Malt beverage with natural & artificial flavors & colors. 5% ABV.
Sprecher Brewing Co., Glendale, WI
By Bill Lau
Posted August 20, 2015
This was the first hard root beer I’d ever seen, going at least back a year (possibly more). For whatever reason, I’d been hesitant to try it at the time (I don’t know why – I love both beer and root beer, and am a pretty big fan of Sprecher’s beers and regular root beer at that – maybe I just had a hard time extrapolating root beer to having alcohol); however, this year, my wife “encouraged” me to pick up the 4-pack and give it a try. And, as it turns out, hard root beer seems to be catching on and spreading – I know of at least a couple of other brands out there now. But I’m proud to have my first be this example from my original home town’s first craft brewery.
Appearance (4/5): Deep walnut brown with a hint of mahogany, clear, topped with pale beige foam. One might say rather root beer-like.
Aroma (7/10): Good root beer aroma with wintergreen, marshmallow, vanilla, and hint of sassafras, but no obvious alcohol overtone.
Palate (4/5): Medium body with soda-like carbonation bite & mouth feel. I’m sensing a real theme here!
Taste (7/10): Sweet start with definite wintergreen and some marshmallow, then bends in a decidedly tangy direction with sassafras and molasses notes. Dries some towards the finish with a bit of an oaky note and hint of vanilla and some burnt sugar. I’m not really noticing the alcohol in the flavor or on the palate. So this is hard root beer – pretty good stuff!
Overall (14.7/20): Grown-up version of a childhood favorite. Oh, and it makes a great root beer float!
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.