Root beer is a delicious beverage best enjoyed by a child pretending to drink real beer. But lately, root beer has been getting the hard lemonade treatment, steering away from kids and into adult-beverage territory.
Alcoholic root beer isn’t new, but brands like Not Your Father’s Root Beer have exploded into the mainstream. Food Republic notes that Not Your Father’s brought in over $7 million in sales in the first half of 2015.
With the market already primed, USA Today reports that beer goliath Anheuser-Busch has decided to put out its own adult root beer; the ambitiously named Best Damn Root Beer debuts in stores and bars today.
“We like to say this is an easy-drinking hard root beer,” said Kathy Sattler, brand director for Best Damn Brewing. “It smells, it looks and it tastes like the root beer flavor you know and love, but in an adult version.”
The float-ready brew has been in development since 2014, when Budweiser started to notice a shift in beer consumption away from classic tastes and towards Mango-Rita’s and the like. “We are seeing more and more consumers gravitate to different styles and different palates wanting things that are not just the traditional beer taste,” said Rashmi Patel, an Anheuser-Busch vice president.
Best Damn Root Beer clocks in at 5.5% ABV, a half a tick higher than regular Bud at 5% (but lower than Not your Father’s, which boasts 5.9% booze).
The Best Damn brand also distributes an apple ale that should not be mistaken for Mott’s.