Skip to comments.Alcoholic Root Beers Hit Chicago Bars, Binny's Locations
Posted on 03/30/2013 6:04:53 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Locally made brews weigh in at 5 to 20 percent alcohol by volume
Root beerA&W, Barq's, Mug, etc.is really a misnomer. It's soda, made with carbonated water and sweeteners, and, as everyone knows, is totally appropriate to serve at a kid's birthday party.
Not so with two new local brews.
Milwaukee's Sprecher Brewing Company and Wauconda, Ill.'s Small Town Brewery both have developed alcoholic root beers that, at anywhere from 5 to 20 percent alcohol by volume (ABV), are hefty even by traditional beer standards.
"Its a fermented malt beverage, whereas root beer doesnt go through fermentation so it doesnt have yeast or alcohol," said Kyle Fornek, assistant beer buyer for Binny's.
Sprecher's Bootlegger's Bourbon Barrel root beer is a hard version of the company's popular root beer soda, and should be available in April in bottles for about $5 per six-pack at Binny's. Fornek says the ABV is around 5 percent, which is comparable to a Budweiser or Goose Island Summertime.
Small Town Brewing's two hard root beers are real heavyweights. At 10 percent and 19.5 percent, the two versions of Not Your Father's Root Beer are best sipped in small doses.
Neither currently are bottledSmall Town Brewing is in talks with a gypsy bottler (a contract bottling line on a truck) to package them. But both versions are available on tap at bars in Chicago, including Little Italy's Three Aces, Ukrainian Village's Lockdown Bar & Grill and Lakeview's Cheesie's Pub & Grub, as well as in kegs from Binny's.
"Weve been getting tons of emails about Small Town Brewery," Fornek said. "Were getting as many emails about that as about [New Glarus's] Spotted Cow or Yuengling."
Customers' curiosity is piqued, but do these hard root beers really taste like the soda?
I pulled up a barstool at Lockdown Bar & Grill to find out. Unfazed by the menu's words of caution"EXTREMELY POTENT: please enjoy in moderation"I ordered a snifter of Small Town Brewing's 19.5 percent ABV root beer ($8).
Obsidian black and not very carbonated, the brew looked intimidating, but tasted just like soda. It's sweet and spiced, with a slightly syrupy taste and virtually no beer flavor at all. Yes, this could be very dangerous.
While I haven't yet tried Sprecher's version, Fornek reports a similarly soda-like taste.
"It's super drinkable, with a little bit of malt on the finish," he said. "It definitely tastes more like root beer than beer."
With all that sugar ....one wicked hangover.
Sprechers is awesome!
Is this a cry for the nanny state to protect us? Seems like everything these days is dangerous.
I think I will work on producing a sodium enriched, trans-fat laden, super caffeinated, corn syrup infused, alcoholic soft drink that comes in 64 oz servings. Maybe I can make it taste like raw milk, and for the kids there will be a chocolate version.
Sounds pretty tasty. I would like try one of these.
HEY let’s us gets us some alcoholic milk ‘n make some
Cirrhotic Cows....just sayin...
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