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Not Your Father's Root Beer (10%) - Small Town Brewery

Not Rated.
Not Your Father's Root Beer (10%)
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54 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 54
Hads: 548
Avg: 4.3
pDev: 13.95%
Wants: 459
Gots: 151 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Small Town Brewery visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 10-29-2012

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 54 | Hads: 548
Photo of Shanephillipsarizona
5/5  rDev +16.3%

I tried this beer at a festival in Wauconda, Illinois . This taste was unexpected, for sure. A very rich and flavorful root beer with only a minor hint I was drinking an alcoholic drink. I enjoyed several glasses and the taste never dulled. I would recommend this beer to anyone that enjoys a home made style root beer.

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Photo of D-12
5/5  rDev +16.3%

I was in Chicago last week for some training for work. Me and my co-workers stopped by Harry Caray's 7th Inning Stretch restaurant and I saw, "Not Your Father's Root Beer" on the menu and decided to give it a try. I was glad I ordered a glass of it! This brew is incredibly tasty. The version I was served was the 10% ABV. Like several of the other reviews have stated, you do not taste the alcohol at all. The flavor is a delicious creamy/sweet root beer flavor. The root beer flavor reminded me of a freshly poured A&W root beer served at the root beer stand. This is in contrast to say a flavor like a Barq's or MUG root beer. The creaminess and hints of vanilla come through slightly at the finish. I highly recommend trying this excellent beer if you get the chance. Looking at the Small Town Brewery's website, it appears that it is only available in Illinois. With me being in Ohio, I am hoping to find a local place that can order some for me. Small Town Brewery really should consider a wider distribution than just within Illinois. I am sure it would be a big success wherever it is sold.

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Photo of beergurujr
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Alcoholic root beer. Tastes like a really well made root beer. No real sense of any booze. Root beer color (dark). Smells like a great root beer- herbal. Fuller bodied than a non-alcoholic root beer. How they do this is a mystery to me. I love root beer, and of course I love this stuff.

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Photo of Ryan42
4.99/5  rDev +16%

Can not give anything a perfect score because there is always room for improvement but this beer is exactly what u think it is 10% abv and tastes just like Root Beer! It is really sweet with strong sarsaparilla and vanilla. you have to remind people that there is alcohol in it.

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Photo of zookerman182
4.98/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance is root beer
The aroma is 100% root beer.
Taste is phenomenal. I'm blown away by this "beer".
It's not heavily carbonated which is a good thing and the taste doesn't linger much.
But there's no mistaking that its root beer.
If I had to guess I would say it is 4%...but it's 10.
I need a never ending fountain of this.
Best beer I've ever had.

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Photo of indiggio
4.95/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just went out on a trip to Naperville, IL and co-workers took me out to WOB. They all suggested trying one of these, but knowing what I refer to as a "novelty beer", I shied away the first night. I stuck with some interesting IPAs.

The next night back at the same place, everyone was trying them so I broke down. I am so glad I did!!! Or maybe now I'm not so glad, because you can only get this beer out in IL from what they tell me.

This beer is remarkable. The look, aroma and finally taste is unbelievably identical to what normal root beer tastes like. It's just amazing.

What's also remarkable is that at 10%, there's just NO hint of the booze (and eventual slap to the back of the head kick) when drinking it. It would be SO easy to keep drinking this into oblivion (as one of our party did). Later visits had us limiting ourselves to 1 of these a night.

The only cons to this beer are its sweetness and it's mouthfeel, IMHO. You need to be OK with a sweet "beer" or ready yourself to the fact that what you're going to have is sweet. There is no hint of hops or bitterness or anything that you would expect from a regular beer.

The other is mouthfeel. To me, there's just not enough carbonation for my taste. A tad bit more bubbles and this thing would be perfect for the type of beer category it represents.

If you're ever in the Illinois area, seek out a place that has this beer. Search far and wide for you while you're there and try it. You may find yourself as happy (then sad) as I did.

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Photo of bankerdanny
4.91/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

If I didn't know it was alcoholic I might have thought this was regular root beer.

The carbonation is very light, and the beer is very sweet, as one would expect from a root beer, more A&W than say Barq's.

Be careful with it, it would be very easy to over indulge. I am thinking that it would be interesting to try as a float. You could call it a Drunken Cow.

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Photo of MalibuKenny
4.9/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

O: I am amazed at the marvel that is Small Town brewing, that they can put out this root beer in different ABV level, and it all taste the same, except the higher you go the faster you crash... believe me, I found this out personally

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Photo of Eric_Edwardson
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Growing up I remeber drinking Dads rootbeer with my dad. It was our root beer of choice at home. So naturally even the name not your fathers root beer had me. Then the taste. Incredible. Taste just like the best root beer you've ever had (similar to the tastes of dads) lots of spices and bite and has a great ale after taste that is incredibly smooth on the palate! If you like root beer you will love this beer!

