Not too long ago I tried Not Your Father’s Root Beer at a friend’s college graduation party. The flavored beer was a nice change for me, as it offered a different kind of flavor with less alcohol than a spirit, which I appreciated.
And it seems I’m not the only one, as hard soda has made ripples in the beer market for the past several years. The success of Not Your Father’s Root Beer, and similar products, seems to have enticed major beer manufacturers to consider the new segment as an option.
In fact, just this past summer, The Boston Beer Co. launched its line of Coney Island hard sodas, which include Hard Root Beer, Hard Ginger Ale and Hard Orange Cream Ale.
Then, in December 2015, Anheuser-Busch announced the launch of the Best Damn Brewing Co., which also debuted its first product: Best Damn Root Beer. “We’ve seen a growing consumer interest in sweeter taste profiles, and we jumped at the opportunity to brew an easy-drinking, hard root beer,” said Rashmi Patel, vice president of Share of Throat at Anheuser-Busch, in a statement at the time of the launch.
Additionally, in January 2016, MillerCoors unveiled its Henry’s Hard Soda line with the launch of two flavors: Henry’s Hard Ginger Ale and Henry’s Hard Orange Soda, which are made with real cane sugar.
“Beer is great, but now we also have Henry’s Hard Soda — an option that gives a little more flavor and excitement,” said Bryan Ferschinger, senior director of innovations at MillerCoors, in a statement.
Although the non-alcohol carbonated soft drink (CSD) category faces its challenges, it seems that a new take on traditional CSD flavors might be a trend that could benefit beverage companies in the future.