Small Town Brewery in Wauconda, Illinois has a problem. But first where is Wauconda? It’s near Bangs Lake, down the road from Volo in Illinois lake country. The problem is a good one. They can’t keep up with consumer demand for their relatively new brand of alcoholic root beer.
Called “Not Your Father’s Root Beer,” am ale with a touch of spices, caught the attention of the Midwest/Chicagoland craft beer community for some time now and lately it is going mainstream as it recently caught the eye of Fortune Magazine.
The financial publication reports the hot selling brand’s sales totaled more than $7 million so far (June, 2015). “That’s good enough to rank it among the top 30 craft beer brands in the country,” says Fortune writer John Kell. That’s also topping sales for the comparable time frame of noted brands like Sam Adams, New Belgium and Sierra Nevada.
Yes, it is summer and boozy root beer smacks of a fad but even with it being packaged in six-packs and a rosy distribution deal with Pabst it’s hard to find “Not Your Father’s Root Beer” on shelves.
Is it a fad?
Too soon to tell, Writer Kell says, “while the beer is refreshing, it might be a tough sell to the stuffy craft beer connoisseur (read Californians).”
But no one knows what the future will brew.
Copy cats have caught the scent of money by brewing root beer with a jolt of alcohol. Fortune reports Coney Island Brewing “backed by Sam Adams maker Boston Beer has a replicant in the works.” And, that means we might see a phase ahead of MORE soda/booze marriages not seen since Dad’s was Nehi to an A&W.