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Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%) | Small Town Brewery

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Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%)Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%)

Brewed by:
Small Town Brewery
Illinois, United States

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Not Your Father’s Root Beer is a category-defining craft specialty ale brewed with unique spices. Brewer Tim Kovac’s creativity and painstaking commitment to flavor complexity results in an unmistakable offering that masterfully blends hints of sarsaparilla, wintergreen, anise, and vanilla. A smooth and balanced Ale, NYFRB has broad appeal – from discerning craft beer drinkers to non-beer drinkers.

Added by MasterSki on 10-29-2012

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Reviews: 571 | Ratings: 2,682
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

My wife made me buy this, a whole six-pack, and it's not cheap. We split one and the other 5 are still sitting by the steps to the basement waiting for a party to happen so that I can dump it on someone else. It's sweet and sugary, syrupy I guess, at least in the mouthfeel; and alcoholic, and like rootbeer-extract. I don't even consider it beer in all honesty, it's more of a malternative, not that I'm opposed to malternatives, or anything like that, because there are some that I like - but it just seemed so sloppy out of balance that I couldn't enjoy it. I even tried putting it over ice to help thin it and balance it out but that really made it worse. If you're someone that likes beer I'd probably avoid it, but someone who prefers sweet mixed drinks and the such would probably find it interesting.

 808 characters

Photo of mcpat1993
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hardly even beer, but I love it. Root beer is my favorite type of pop so this is just a blessing since I don't allow myself to drink regular pop. I just group this beverage under beer and give myself a pass. Tastes exactly like, if not better, than root beer. Love it.

 268 characters

Photo of BeerStud187
2.24/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Looks fine. Smells like root beer. Tastes like ass. Ok, more,succient, it tastes lie terrible malt liquor mixed with bad root beer. Look, I love root beer and I love alcohol, but this is neither. This is rubbing alcohol mixed with the worst POS root beer you've ever heard of. Skip this and just pour a shot into real rootbeer and skip this s---- f you want alcoholic root beer. This is awful and i hope their entire organization burns to the ground. F--- them. I've heard good things about their heavier sh-t, but I'm skeptical. This is bad.

 551 characters

Photo of teromous
2.31/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

On the neck: "1366LT 1142FL"

Appearance: Black body that is almost completely opaque save for a bit of very dark red that shows through in the light. The head forms low and fades quickly like a soda. It is white with hints of light tan. No big billowy foamy rootbeer heads from the Peanuts cartoon here.

Aroma: It smells just like rootbeer soda. It is not a strong aroma but more of a soft and subtle aroma.

Taste: It has an odd taste. There is a lot of residual sweetness to the beer and it has a flavor similar to rubbing alcohol. It does taste like rootbeer but more like rootbeer mixed with some rubbing alcohol and a spoon full of sugar. It has a wintergreen bubblegum aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: It has a soft mouthfeel which is contradictory to some of the rootbeers with more bite. It has a syrupy finish and a sickly sweet aftertaste. There is an odd bitterness at the end that just doesn't fit with the beer or compete with the sweetness.

Overall: As both beer lover and rootbeer lover I thought I might enjoy this but I was sadly disappointed. I really wouldn't recommend it and I wouldn't buy it again. As far as alcoholic rootbeer goes it looks like the search is still on for a properly brewed beverage. I suppose I will be sticking to mixed drinks in the future when I want alcoholic rootbeer. My recommendation is to stick with mixed drinks that are made with a better crafted rootbeer and a better crafted alcohol.

 1,431 characters

Photo of kevINSIGHT
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Everything these folks make is an amazing reproduction of the soda equivalent. Great root beer flavor though not the head. A little after-burn on the flavors, but enjoyable. They are a great novelty but a bit pricey. I love that they are not malt and flavoring like other fake drinks but actually brewed. Well done!

 320 characters

Photo of rawkin91
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I would give this a 10 if I could, I'm not big in beer , so whenjoy I say Not your father's root beer does more than hit the spot, it's a truly amazing statement. This is the best I have ever tasted.

 202 characters

Photo of Mantooth
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So, this actually is a beer eh? Could've fooled me. Pours like a flat cola and smells and tastes like root beer. There's some vanilla in there too, certainly and not a hint of alcohol in the nose or taste. It tastes like a root beer, but without any kick. It's crazy sweet too. Odd offering, but I got mine for $1 at my local pub.

