long long time.
Another vote for Frostie. Of the list ( I said other) I guess Barq's but Hires is a close third.
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  #17  
Old 03-05-2010, 10:45 AM
obfusciatrist obfusciatrist is offline
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Of the ones in the poll I like IBC the best. But there are plenty of smaller/regional root beers that I like better.

Barq's is the worst and doesn't even deserve the label "root beer." I prefer canned A&W over what they sell on tap in the restaurants which I know is sacrilege.

I do miss when a local beer and pizza movie theater used to have Henry Weinhard root beer on tap.
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  #18  
Old 03-05-2010, 11:19 AM
psychonaut psychonaut is online now
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It's debatable as to whether Barq's even counts as root beer. It wasn't originally marketed as such. They decided to slap the "root beer" label on it years later. Personally I don't think it tastes much like root beer.

I used to collect root beers, though I sold my collection in 2002 shortly before I moved overseas. My favourite ones for regular drinking were probably IBC and Sioux City. Here in Britain the only brands commonly available (and I use the term "commonly" rather loosely, since you have to go to Chinatown or specialist stores) are Bundaberg and A&W. Bundaberg tastes nothing like root beer to me, which figures since it's made in Australia—having lived there I can attest that the beverage is virtually unknown there.
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  #19  
Old 03-05-2010, 11:23 AM
hellpaso hellpaso is offline
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Frostie.
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  #20  
Old 03-05-2010, 11:24 AM
John DiFool John DiFool is offline
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Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups View Post
Barqs all the way...and that's not even counting that it DOES have caffeine.
For me that's a big negative, since the caffeine sent me to the hospital once.

In any event root beer is the only carbonated soft drink that I'll even touch-both A& W and IBC have no caffiene, but I like the foam on A & W better...
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  #21  
Old 03-05-2010, 11:26 AM
joebuck20 joebuck20 is offline
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Virgil's is my favorite, but a bit pricey. A six-pack goes for almost the same price as a six-pack of actual beer.
Among the regional brands, St. Arnold's, the beer brewery in Houston, makes a really good cane sugar root beer.
Among the brands you named, IBC and Dad's are my favorites. I try to get a bottle of Dad's whenever I'm at the Dollar Tree.

Last edited by joebuck20; 03-05-2010 at 11:28 AM..
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  #22  
Old 03-05-2010, 11:34 AM
Yorikke Yorikke is offline
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A&W from an actual A&W restaurant, is amazing...

Joe
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  #23  
Old 03-05-2010, 11:41 AM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is offline
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I pretty much only drink diet now and Diet Barq's is much better than any others I've tried.

Best root beer I ever had was Fanta but that was 30 years ago.
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  #24  
Old 03-05-2010, 12:02 PM
Knorf Knorf is offline
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Virgil's.

Thomas Kemper is pretty good, too (as is Henry Weinhard's.)
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  #25  
Old 03-05-2010, 12:32 PM
Lanzy Lanzy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sir T-Cups View Post
Barqs all the way...and that's not even counting that it DOES have caffeine.
I have a diet Barq with me now, it doesn't list caffeine. I would like it to have some tho.
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  #26  
Old 03-05-2010, 12:36 PM
ThisSpaceForRent ThisSpaceForRent is offline
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Originally Posted by wheresgeorge04 View Post
A&W from an actual A&W restaurant, is amazing...

Joe
Agreed ! Back in the day when they brewed it "In house"....so so creamy!
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  #27  
Old 03-05-2010, 12:36 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Voted other for Virgils.
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  #28  
Old 03-05-2010, 12:48 PM
hopesperson hopesperson is offline
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The correct answer is Sprecher.
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  #29  
Old 03-05-2010, 12:51 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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The best was the old draft A&W from childhood. More recently, the best I've had was draft root beer made at Glacier Brewhouse in Anchorage.
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  #30  
Old 03-05-2010, 12:51 PM
tr0psn4j tr0psn4j is offline
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Abita Root Beer made with Louisiana pure cane sugar.


Here's an Amazon store that sells it.
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  #31  
Old 03-05-2010, 12:58 PM
Johnny Angel Johnny Angel is offline
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Barq's is supreme, when you can't get draft A&W. IBC is in the same ballpark, but lacks that sharp taste.

A&W in the can is a fine root beer, which I tend to think of as a kind of candy -- bright and sweet. A&W fresh from the restaurant is the standard by which root beer is to be judged.

Quote:
Originally Posted by psychonaut View Post
It's debatable as to whether Barq's even counts as root beer. It wasn't originally marketed as such. They decided to slap the "root beer" label on it years later. Personally I don't think it tastes much like root beer.
I wasn't aware it was controversial. What's not root beer about it? Is it flavored with wintergreen? And do you have a cite for this information?

