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Posts from the ‘Hard Root Beer’ Category


Best Tasting Hard Soda Part 1 Hard Root Beer

Not Your Fathers Root Beer Image - CopySugar, Cold Water, Root Beer Extract, and Dry Ice.  That’s all that’s needed to create a decent tasting home made root beer.  The recipe can be found on the internet.  Made with your dad the day of a family party makes it taste even better.  Tim Kovacs at the suggestion of his son Jake spent 18 months perfecting first a 19.5%, and then a 10.7% hard root beer.  By November 2012 Not Your Fathers Root Beer was also being brewed at 5.9%.  Unable to keep up with demand, production and bottling was moved to the City Brewing Company in Lacrosse Wisconsin in late 2014.  Six months later Not Your Fathers Root Beer was available nationwide and the Hard Soda revolution was well underway.  By some reports six packs of Not Your Fathers Root Beer are now the number one selling craft brew sku.  Other reports estimate hard soda sales now account for over 1% of total beer sales in the US.  Samuel Adams, Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Seagrams, and several regional breweries have entered the hard soda market.  As a lifelong soda drinker, and someone who has reviewed 41 hard soda varieties, I’m prepared to give you my opinion on which Hard Soda’s pop and which Hard Soda’s fizzle. Read more »


Review: Not Your Fathers Root Beer 10.7%

Not Your Fathers Root Beer 10.7% - CopyNot Your Father Root Beer 10.7% is one of three hard root beers originally created at the Small Town Brewery in Wauconda Illinois.  The others include a 5.9% and an eye popping 19.5%.  While their 5.9 version is the undisputed king of Hard Root Beer, their 10.7 was introduced a year earlier.  Their 10.7% is currently only available on draft and in 22 oz. bottles.  While the ingredient list is a closely guarded secret, early inteviews claimed cinnamon, wintergreen, anise, Madagascar Vanilla, and Tupulo honey were included. Read more »


Review: Fitz’s Hard Root Beer

Fitzs Hard Root Beer Image - CopyFitz’s Hard Root Beer was just released.  It is the result of a collaboration between the O’Fallon Brewery and the Fitz’s Bottling Company.  The O’Fallon Brewery was founded in 2000.  Fitz’s Root Beer first appeared in St Louis at a local drive-in in 1947.  After disappearing for several years Fitz’s Root Beer was brought back in 1993 with the original recipe.  Fitz’s Hard Root Beer is blended and bottled at O’Fallon’s new 40,000 square foot Maryland Heights Missouri Brewery.  The beer is brewed with malted barley, caramel malt, hops, and yeast.  During the final stage of brewing a special blend of Fitz’s Root Beer made with pure cane sugar, sassafras roots, vanilla, and a spice blend is added to capture Fitz’s distinct and creamy flavor. Read more »


Review: McAles Hard Root Beer

McAles Hard Root Beer - CopyMcAles Hard Root Beer is one of four hard soda flavors produced by McAles Brewing Company in Los Angeles California.  It is contract brewed in Lacrosse Wisconsin by United Brands Company.  The other flavors include Ginger Ale, Cola, and Orange N Cream.  This is one of 14 hard root beer brands I am aware of.  McAles Hard Root Beer is a malt beverage with vanilla bean extract and real spice barks and caramel color added. Read more »


Review: Over The Barrel Hard Root Beer

Over The Barrel Hard Root Beer Image - CopyOver The Barrel Hard Root Beer is one of five hard soda flavors recently released by the Rhinelander Brewing Company.  The other flavors include Grape, Black Cherry, Cream Soda, and Blueberry.  The Over The Barrel Hard Soda line was initially created for Food Lion to sell at the 1100 stores they operate in South Eastern states in the US.  Ironically Food Lion was  interested in all of the flavors except the hard root beer flavor.  They thought the hard root beer flavor had become over saturated.  This is my twelfth hard root beer review.  They may have a point.  Over The Barrel Hard Root Beer is batch brewed with the finest 2 row malted barley and real cane sugar.  Real cane sugar, natural and artificial flavors, and caramel color are added. Read more »


