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

Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%)Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%)
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Herb and Spice Beer
4.1 | pDev: 17.8%
Small Town Brewery
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%)Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%)
Notes: 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.
Reviews: 604 | Ratings: 2,793 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of just1cho
3.11/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Drank from a 12oz bottle. When pouring, it was dark... like root beer! Very very little head retention. It's there for a second, then becomes almost non-existent. It smells of spicy, sweet and earthy aromas... kinda like root beer! Can't go wrong with that. In terms of tastes.. its pretty much what you would expect, like root beer but with a slight boozy taste. Has a sweet/bitter finish. Very rich, and I personally can't tolerate sweetness too much so this beer got disgusting towards the end and was hard to finish. I felt as though every aspect of this beer resembled a root beer, except for the carbonation. This beer is not very carbonated, so this definitely deviates from a classic root beer in this sense.
Overall, if you have a big sweet tooth and like the taste of root beer, this beer would be perfect for you. If you don't have much of a sweet tooth, like me, I would probably go with something else.

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Photo of realJohnnyHobo
4.45/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

All things considered, seeing "no longer brewed" is a bit of a questionable marking as I still see this brand on Pabst's website apart of their portfolio. In the last 2 years, the packaging of NYF has been changed to a more modernized cleaner product no longer carrying the former Small Town Brewery labeling.

The beer pours jet black, brown inward appearance with a ruby color in direct sunlight. The former head quickly dissipated leaving no lacing or retaining in the head.

Smell if of sassafrass and a small hint of vanilla.

Tastes like it smells - sassafrass notes hit the tongue at first, followed by underlying vanilla notes with a roar of carbonation in the mids while finishing syrupy with a hint of alcohol if you're really looking for it.

Mouthfeel is syrupy candy glaze, reminds me of A&W rootbeer candies.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
3.49/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

(12 oz bottle, not dated; purchased cold single... poured into 14 oz mug)

L: dark, ruby liquid; foam disappears immediately... razor-thin collar remains; no lace

S: root beer... maybe a slight undertone of Oldsmobile upholstery, back seat, or suede, not sure... I love root beer, so it smells just fine to me

T: root beer... slightly molasses syrup in the middle, which shifts to a vague coffee syrup flavor in the finish... hint of old, oxidized caramel malt in the aftertaste; thing almost tastes infected or faintly band-aid-like... it's maybe marginally bitter, as the sweetness doesn't linger long

F: not quite adequately carbonated for a root beer, and there's the slightest bit of residual oily drag in the finish, but it's not far off from said soft drink... hmm... alcohol warmth creeps up after the 3rd or 4th sip, but stays chill

O: root beer, and not much else... the oxidized/band-aid note is a lil odd, and it sticks out a bit in the aftertaste... this isn't beer - it's a hard malty soft drink - no interest to finish the glass or have this again (1482)

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Photo of SAUbrewcrew
3.44/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It’s a hard root beer not much more too it. It’s pretty sweet so you can’t have too many but it is an alcoholic root beer and that’s what it tastes like.

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Photo of spectru
2.4/5  rDev -41.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Dark, almost opaque, root beer color, no head; Smells like root beer; Tastes a lot like root beer, but also a little like beer. , Quite sweet. Not much carbonation, just enough to keep it from being flat; The ABV on the bottle made me think that this might be more beer than root, but really, its root beer brewed with alcohol. If you like root beer, maybe you'll like this. I don't care for root beer and I don't like this.

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Photo of sjdevel
3.93/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look - dark color - looks like a root beer - not much of a head at all and what it there dissipates
Smell - mostly root beer - not much else comes to the nose
Taste - tastes like root beer - slight malt and yeast (baaaaaaarrrrrrrrrely) - super sweet that doesn't really dry out
Feel - a bit thinner than I hoped for - syrupy though at the same time
Overall - you really think you are drinking root beer here. I don't get much ale/beer at all. It has a great flavor and would make an awesome float or a syrup (after reducing) for ice cream. I like it - just not beery enough for me for a regular drink

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Photo of DerekMiller
3.27/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Re-review on this, especially since they've changed the labeling on this product recently and don't advertise it as a beer any more and instead as a "malt beverage with natural and artificial flavor and caramel color" which, let's be honest, that's what it really was. I used to love this but as I drink it more I start to dislike it more.

Look: Pours a dark, creamy brown with a bubbly tan foam. Settles into a dark oak brown. Looks like root beer to me!
Smell: Strong vanilla, spice, dark fruit... I mean I could go on but it just smells like a really good, potent root beer. The ethanol smell is completely masked.

