Imagine: there was a nationwide shortage of this stuff last year. Things have since calmed down. My friend Brett and I went to at least five different liquor stores when it first came out just trying to find a six-pack, and our efforts were to no avail. All I kept hearing is how amazing Not Your Father’s Root Beer was, and if you find it and have the chance up stock up, do it. People were running wild just to find a few bottles. They called up stores and pre-ordered whole cases. I finally found it one evening accidentally during the insanity at a Houlihan’s, of all places. Upon my first sip, I did the double-take that nearly everyone says happens when you try it for the first time. Is this beer or is it root beer? With each of those initial sips I had to ask myself that question. There is absolutely no beer taste at all, it truly is root beer. The flavoring is natural and earthy. You can taste the spices coming together as you get a whiff of it before it hits your taste buds.
I do have a couple of qualms with this product, the first being the aftertaste. There is a slight underlying layer of unpleasantness after you swallow the brew and the flavor lingers for a few seconds. It’s not horrible, but just a little funky. I was told by a friend that one way to get rid of it is to pour this over ice. However, I think the ice would eventually weaken the overall taste because it is really not strong to begin with. Even though it does not taste like beer, I cannot fathom putting any similar beverage on the rocks.
The only other issue is when it starts to warm up after it has been out of the fridge for a few minutes. Certain beers taste good at that slightly-below-room-temperature degree, but not this one. It again starts to become funky. But if you have the chance, give it a try. You will probably enjoy it; just make sure it is served as ice-cold as you can make it. (Also, beware: there are quite a few imitations out there that are not the same thing.) Give it to a friend for Christmas, and don’t forget to leave one out for Santa. I think he’d appreciate it more than a glass of milk.