Review: Rhinelander Hard Root Beer

Rhinelander Hard Root BeerRhinelander Hard Root Beer was recently launched by the Rhinelander Brewing Company.  This is the same brewery that brews the Over The Barrel line of hard soda.  The Rhinelander Brewery opened in 1845, and like many breweries, remained open during prohibition making non-alcoholic root beer.  While the brewery closed in 1967 their beer continues to be contract brewed in Monroe Wisconsin.  Rhinelander Hard Root Beer is brewed with 2 row malted barley.  Cane sugar, natural, and artificial flavors, and caramel color are added. Read more »


Review: Wild Root Alcoholic Root Beer

Wild Root Hard Root Beer - CopyWild Root Alcoholic Root Beer was introduced November 2015 by WG Brewing Company in Memphis Tennessee.  They also brew Wild Ginger Alcoholic Ginger Beer.  It is sold in 6 packs of 12 oz. cans.  While distribution was initially limited to 13 states, additional states have been added with hopes of national distribution soon.  Little product information is available.  The WG Brewing Company website just has a picture of both beers with a coming soon header.  The site, comes back unavailable.  The cans product description states this is a premium malt beverage with natural flavors and caramel color.  It also carries the tag line, “Putting the Beer back in Root Beer. Read more »


Review: Abita Bayou Bootlegger Hard Root Beer

Bayou Bootlagger Hard Root Beer - Copy - CopyAbita Bayou Bootlegger Hard Root Beer was just released.  The name is inspired by New Orleans original Bayou Bootlegger Jean Lafitte, a French Pirate.  This is the first product in a line of Bayou Bootlegger Hard Soda.  The recipe is based on the same root beer formula Abita has been craft brewing for over 20 years.  Abita currently produces more than 14,000 barrels of root beer each year in its state of the art brewing facility.  The root beer is made with Abita Springs natural spring water, herbs, vanilla, yucca, and pure Louisiana cane sugar.  The Hard Root Beer is bottled at 5.9% alcohol and sold in 6 packs of 12 ounce bottles. Read more »


Review: Jeds Hard Root Beer

Jeds Hard Root Beer - CopyJeds Hard Root Beer was introduced in October.  It is one of three hard soda’s they currently craft at the Matt Brewing Company in Utica New York.  The others include Hard Black Cherry and Hard Orange Cream.  The Matt Brewing Company is the fourth oldest family operated brewery in the US.  The brewery was originally the Charles Bierbauer Brewery where Francis Xavier Matt was the lead salesmen and brew master after immigrating to the US in 1880 from Germany.  By 1888 he reorganized and renamed the brewery the West End Brewing Company.  Today the third and forth generation of the Matt family run the brewery now named the Matt Brewing Company where they produce the Saranac line of beer.  During prohibition the brewery stayed afloat producing soft drinks under the Utica Club label.  Today they still produce a line of soft drinks under the Saranac label.  The brew masters at Matt created 43 recipes of hard root beer in the lab, before perfecting the current formula.  Jeds Hard Root Beer is made with vanilla extract, birch oil, and anise, and is sold in six pack in several states in the Eastern US. Read more »


Review: Mission Brewery Hard Root Beer

Mission Brewery Hard Root BeerMission Brewery Hard Root Beer was introduced in 12 ounce bottles February 2015.  It is brewed at 7.5% alcohol at the Mission Brewery in San Diego California.  The Mission Brewery was established in 1913 and closed during Prohibition.  Dan Selis an avid home brewer re-established the brand in 2007.  This is my 7th hard root beer review, and I expect more to follow.  Mission describes this as a malt beverage made with natural and artificial flavors with caramel and certified color added.  They are expanding distribution, but the easiest place to find Mission Hard Root Beer or any of their other beers is in California.  Read more »