 330 characters

Photo of Strangelove_PhD
1.64/5  rDev -56.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

The label says "beer flavored with spices", when it should read "root beer with malt liquor". This is no way resembles a beer, and it is excessively sweet. From the aroma I was hoping for a richly spiced beer reminiscent of root beer, with a subtle hint of sweetness. However, it tastes nearly as sweet as soda, and there is no practically no bite or alcohol taste. Frankly, I think this kind of "beer" is marketed towards younger drinkers that do not like the bitterness or flavors of real beer. And unfortunately for me, I am stuck with 5 other cans from the pack...

 568 characters

Photo of JohnDee
1.62/5  rDev -57.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Brownish black, like a cola. No head to speak of but well carbonated. Smells like root beer at first, but then it smells like disinfectant instead. The taste, sadly, follows the nose. It suggests root beer, but only for an instant at the beginning of the sip; that impression is almost immediately displaced by an overwhelmingly unpleasant medicinal or phenolic flavor reminiscent of Band-Aids or Lysol. I can only assume the spices are to blame since Coney Island Hard Root Beer has a similar flaw. The medicinal character is so strong there's almost no point in mentioning that it's also too sweet. Honestly, this tastes awful.

 629 characters

Photo of SaltofOH
3.76/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No visible date on the bottle. Drank from an old fashioned glass, with ice.

A: pours a dark brown with some ruby highlights visible when held up to the light. No head. No lacing or retention. I have had actual root beer that had more head than this.

S: smells like root beer. What else can I say? Sugary, vanilla, cinnamon, sarsaparilla, cream soda like.

T: tastes like root beer. Sugary sweet arrival and mid palate. Mid palate full of root beer flavor. Trails off to a lingering vanilla. Alcohol? What alcohol?

M: there were chunks of something in it, maybe the secret spice blend? Definitely not yeast. Slightly fizzy, well carbonated, but no carbonic bite.

O: entirely too sweet for me. I don't drink soft drinks (because of the empty calories, but I drink beer; that irony is not lost on me). But as a kid, I always had a soft spot for root beer, and this is good root beer. Not knowing how to rate this, I rated it to how closely it approximates my ideal form of a root beer. By that measure, it is good. But if I had never drank this, and if never drink it again, I will have lost nothing. At a certain level I'd rather buy Jones Soda and drop a shot of vodka in it; at least then I know I'm drinking.

 1,215 characters

Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My neighbor keeps these in his fridge and he invited me over for one. I obliged because I was interested in seeing how this tastes. Surprisingly, it's pretty damn good. I can't remember the last time I actually had root beer soda, but this is a very good copy cat of what I remember. It is crisp and clean with just enough alcohol bite. This would be something that could get away from you if you pound them too fast: they are very good. I was surprised by how tasty this is and may keep some for the pool or mowing the grass.

 526 characters

Photo of Lingenbrau
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Never judged a hard soda before. All I can say is this looks, smells, and tastes like a great root beer, but has a somewhat noticeable alcoholic quality to it. It is dangerous! Cheers!

 184 characters

Photo of JustenR
5/5  rDev +31.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Considering this as a specialty beer instead of just beer;
The smell has the homemade root beer smell, the taste is unique to homemade root beer and not commercial taste. There is a small drive in that makes homemade root beer near me and NYFRB matches that taste. The look and feel of NYFRB is that of root beer, this is not a beer only type drink. If you love root beer and want a small punch to go with it, this is a very good choice.

 439 characters

Photo of Beaver13
2.33/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle. Pours brown with a fizzy tan head that quickly disappears. Looks like pop.

The aroma is root beer and vanilla.

The flavor is sugary sweet root beer and vanilla. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a little prickly carbonation.

Overall, tastes like strong sweet root beer and vanilla. I don't get any alcohol. Too sweet for me with too much vanilla.

 370 characters

Photo of kbrokhoff
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Guys, let's not complicate things here. This 'beer' was clearly brewed to be root beer with alcohol in it. That's it. In that they succeeded. The brew looks, smells, and tastes exactly like god damn root beer soda. There's a slight burn in the aftertaste that lets you know there is alcohol present. The head dissipates quickly, which sounds exactly like you just poured a root beer soda into a glass. Anyone drinking this 'beer' thinking that it's going to taste like anything other than root beer is disillusioned. The real question is, should this type of alcoholic beverage be called a beer? Beats me. It is delicious nonetheless.

 644 characters

Photo of Sandalwood
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2016, pours a very brown to black color. There is a little off white head that dissipates quickly, no lacing, and quite a bit of carbonation. The odor for me is birch, licorice, anis, candy, sweet, wintergreen, woods, tart. The taste for me is root beer like, licorice, birch, wintergreen, candy, slightly metallic, sweet. No bitterness, metallic aftertaste.

