A Drink A Day: Not Your Fathers Root Beer
Root Beer. Sassafras Tea. Root Juice. A true original North American drink, and with out a doubt, one of my favorite drinks on the planet. When I got wind that there was a new Root Beer that was alcoholic, well, I was curious indeed to find me some of that and enjoy a few bottles of this frosty concoction.
Having lived in Philadelphia for a while now, I am well aware of the history this area has with this drink. The tribes native to the area were some of the first to brew the original recipe. The modern, better-known carbonated version of Root Beer was unleashed upon the world here at the Centennial Exposition back in 1876 by a Quaker Pharmacist from Philadelphia named Charles Hires (whose name still adorns one of the biggest names in Root Beer on the East Coast still to this day). Word had started to spread around town that a handful of the local pubs in the area had started to get their hands on some of this fancy alcoholic root beer. It was simply know as “Not Your Fathers Root Beer” and my hunt had started.
As fate would have it, a few weeks back I needed to get some work done on my car before an upcoming road trip, so I dropped off the car at the dealership. The kind lady behind the counter said I had enough time to go next store to the diner and have a bite to eat while they did the tune up. I make my way over to the diner, walk in, and notice they have a pretty nice sports bar set up in the back corner. I motion to towards the bar to the part time high school hostess standing at the front counter who shook her head as she was all to happy to not have to stop her latest heated Words With Friends match to have to show me to a table. A hand written sign with red marker hung right across from the stool I had sat down at that read “ NOW SERVING NOT YOUR FATHERS ROOT BEER”. The barkeep noticed my arrival and made her way on over. She asked how I was doing and what I was drinking. I pointed to the sign and smiled.
“Oh this stuff is flying out of here sweetheart” She said almost in disbelief.
“I bet! I have been wanting to try this ever since I heard about it” I replied with honest excitement.
“Yeah, we only got in 48 bottles of it, and that’s all we could get. “ she informs me as she grabs one bottle and a frosty mug out of the cooler next to her. She sets it all down in front of me, smiles, and walks away, leaving me to this cold and rare tasty beverage I have been waiting to try.
I cleared my throat and closed my eyes. I took one nice size drink and swallowed it down. When I tell you that this root beer tastes EXACTLY like the root beer I grew up with, you should believe me. It was sweet, creamy, and had a frothy head to it. I could taste the sassafras, vanilla, Anise perfectly blended and crafted. Every spicy note was just in the right place. It was carbonated but not over done. I drank the rest of that bottle down in the next three big gulps. It was so good. I could not get enough of it. The waitress walked back over to check on me and asked if I needed another. There was no hesitation and moments later there was another ice cold bottle ready for me to enjoy. This one I took my time with and enjoyed it a bit more. I took in all the small details and nuances that make this super small batch root beer something to really appreciate.
As of now, this root beer is still being made in small batches by the folks at the Small Town Brewery and is still pretty hard to find outside of the Mid-West or East Coast of the USA. If you do find this near you, pony up a few bucks and try and ice cold bottle of this and let me know how much you enjoyed it after you wipe that smile of pure delight off of your mug. For more info you can go to : http://smalltownbrewery.com/