I had something called Tommyknockers which was just awful, and the hint of maple which was its selling point really didn't help.
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  #32  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:04 PM
tr0psn4j tr0psn4j is offline
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So why are root beers caffeine free?
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  #33  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:28 PM
Gangster Octopus Gangster Octopus is offline
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Originally Posted by tr0psn4j View Post
So why are root beers caffeine free?

Because nothing they make it with has caffeine.

I actually was not impressed with Virgil's. A&W from an actual A&W does in fact kick ass. In the bottle I like Thomas Kemper best.
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  #34  
Old 03-05-2010, 01:29 PM
Drain Bead Drain Bead is offline
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Originally Posted by Spud View Post
Sprecher is my brand of choice. I can find it at my local butcher shop, and surprisingly at some hardware stores. It comes from Milwaukee so it may not be a national brand.

Otherwise I agree that IBC is good, but if you can find A&W on tap that is hard to beat.
Yep, I voted Other because of Sprecher's, but IBC is the best on that list.
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  #35  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:03 PM
Tapioca Dextrin Tapioca Dextrin is offline
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Maine Root. If you can find it on draft, it's even better.
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  #36  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:06 PM
Surly Chick Surly Chick is offline
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Barq's because it has caffeine.
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  #37  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:07 PM
Push You Down Push You Down is offline
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A&W from the soda fountain at an A&W restaurant.

IBS is best from the bottle.

There's some great small company root beers.
Dogs n Suds is good.
Triple X is really good AT Triple X but I don't know how it is from a bottle.
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  #38  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:23 PM
fluiddruid fluiddruid is offline
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I like Hansen's. It has a nice complex flavor, even the diet version.
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  #39  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:23 PM
Translucent Daydream Translucent Daydream is offline
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Originally Posted by Terraplane View Post
Boylan's is the best I've ever had although I haven't had very many outside of the major brands. Of those, I always liked Dad's a lot but I can't find it anymore. The worst that I've tried is Mug.
They sell it at dollar general. (dad's)
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  #40  
Old 03-05-2010, 02:50 PM
The Second Stone The Second Stone is online now
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Henry Weinhardt's and Hires are the best.
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  #41  
Old 03-05-2010, 03:02 PM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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I don't drink root beer that much anymore, but my best root beer memories are of floats in frosted mugs at the old A&W drive-ins.
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  #42  
Old 03-05-2010, 03:08 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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I like IBC, and it's probably better, but A&W got my vote for nostalgic reasons. I still favor a float made with A&W.
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  #43  
Old 03-05-2010, 03:09 PM
ShibbOleth ShibbOleth is offline
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Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post

Root Beer is naturally caffeine free. I get too much caffeine from coffee. It's nice having a soda that doesn't get me jumpy.
Barq's has caffeine, brought to you by the pushers at Coca Cola Corp.
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  #44  
Old 03-05-2010, 03:16 PM
Bridget Burke Bridget Burke is offline
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I haven't been to a serious Root Beer Tasting, but two already mentioned are favorites.

Abita, from Louisiana.

And Saint Arnold's Root Beer, made here in Houston.

Quote:
We use all cane sugar in our root beer which is stupidly expensive because of government controls on sugar pricing and imports. It creates a great mouthfeel to the root beer though and gives a much fuller sweetness than the thin sweet taste one gets with high fructose corn syrup.

We actually make no money on our root beer. We make it for fun and put no effort into selling it. Sales continue to climb on it even without our trying though. Oh well.

Strange fact: drinking root beer gives you very refreshing burps. It's the wintergreen.
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  #45  
Old 03-05-2010, 03:19 PM
obfusciatrist obfusciatrist is offline
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The lack of caffeine is why I generally stick to root beer and orange when it comes to soda.

So Barq's would probably be at the bottom of the list anyway, but it helps that it tastes awful.
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  #46  
Old 03-05-2010, 04:36 PM
cstamets cstamets is offline
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Originally Posted by obfusciatrist View Post
The lack of caffeine is why I generally stick to root beer and orange when it comes to soda.

So Barq's would probably be at the bottom of the list anyway, but it helps that it tastes awful.
Along with Barq's, Sunkist orange also has caffeine.

That knowledge saved me when my wife attempted to limit my caffeine intake by taking away my Pepsi and Dew.
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  #47  
Old 03-05-2010, 05:05 PM
Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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1. Draft A&W in a frosted glass mug
2. Frostie's
3. Virgils's
4. Water
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  #48  
Old 03-05-2010, 05:16 PM
Push You Down Push You Down is offline
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
2. Frostie's

Frostie's is really good too. I couldn't remember the name though. It's the brand with Santa on the bottle right?
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  #49  
Old 03-05-2010, 05:36 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is online now
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I haven't seen a Frostie in a long time. They were very good. I think they were in a special bottle. It was textured instead of smooth.
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  #50  
Old 03-05-2010, 05:53 PM
Harmonious Discord Harmonious Discord is offline
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Sprecher
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