Not Your Father’s Root Beer is an ale brewed with spices. And we’re smitten. It appears that Beer Advocate is as well, with a 98 point rating.
When Small Town Brewery set out to craft one of the most popular brews in our period of craft beer, I don’t think they anticipated this kind of response. Many people are wondering if this is the only beer they make… well, not technically.
According to Hardcore Craft Beer’s interview with brewmaster, Tim Kovac, they also make a strawberry rhubarb beer. “Small Town also produces a strawberry rhubarb beer that is just as popular as the root beer but has only been made a handful of times. According to Tim, the last batch of strawberry rhubarb was bought up by a local tavern that then sold through all of the kegs in less than 48 hours.” Tim’s creativity is causing some (well-deserved) noise in the craft beer community.
Here’s my take on Not Your Father’s Root Beer. Remember, serving temperature is 38°-50°F. Cheers!
Appearance – After raising the glass to eye level, it appears the color is a saturated, chocolate brown, with warm, slightly amber undertones. There was little to no head on this brew, perhaps because of the sweet properties.
Smell – Vanilla, toasted oak, cola, teensy bit of clove, thin layers of cherry, and… root beer!
Taste – It’s super sweet on the front palate, with a full-body density mid-palate. It leaves that weight on the tongue, which is super satiating when combined with the sweetness, but the carbonation comes to the rescue, lifting it up off the tongue for a spiced finish that contains little alcohol flavor. Flavors noted are vanilla, cola, spice, slight cherry and sarsaparilla. There’s a certain warmth that comes from the spices it’s brewed with. It truly is root beer with an ABV.
Mouthfeel – The mouthfeel is denser than the 5.9% ABV that it is, and also a bit thicker than non-beer root beer. It’s creamy but with an appropriate amount of carbonation to relieve the dessert-like quality.
Overall – Once the beer warms up a bit, the alcohol is more apparent. Otherwise it’s root beer all the way. We want to know, where is the ice cream? This is perfect for a BBQ dessert or for a Saturday night Netflix date. It’s sweet, it’s root-beery and it’s at ABC!
Disclaimer: Stay away if you’re not a root beer fan, because these flavors are the real deal.
Allie Smallwood, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits marketing copywriter