Screw Nelson, Pliny and Heady—craft-beer geeks these days are all about dat root-beer float!
Sad but true. There’s a new root beer that’s the talk of the craft world, and it finally arrived this month in Sacramento.
As with most food trends, Sacto is kind of behind the curve when it comes to Not Your Father’s Root Beer. But we’re also getting Midwest-based Small Town Brewery’s trendy brew before most U.S. markets, so in many ways we remain on the forefront of the craft hype machine.
Anyway, some back story: The whole craze started percolating this past January, when elite beer nerds and bottle hoarders on Instagram (a.k.a., some of the best and worst people in the beer universe) began posting shots of Not Your Father’s Root Beer (see photo, above).
NYFRB is a 5.9 percent alcohol-by-volume brew that tastes a damn lot like non-alcoholic root beer. And, because beer nerds are the worst damn nerds, they went all Taylor Swift for NYFRB.
NYFRB is the hottest five-letter acronym since NKOTB.
Perhaps for good reason: I acquired two six-packs last week to put NYFRB to the Pepsi challenge. Sure enough, shit tastes just like root beer.
But it’s not just the taste. NYFRB passes the smell test—ginger and licorice and vanilla and the usual suspects. Pour it in a glass and it will recall that frosty-mug look of A&W: thin bodied, aggressively carbonated, dark-cola hued. And, of course, the flavor is that inimitable sassafras bite. Even the mouthfeel is root-beer-esque. NYFRB also masks the booze, remarkably well, with just a tiny remind that you’re drinking hard stuff instead of the virgin-lips soda is a slight syrupy aftertaste.
But apparently this is not a beer for drinking.
This is a beer for root-beer floats with vanilla ice cream.
Of course, I had to jump on the bandwagon.
Just look at how that brew foams up upon the addition of vanilla ice cream just like a damn root beer float. (Clearly NYFRB is the biggest wonder in the world of chemistry since Breaking Bad season one.)
All right, so where can you find NYFRB? Jason Boggs from Shady Lady Bar on R Street says they have bottles now. A friend picked up a sixer at Tower Liquor on Broadway. And the beer buy at Corti Brothers says they’re getting 10 cases soon.
In the meantime, apologies to the beer world for feeding the root-beer float beast.