Food & Drink

Drink Up


Not Your Father's Root Beer

Small Town Brewery | 5.9% ABV

The craft brewing industry is known for IPAs, stouts, ales, porters, and all manner of beers that weren't ubiquitously available on the market, say, 10 years ago. Now, an Illinois-based brewery has added something a little different to their roster: a root beer.

Small Town Brewery, operated by Tim Kovac, has had success with the brew. In fact, when they first started selling it on draft in local bars, they couldn't keep it stocked. People liked it that much. That popularity drove them to bottle to it, which would eventually bring the little brewery some national attention.

It's no wonder Kovac had a runaway hit of a beer. Brewing has long been in his genes. The story goes that his great-great-grandfather was the captain of an English ship who also loved to gamble. He won a brewery during a particularly high stakes game and began to make beer he would bring aboard his vessel for long journeys on the high seas. Kovac even used some of his great-great-grandfather's recipes as inspiration for Small Town brews.

With a history like that, it seems natural that Kovac would employ something as nostalgic as root beer to create a mega-popular craft brew. The ale is smooth and silky, like one might expect from a fine sarsaparilla, with a swift kick of alcohol to remind you you're imbibing an adult beverage. At 5.9 percent ABV, it's no slouch in the alcohol department either.

Enjoyed well-enough on its own (we suggest a cold bottle on the porch on a summer afternoon), Not Your Father's Root Beer is also a great addition to other nostalgic treats: If a root beer float didn't immediately come to mind, we'd be a little disappointed in you. Pour a bottle into an ice-cold mug and top it with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, and you've got a deliciously alcoholic float. Add vanilla vodka for extra oomph.