If you have a sweet tooth and a habit of tying one on, you’ve long-dreamt of real-beer root beer being front and center in your fridge. Sure, you may have had a taste here and there at a restaurant or a buddy’s house—hell, maybe you poured a flask of vodka into a can of Barq’s to make sure it had serious bite—but this summer, boozy root beer seems to be all the rage, especially since one delicious brand is blowing up.
Small Town Brewery has bestowed upon us Not Your Dad’s Root Beer, a celebrated concoction so good that it scored 94 on Beer Advocate. By comparison, New Belgium’s flagship Fat Tire scores an 84. The Illinois-based brewery offers up a familiar taste from growing up, just now with a grown-up 5.9% level of alcohol. It seems to be that simple (and tasty).
“We really made this for ourselves and local consumers more than anything,” said Small Town founder Tim Kovac. “It really seems to hit on a sense of nostalgia for people.”
Even though the first batch was brewed in 2013, its recent soaring to the top of everyone’s summer to-do list is a distribution deal with Pabst earlier this year. Then, the Not Your Father’s brand was bought up by a group of investors that included Pabst’s CEO.
Welcome to your coolest, classiest, most childish summer yet.