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Photo of stace
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This did not taste like a beer, but oh my, does it taste like root beer. The alcohol is completely stealthy. Honestly, if you like root beer, this is simply a wonderful drink. I love it.

It mimics a good craft root beer in look, taste, smell, and mouth feel. The carbonation is refreshingly low. I recommend it.

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Photo of mmahanna41
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Much better than the 5.9%... If it wasn't so strong, I'd have no problem drinking 5 or 6 of these. Still just a slight bit more sugary than the 19% abv.

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Photo of Imrickjamesbch
4.79/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

22oz bomber, love love it. Think barrel aged hint of bourbon sassafras root beer with teeth. Must go back to Kroger to get Jeni's vanilla ice cream for a 5-star float NOW. Starting to feel the coolness through my vertebrae now. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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Photo of larryarms847
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Pours a dark chocolate brown with lots of carbonation coming up the sides of the snifter it was poured in. On tap at a local pub.

Spice, some chocolate, and the very unique smell of root beer, with plenty of booze on the nose.

Wowzers, the alcohol perceived on the nose is nowhere to be found in the mouthful. Beautifully crafted root beer flavors with spice perfectly hide the hefty ABV.

Mouthfeel is sweet and sticky, but plenty of carbonation provides enough bite to cut through like butter.

Overall, hands down the best hard root beer I've had to date, aside from their heftier Not Your Grandfather's variant ;)

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Photo of TheSleepyMonkey
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lucky to try this at a tasting event in Memphis. I will simply echo what reviewers have said...this is ridiculous. I cannot believe this is 10% abv, I can't even believe its alcoholic. It tastes like really good craft root beer. Really sweet, not heavily carbonated. Wish I could buy this all the time, it's one of the most surprising beers I've ever tasted. Bravo.

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Photo of Rado
4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Bigbys pour house in Illinois.

WARNING this is not a typical beer, dont rate this against your favorite IPA! Rate it for what it is..

WARNING again, this is deceptively easy to drink like pliney the younger, watch out

That said it tastes like one of the best root beers that you had growing up.

Appearance- black as night, super dark root beer brown/black

Mouthfeel - moderate and a little syrupy, delicate carbonation

Taste - rivals some of the best rootbeers, sweet with all the spice expectations of a true rootbeer, surprisingly balanced with little notice of alcohol

Overall - if I knew about this when I was younger I would be an alcoholic

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Photo of JAramini
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

An "are you kidding me?!" beer.

Someone showed up with a growler of this at our homebrew club meeting. It was labeled "10% ABV Root Beer" and we all pretty well lost our minds for it.

Perhaps in a blind tasting you'd be able to tell this from a regular, non-alcoholic root beer, but, on its own, without a point of reference, this tastes exactly like a root beer without a hint of alcohol. I don't know what kind of magic is going on here but this is amazing.

The only real critique I could offer is that it's perhaps too sweet/syrupy, but this is an insane beer. If you get the chance to try it, do not pass it up.

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Photo of Svyturys30
4.69/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I have had this beer almost every time I go to WOB. It is a beer that you can enjoy and try to pick up on all the tastes, or it is a beer that you can slam and will taste great either way.

A- Has that dark brown, almost motor oil color.

S- There is a sweet root beer aroma that this delectable beer leaves in your nose. This beer has a tan head that lingers for a while.

T- This beer is heaven in your mouth. I see that there is a picture of the beer in a bottle, but I haven't been able to find this beer anywhere, bottled (I know they were going through the process of obtaining a bottling permit, not sure if they obtained it or not). It tastes of a home made root beer that you can only find in diners down south.

M- This beer has a sticky feel to it, each and every drop sticks to your tongue and leaves behind an amazing root beer taste.

O- This beer is definitely one of my favorites. Now that I have seen a picture of a bottle of it on BA, I am determined to find it and stock my fridge with it! If you can find this beer in bottles or (if you can purchase) a keg, buy it, you won't be disappointed (that is if you like root beer).

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Photo of drmcleod10
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured and split amongst family

brown in appearance, slightly opaque, minimal head on this guy

Smells just like rootbeer would out of a can, nothing really more to it to explain. Alcoholic Rootbeer

Taste follows the nose here straight up root beer. Maybe a little more syrupy than I would like but really easy to drink. Root beer floats all day

Feel is just a little thicker than the 6%

O - Delicious

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Photo of dbc5
4.64/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark brown with an apparent soda-like carbonation and a not-so-dense, soda like head that recedes leaving a small froth over the top of my glass. Looks exactly like root beer.