Taste: Odd... it almost feels like there's two separate "spheres" of flavor here. In the center is this pungent, alcohol + molassesy sugar combo with a punch of concentrated root beer flavoring. It's like someone dissolved root beer candy in vodka then reduced it till it turns into a dense syrup. No complexity beyond this. It's not bad at first but the time you drink your second bottle then your third and your fourth... there's a point where it become unbearable. Now whenever I drink it I can't ignore it unless I sip it very slowly. 1.5.

The second sphere is everything around this. It's a nice, pleasant, sweet root beer flavor. A lot of the vanilla seems gone but the herbal, spicy notes that come from root beer and still here. 3.5.

Overall flavor is 2.5. Pouring on ice bumps it to a 3.0. Vanilla ice cream bring sit to 3.5 - 4.0.

Feel: Simply feels like a slightly more syrupy soda. Pleasant enough, nothing to write home about.

Overall: I won't say no if someone offers this to me. It works better for root beer floats than to drink by itself.

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Photo of JimboBrews54
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black appearance with a small head that fully diminishes quickly. Smells and tastes exactly like root beer, average body moderate sweetness, a syrupy feel and a lasting finish. Kind of good, but I couldn’t imagine drinking more than 1 or 2 in one sitting.

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Photo of Moir1994CT
4.61/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer captures what it is perfectly. it is alcoholic root beer. I know it isnt just root beer with a few shots of vodka in it but you could have fooled me. However this is not a negative. if this was a "root beer" with alcohol the last thing id want is a super hoppy beer. it would be nasty. Its higher power than the average lager but not by much and is sweet like root beer. A fantastic beginner beer or for someone whome generally doesnt like the taste of beer but likes root beer. A tad pricey but its not a everyday drink. More of an occasional treat.

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Photo of OhMy
3.2/5  rDev -22%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

This would be a really good Root Beer if it didn't have the aftertaste of Anise or Licorice. It's a full taste, smells good, and I would have enjoyed it except for that. I'm not a licorice fan, so, unfortunately I won't be purchasing it again.

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Photo of Troy-Hawaii
4.25/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bought a 6-pack $9.99 Target
Smell of root beer
Dark black/brown color
Medium-heavy mouthfeel
Medium carbonation
Tastes of licorice, root beer flavors
Overall it tastes like a high-end craft root beer. Nice for a change of pace.

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Photo of Sabtos
2.75/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Yep. It looks, tastes, feels, and smells like root beer, with fizzly air going up your nostrils and herbal sassafras cola going down the gullet.

But this isn't Soda Advocate and I'm just not sure why this is considered beer...just because there is alcohol in it? I don't think so. This becomes even more pertinent a question when you look at other Small Town "beers."

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Photo of Amendm
3.33/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12-oz. bottle poured heavily into a 16-oz mug produced a fizzy white head that lasted seven seconds, no lacing.
Dark brown, almost black, looks more like cola than root beer.
Smells like root beer, sarsaparilla and vanilla with noticeable alcohol.
Tastes like root beer except for a strange taste that I believe is the alcohol not being blended with malt and hops as in more typical beers. This taste also appears as an unpleasant after taste.
Medium body with almost no carbonation, finishes semi-dry.
As are wise friends who wish not to say something negative or positive would say……” I dunno”.

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Photo of ZenAgnostic
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not your father's root beer. No discernable date on bottle. Neck stamped 0998LX and below that 1201FL-. 808204 21A2049 stamped at bottom front of bottle.

12oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip.

Appearance - Root beer with less head. 4.5

Smell - Root beer but richer. 4.5

Taste - Root beer but a bit sweeter. 4.5

Mouthfeel - Root beer but very, very slightly less sticky, but also noticably less carbonation. 4.5

Overall - A better root beer that gives you a buzz. Not a bad idea. Giving it good scores based on the fact that it's virtually indistungishable from most root beers other than the fact that it has basically unnoticable alcohol which is pretty cool. Great gimmick beer. 4.5

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Photo of Nvrmind16
3.44/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

as far as non- beer but still called beers go, its very good. Again its not a true beer but far better than a mikes hard lemonade. Very sweet with a little spice in its flavor notes. The alcohol content feels more like 8 percent even when its 5.9

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Photo of ElmerS
4.85/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

