Hard soda

Hard soda, also referred to as flavored beer, adult soda, fermented soda, mature soda and alcohol soda, is a type of alcoholic beverage and craft beer that is manufactured in the style of a soft drink.[1][2] It has gained recent prominence in the United States after the success of the Not Your Father's Root Beer brand manufactured by Small Town Brewery. As of late May 2016, at least 39 hard soda brands exist in the United States.


United States

Hard soda is a relatively new category in the craft beer segment of the alcoholic beverage industry that gained prominence in the United States after the prosperity of the Not Your Father's Root Beer brand manufactured by Small Town Brewery based in Wauconda, Illinois.[2] A partnership between Small Town Brewery and Pabst Brewing Company led to a significant increase in sales, whereby distribution of the product in the U.S. was expanded and then later expanded to be nationwide in June 2015.[1] Small Town Brewery first began brewing the product in 2012,[1] and it has a 5.9% alcohol by volume content.[2] The company released a Hard Ginger Ale in September 2015, and has plans to market a Vanilla Cream Ale hard soda.[1] The company also plans on marketing a separate version of the Not Your Father's Root Beer brand with a higher alcohol content.[1] In January 2016, the Not Your Father's Root Beer brand was the market leader in the hard soda category.[3]

As of late May 2016, the hard soda category comprises over 1 percent of total overall beer category sales in the United States.[1] In the U.S., many new hard soda brands have emerged beginning around early December 2015 and numbered to at least 39 brands by late May 2016.[1] One of them is the Best Damn Root Beer brand manufactured by Anheuser-Busch InBev's Best Damn Brewing Co., which was the second best-selling brand in May 2016 after Not Your Father's Root Beer, which realized double the overall sales compared to that of Best Damn Root Beer circa this time period.[1] Anheuser-Busch InBev also produces the Best Damn Cherry Cola brand product.[1] The Henry's Hard Soda brand ginger ale and orange soda are produced by MillerCoors, and brands produced by the Boston Beer Company include Hard Ginger Ale, Hard Orange Cream ale and Coney Island Brewing Hard Root Beer.[1] The Boston Beer Company root beer brand began development by the company's Alchemy & Science branch in 2013.[2] Diageo produces the Captain Morgan Spiked Root Beer brand, which is packaged in tall cans, and the Molson Coors Brewing Company produces the Mad Jack Premium Hard Root Beer brand.[4]


In Canada, the Mill Street Brewery in Toronto, which is owned by Labatt Breweries, produces a hard root beer using its house-made root beer mixed with its vanilla porter bierschnaps.[4] As of June 2016, the product was only available in Ontario.[4] Crazy Uncle Hard Root Beer is a hard root beer brand produced by the Brand Fusion company in Toronto, Canada.[4] It is packaged in cans.[4] Crazy Beard Apple Ale is produced by the Dusty Boots company in Canada, and is a mixture of beer and cider.[4]

Low and non-alcohol flavored beer

In Indonesia, Multi Bintang produces a non/low alcohol flavored beer named Bintang Radler, which is produced in grapefruit and lemon flavors.[5] The grapefruit flavor was introduced in 2015 and the lemon flavor was introduced in February 2016.[5]


In addition to being drunk as-is, hard soda root beer products are sometimes used as an ingredient in the root beer float.[2][4][6]

See also


  1. Rotunno, Tom (May 29, 2016). "No hard times for hard soda as sales soar, new brands sprout". CNBC. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  2. Mickle, Tripp (August 13, 2015). "Not So Soft Drink: Brewers Add Booze to Root Beer". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  3. Genovese, Peter (January 29, 2016). "Hard soda takes nation by storm: Which ones are the best, worst?". NJ.com. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  4. Wright, Lisa (June 11, 2016). "Boozy root beer coming to Canada - just in time for summer". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  5. "Beer in Indonesia". Global Consumer Market Research Products. Euromonitor. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
  6. Williams, Candy (June 14, 2016). "Craft brew, food tasting event set for Monroeville". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved June 15, 2016.
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