Root beer, with the emphasis on "beer," is swiftly gaining popularity among craft beer drinkers. According to Bloomberg, a growing number of breweries are producing hard root beer ("think A&W with alcohol"). The most notable is perhaps by Pabst Brewing, which is best known for making PBR, the Budweiser of hipsters.
The company recently purchased Small Town, an Illinois-based brewery that produces Not Your Father's Root Beer. Even though Pabst has been pushing the drink nationwide, it's apparently so popular that it has become hard to find: Online message boards are "filling up with reports of long lines and tips on where to track down" Not Your Father's.
Matt Simpson, an Atlanta-based consultant and beer expert, explains the appeal of boozy root beer: "It tastes pretty good. It tastes like root beer, only with alcohol that you can't really taste anyway." Plus, alcoholic root beer requires "less of a nudge" to get consumers to try them. The flavors are already familiar, and it's easier to imagine drinking compared to beers that are now brewed with everything from black truffles to Sriracha. Most notably, it's sweeter, making it a better choice for those who are not fans of beer that tastes like beer. The real question is — how does it taste in a float?