You might not recognize the name Small Town Brewery, because there are at least 5,561 other craft breweries in America, and it isn’t a particularly memorable name. But I bet you’re familiar with Small Town’s best-known product, Not Your Father’s Root Beer.
While some drinkers bristle at the boozy beverage, there’s no denying its massive popularity. The hard soda racked up $114.6 million in sales in 2016, per research from IRI Market Advantage. (Approximately half of those sales can be attributed to my mother-in-law, who drinks the stuff like it’s tap water.)
Hoping to strike gold twice, the masterminds at Small Town—who quite literally hail from the very small town of Wauconda, Illinois (population: 13,758)—have decided to branch out and put their own spin on spirits. Yep, prepare yourself for Not Your Father’s Bourbon, the first in a series from new offshoot Small Town Craft Spirits.
It’s an 86-proof small batch that’s crafted for “veteran and novice bourbon drinkers alike,” per a press release. That means you can expect a noticeably sweet taste, thanks to the “touch” of Madagascar vanilla the distillers added to “enhance the flavor, not mask it,” the company says.
Well, they’re right: Your father probably wouldn’t drink a bourbon with added flavorings. Small Town is doing its best to assuage your natural concerns—“While most flavored whiskeys taste more like the flavor than the whiskey, Not Your Father’s believes that the whiskey is the most important part,” the press release reads—but we give you permission to express some healthy skepticism until actually trying the stuff.
For now, 750-milliliter bottles of Not Your Father’s Bourbon are available in Illinois and Wisconsin, but they’ll hit liquor stores nationwide in the new year. If you manage to get your hands on a bottle, try mixing it with NYF Root Beer for “an indulgent cocktail that’s hard to refuse,” per Small Town’s suggestion. Please report back.