If you've ever joked about how root beer ≠ actual beer, you can take those jokes and shove 'em. Now, there are more and more alcoholic drinks modeled after your favorite sodas (or pop if you're
correct from the Midwest)—and yes, they are delicious.
Hard root beer was a hit in 2015, with companies capitalizing on the deliciousness of your favorite soft drink. Not Your Father's Root Beer, created by Small Town Brewery in Illinois and distributed by Pabst, became the third best-selling craft beer last year. Coney Island Brewing rolled out their own version last August, with W.G. Brewing, Forbidden Root Botanic Beers, Sprecher Brewing, and Mission Brewery all joining in with their own hard root beers. Best Damn Root Beer, by Anheuser-Busch, also rolled out, grabbing more fans for the hard soda bandwagon.
And the wagon is gaining traction. In fact, there are even more flavors rolling out—the Coney Island Hard Ginger Ale and Hard Orange Cream Ale are both delicious and have a 5.6% and 5.0% ABV (alcohol by volume) respectively, a little higher than your average beer. MillerCoors also has two versions—Henry's Hard Ginger Ale and Henry's Hard Orange Soda—coming in at 4.2% ABV. (All taste-tested by this writer and approved, because someone's gotta do it.)
Will the trend continue? We'll see. For now, I'll be sitting here waiting to see what other flavors hit the market. Here's hoping for a lemon-lime flavor. (Please?)
1. Not Your Father's Root Beer
2. Henry's Hard Ginger Ale and Hard Orange Soda
3. Best Damn Root Beer
4. Coney Island Hard Orange Cream Ale and Hard Ginger Ale
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