 362 characters

Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.63/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

It sounds like a good idea but there's a sourness at the end that just did't feel right. I ended up dumping the last part after struggling through it. Not getting this one again.

 178 characters

Photo of Kazahkstan
2.04/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

This review is not full because I didn't want to go out to buy a single bottle of this garbage to do a proper review:
This is one of the worst alcoholic drinks I've ever had- worse than Lime-a-ritas. It smells and looks like a glass of root beer, and even tastes like it for the first two sips. After that, the overpowering taste of spices assault your palate and nose, quickly followed by an acrid, offensive artificial sweetener taste, which remains for the rest of the drink.
This garbage costs $5 at the bar and I left 2/3rds of the glass for the bartender to dump out.
Offensively sweet, overspicing, chemical taste- I would not recommend this to anybody.

 660 characters

Photo of microbrewlover
2.94/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This strange brew looks and smells just like, surprise, root beer; lots of fizz too.
Smell: root beer
Taste: Root beer with a bite. There is just a little alcohol lingering under the surface which leaks through. The finish is a little boozy, there is no carbonation at the end. Overall, pleasant to drink; worth a try.

 320 characters

Photo of sgt_187em
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This is the best hard root beer that I've tried to date. 2nd was Coney Island's and last was Bucsh's 'Best Damn Root Beer'. This one was less carbonated than I would have liked, no head formed, but it tasted most like root beer. Alcohol taste was noted but not overwhelming. Good stuff for what it is.

 303 characters

Photo of asmodeus1971
1.68/5  rDev -55.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 1

First taste or two was fine. It tasted like root beer. Then the aftertaste took over and the sweetness just got more intense with each sip. I really wanted to love this but in the end I couldn't even finish the first bottle.

 224 characters

Photo of beergoot
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark, brownish body; initial thick head that very quickly disappears completely. Vanilla and sarsaparilla aroma; caramel and brown sugar sweetness. Heavy sweetness on the palate, mimicking much of what is present in the aroma; peppermint-like tones; some bitterness. Heavy body; prickly carbonation; very sweet finish.

Opening the bottle brings on a rush of classic root beer aroma and, putting your nose to the glass, gives you the spritzing carbonation also associated with a soda. In fact, one might be hard pressed to know about any alcohol presence here as it really does come across as a root beer. With that said, I see this being more of a gimmick than anything else. It's too heavy and too sweet for my tastes in a beer by lacking a solid malt-base presence, and if I want a root beer, well, I'd just buy a root beer and skip the bonus alcohol presence. Good for what it is. It doesn't seem to present itself other than an alcohol-infused, root beer-like flavored beverage. It seems to meet its apparent taste profile, so high marks for that, yet I doubt I'd go out of my way for a second bottle...

 1,108 characters

Photo of scootny
4.72/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hello BA brothers! Reality check.
This is a root beer brewed from beer ingredients. The can says " We like to think of it as a dark spiced ale with vanilla and honey notes. Best served chilled or poured in a glass over ice." If you don't like root beer or have an issue with a beer that is in that mold don't apply. I love root beer. Here is my application.

A dark bubbly beverage that looks like soda.

Nose has all the attributes of the target beverage and is a delight to the nose.

Taste is a dead ringer for root beer. Alcohol is hidden.

A soda like carbonation delightful and crisp.

A couple of these and I'm good. Except on a hot night then I can go for three or four. As a root beer brewed from real beer this is exceptional.

 742 characters

Photo of dephtones
4.34/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not an aficionado, I just like drinking different beer. I don't have a great palate or anything like that. I'm a normal beer drinker.

That being said this stuff is awesome. If you like root beer, pick this up. It tastes like a root beer that's a tad stale, but it still tastes great. It doesn't taste like alcohol at all. My brother told me about this. It's not available where I live but when I go out of state I always bring pack a couple of 6 packs. The only downside is it's a bit heavy. One or two of these make me feel full, but buzzed.

 550 characters

Photo of gerite
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bought a six-pack of cans and poured into a growler for chilling.

This is more of a Root Beer with alcohol than a regular beer with root beer flavor. As a Root Beer it is great! As a beer it is rather sweet, watery and lacking in body.

Since I bought this as a Root Beer, I gave it a high rating it as a Root Beer.

This is a great beer for people who don't drink beer, but not for kids. It will sneak up on you.

 414 characters

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Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%) from Small Town Brewery
3.79 out of 5 based on 2,682 ratings.
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