Not Your Father’s Root Beer

Ever since Not Your Father’s Root Beer went nationwide, seemingly overnight, people have been going googly eyed for the root beer that gives you the warm and fuzzies. I admit I was waiting for the beer to hit our market and when it did, I purchased a sixer the same week, so I’m a bit of a passenger on this hype train. That express train to success has raised questions and skepticism about the ownership and back story to the (root) beer and its place in the craft beer market. So let’s figure this out…

In my review of Not Your Father’s Root Beer, I gave this beer high praise for its ability to be a root beer that tastes just like root beer and not like a beer trying to be a root beer. After that review, I went on the website to learn a little more about the story of the brewery and the beer. I found stories about leather bound scrolls and recipes past down through generations, which I wrote off as brand marketing. I mean am I really supposed to believe that some dude found a four hundred year old scroll of an alcoholic root beer recipe and started brewing that beer? I’m from Jersey, we don’t believe anything especially lore of a time forgotten. Then I fell down this rabbit hole of trying to find out who the brewer was and get to the real back story.

Who Owns Not Your Father’s Root Beer

In a reddit thread some other interested folks were already dissecting the ownership and distribution of the beer/brewery.  Here’s the general consensus:

  • Partial Ownership by Phusion(the people that make Four Loko)
  • Distribution rights through Pabst Brewery
  • 5.9% version contract brewed at City Brewing in Wisconsin

Okay great now we know, we had to do a little bit of digging and snooping but in the end the internet figured it out. Is it shady of all parties not to be forthright about all of this? Sure! But what does it mean for the beer and how should we approach the beer now?


If you like the beer, buy it and drink it! If you want to taste it, try it out! Who owns or distributes the beer doesn’t make the beer taste any better or worse. The beer is still the same regardless of who brews it or what back office decisions put it in my local brew shop. At the liquor store this weekend for fourth of July, customers were buying cases of the beer like if it were Poland Spring, so that “transparency” doesn’t seem to matter to our wallets and taste buds.

Guess what I bought this weekend too? A bottle of Anheuser Busch owned Goose Island Sofie and I enjoyed the hell out of that. Cheers to good beer!

Goose Island Sofie