Small Town Not Your Father's Root Beer

Small Town Not Your Father's Root Beer

Relevant Links:
Not Your Father's Root Beer (Small Town Brewery Website)
Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%) | Small Town Brewery (
Small Town Not Your Father's Root Beer (5.9%) (

20160611: [20160618 Edit]
The Not Your Father's Root Beer initially tasted so much like root beer that I thought the waitress made a mistake. However, upon taking a second sip, I tasted the beer's bitterness.

Unfortunately, this bitterness detracted from the drink's sweet taste and gave it a more root-like, medicinal taste (think traditional Chinese medicine).

Among the flavors listed in the beer's description (I looked it up on my phone), I'd take a wild guess and blame the sarsaparilla for all this bitterness (or perhaps the anise).

Some reviewers say the beer was too sweet, but I only thought the beer had an average level of sweetness. Regardless, the drink left a clean palate.

Overall, it was an interesting experience, but I don't think I would ever get it again. 9:08PM PT

The strangest part about this beer was that it doesn't taste like a beer with root beer flavor, but like a root beer with a bitter alcohol flavor. 9:28PM PT

The beer sometimes reminded me of some beer or drink I've had before. And while the taste was on the tip of my tongue, I was at a loss on why the flavor seemed familiar.

In any case, the beer did become increasingly sweet towards the end, though the bitterness remained. 9:53PM PT

While drafting up this post I was reading some articles and came across some passages that made me wonder if the taste I was trying to pinpoint came from my experiences with malt liquor. Along those lines, one review (on reads: "Every once in a while there’s a weird aftertaste that seems to happen with most of these hard sodas that I find somewhat disagreeable."

Then I read one review (on which, like myself, described the unpleasant flavor as medicine: "[F]or an instant at the beginning of the sip [it tastes like rootbeer]; that impression is almost immediately displaced by an overwhelmingly unpleasant medicinal or phenolic flavor reminiscent of Band-Aids or Lysol." Well, I can't say I know what Band-Aids taste like, but the flavor was definitely unpleasant.

Actually, sarsaparilla has a bitter, medicinal taste, so it could be sarsaparilla. I suppose licorice is also a bitter flavor which might be part of the bitter taste, but I don't recall the drink tasting anything like Jagermeister (the epitome of licorice-taste alcohol).

Remark: Apparently there's some talk over whether or not this drink is a beer. Erring on the side of caution, I'll ambiguously label this post with both 'beer' and 'malt beverage.' In the end, the above is a series of observations which don't require knowing whether the drink was a beer or malt beverage. However, the assumption at the time was that the drink is a beer.

Website Information:

Tasting Notes: Silky, smooth and satisfying finish is unmatched in flavor. It appeals to craft beer aficionados as well as those who don’t typically drink beer but crave something unique.

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.

Description: Ale with the Taste of Spices
ABV: 5.9%
Profile: Bold, Sweet, Smooth, Spicy
Serving Temperature: 38°-50°F
Availability: Year Round
Package: 12oz Bottle, 6 Pack | 12oz Can, 6 Pack | 16oz Can, 4 Pack

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