S: Smells....like a root beer. Sarsaparilla, vanilla, creamy. The alcohol is not apparent, which should be noted. I wouldn't guess this is 10%.

T: Amazing! The bottle says this is a "dark amber ale" with spices. I'm very curious about the process for making this beer, because this simply tastes like the best craft root beer I've had. Not picking up a "base beer," but an extremely well crafted root beer. Alcohol doesn't come through in the flavor profile, which is again impressive given the alcohol content. The most impressive flavor component for me is the creamy vanilla that lingers on the tongue.

M: Medium body with a light carbonation on the tongue. Slightly thicker than your traditional root beer, which enhances the creamy flavor profile.

O: This is the best craft root beer I've had, alcoholic or not. So ridiculously creamy, which makes it stand above the rest. I'm not a huge soda drinker, but honestly, if this were available to me locally, I would go out of my way to have a few bottles on hand at all times.

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Photo of FindmybeerChris
4.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stuff is dangerously good. It smells and tastes just like the root beer you grew up with. It's just sweet root beery goodness. There is no perceptible trace of alcohol while you're drinking it. By the second or third sip you might be wondering if you could get a scoop of ice cream to turn it into a full blown root beer float. You finish the glass and just as the nostalgia for the Americana of your youth is hitting you full force you realize 'oh snap this root beer packs a punch'. One more please, bartender.

BTW, I've been cataloging all known places that sell Not Your Father's Root Beer. You can find them at my site here :


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Photo of buschbeer
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I acquired this via trade from blue-dream. Thank you, sir. It was shipped to me in swing top bottles, securely fastened and taped. So, I will call it a growler for reviewing purposes. I poured it into a mug, as I thought a root beer should be served. It looks a lot like root beer. The head isn't quite as frothy as a root beer, but that is probably due to being pours into a bottle and shipped two states away. Basically, this looks and smells like a root beer. It smells exactly like it. As far as I can tell it tastes exactly like root beer. I am not a big root beer drinker, but the thought of a 10% abv root beer is appealing. The only thing that detracts, is that when it warms I get a little alcohol taste. As long as it is ice cold it is root beer all the way. It is not overly carbonated, but once again, that goes back to the pouring and shipping. Overall, it is fantastic. I wish I had some ice cream to make a float with it. Can you imagine a 10% ice cream float? I am definitely glad I got to try this. This stuff is scary as the drinkability and high abv make a highly potent combination.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served in a snifter at the Beer Market in Lincolnshire.

Finally putting down my thoughts on the 10% version of this ridiculousness. It pours a nearly opaque black-brown topped by a finger of light sandy tan foam. The nose comprises light molasses, mild wintergreen, cola, and even a bit of cocoa and maple syrup. Frankly, it smells like root beer. Yup. The taste brings in more of the same, a traditional-tasting root beer with a slight intimation that there might be some alcohol back there somewhere. Imagine your uncle (not the creepy one, though) surreptitiously spiking his own soda during an otherwise boring family party, then possibly (you're not entirely sure, though) doing the same for you, despite your youth. Yup. The body is a fluffy medium, with a moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, a damn tasty beverage, one that combines my love for a well-made root beer with my love for a good-tasting beer. I can't say this vehemently enough: GET SOME!

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Photo of StoutItOutLoud
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Going to echo Trifecta1 here, except to add that this looks, smells, and tastes like a VERY GOOD root beer, i.e., without the cloying sweetness of HFCS. Inviting spicy aromas of vanilla, sarsparilla. Taste follows. I took my time to finish my $3 PINT, but this is easily crushable. May look thin, but very creamy.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown with minimal head... Looks just like root beer. The nose is ridiculous... Is this really beer?? Smells like a nice creamy root beer. Heavy notes of vanilla, saspirilla, and birch come through. Literally nothing in here smells like there is a beer in there. No hop bitterness, no yeasty notes, nothing, and I'm totally okay with that! Taste is... Surprise surprise, root beer! A pretty heavy sweetness in the middle along with all the notes that a good root beer delivers. Mouthfeel is fizzy and somewhat viscous. Aside from a little hint of booziness at the end, this beer tastes identical to root beer. I can't believe that 10% of alcohol is hidden within this beverage. This could be dangerous!

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Photo of Trifecta1
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's premium root beer. Looks like root beer, smells like root beer, feels like root beer, tastes like root beer. Alcohol is well hidden. Any qualities that resemble beer are hidden. How they brewed this beast is a mystery, but it is tasty, and no one can deny that.

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Not Your Father's Root Beer (10%) from Small Town Brewery
94 out of 100 based on 54 ratings.