After a pleasurable encounter with another one of small town brewery’s products, I ran out and bought a few more of their lineup and have been rating them. Perhaps tied with the “not your mothers apple pie”, these two beverages are so far my favorite in their product lineup. They are certainly meant to be more like soda than beer and I think you’ll find that most of the negative reviews are posted by beer purists looking to rate a “true beer”. Several of the small town brewery products have had a strange aftertaste which was slightly objectionable to me. At first I thought I detected that in this product as well, but upon further contemplation decided that the interesting flavor profile reminded me more of a true homebrewed root beer/sasparilla as opposed to a commercial sugar syrup- artificially flavored product. They are sweet and I probably wouldn’t drink more than a couple In a single sitting, but they are refreshing Departure from the norm. ( look smell and feel are rated as fives because I would not change them. They are not spectacular but I do not feel as though a three rating would be appropriate considering I have no suggestions for improvement. )

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Photo of Tim_G
2.74/5  rDev -33.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Looks and smells like root beer. Taste is very artificial and strange. I drank a couple IPAs then had the wild idea to try this, it has me feeling sick and nasty. What the heck is in this thing?

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Photo of Vixie
3.22/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pours a lot like a root beer, with a lot of fizzing. The foam doesn't stay around long, leaving what looks more like a cola than a root beer.

Being as this is supposed to be an alcoholic root beer, the smell is very much like root beer. Basically the root beer smell familiar to many, with a bit of vanilla.

Tastes a lot like root beer, not surprisingly. It starts of tasting decent, but a weird aftertaste lingers. Not sure if it was from the alcohol or something else, but I found it a bit unpleasant.

If you have ever drank a root beer, you are familiar with how this feels.

If not for the weird aftertaste, I would rate this one higher. I love root beer, and this starts out tasting like a decent example. It kind of reminds me a bit of diet root beer, if you can stand the artificial aftertaste, you'll likely enjoy it.

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Photo of BlackBeerPirate
2.77/5  rDev -32.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Taste: sweet spice, root beer, vanilla, and some alcohol bite. same with the nose. Dark Brown, clear, no head at all. Medium body. Slight artificial aftertaste in the finish.

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Photo of captaincoffee
2.22/5  rDev -45.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a bit thin with a large head that fizzles away very quickly to nothing. Nose is vanilla and earthy root beer with no malt or hop aroma. Taste is sweet with strong root beer, vanilla, and anise. It has a quite a acrid aftertaste that was making it harder to drink as I got further into the glass. It is a bit medicinal as well. No malt or hop flavors. As a non-beer alcoholic root beer, I'd probably give this a 2..75. As a beer, which is what we are supposedly reviewing here, it is certainly lower.

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Photo of BeerBobber
3.98/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Looks like root beer.
Smeels like root beer.
Tastes like root beer.
Mouth feel will get a bit chalky as it warms. Served ice cold and drank down fast, no chalky after taste.
Overall a good hard root beer for those that want a soda and not a beer. Bayou Bootlegger is a bit more over the top (please see review) and a bit better, but these really are still soda's with alcohol. Four Loko anyone!

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Photo of beerguy04
4.5/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a root beer color. Smell is of root beer. Taste is root beer. Mouthfeel is root beer. Overall if you love the sweet taste of root beer, this beer is for you.

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Photo of PlinyMeNow
2.1/5  rDev -48.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Clear dark brown and pours like a cola, not beer! Audibly fizzy with absolutely no head, with bubbles around the edge and rising from the bottom but no lacing. Smells exactly like root beer (sarsaparilla), maybe a little vanilla. Tastes like root beer, sugary and fizzy, some vanilla. A slight medicinal quality and a little spice in the throat. Finishes very sweet. In summary it is like a somewhat spicy and slightly medicinal root beer. Really does not resemble beer.

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Photo of drdiesel9483
4.3/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look - really dark brown syrupy root beer look, less carbonated than a standard root beer found at a&w.
Smell - smells like a great root beer. Cola, vanilla, spices, syrup
Taste - taste like root beer. Just like what I mentioned for smell
Feel - full body, very syrupy, medium light carbonation, no real booze
Overall - dead on to what's supposed to be. Best alcoholic root beer I've had and it was the first one I remember having

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Photo of Delekhan
3.82/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

My wife is pretty in love with this until I introduced her to Sours and we have gone through two six packs though the third one never seem to get finished. I think we both got over it after a bit.
L: Dark cola look to it nothing really special.
S: Smells like root beer with hints of vanilla and spices lingering in the sniff.
T: Similar to the smell with a hint of vanilla but the spices were always unbalanced in comparison to the rest of the beer with an especially strange aftertaste that I could never put my finger on. The aftertaste kind of ruined it for me everything else just tasted like a flat diet root beer but that weird aftertaste.
O: It was fun when making the shift from mixed drinks and liquor to drinking more beer, but overall it was kind of a loss of interest for me though my wife occasional brings it up but never actually drinks it.

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Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%) from Small Town Brewery
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 2793 ratings