Not Your Father’s Root Beer appeals to ‘whole new market’, founder says

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT

Not Your Father's Beer is intended to appeal to both beer aficionados and non-beer lovers alike.
Not Your Father's Beer is intended to appeal to both beer aficionados and non-beer lovers alike.

Related tags Brewing Beer

Small Town Brewery has found success crafting distinct brews inspired by classic American flavors with Not Your Father’s Root Beer (NYFRB) and more recently, Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale, available throughout the US in major retail stores. 

Based out of Wauconda, Illinois, Small Town Brewery’s main objective is to develop new and interesting brews in the craft beer category, to satisfy beer lovers and also bring in new consumers.

“Not Your Father’s Root Beer appeals to anyone who appreciates new twists on classic American flavors, ranging from men and women 21-80!” ​Tim Kovac, founder and brewmaster of Small Town Brewery, told BeverageDaily. 

“We also find that our brews appeal to many who have never had an interest in beer at all – opening up a whole new market.”

NYFRB (an alcoholic root beer) was originally released in 2012, and then re-released in March 2015 after partnering with Pabst to meet increasing nationwide demand. NYFRB sold $7.2 million in the first six months of 2015, according to figures published in Beer Marketer’s Insights.

Since its launch, NYFRB has taken the flavored craft beer market by storm, comprising the majority of all hard root beer sales and consistently ranking in top five craft brands nationwide, according to Kovac.

“It’s clear that we’ve hit on something that is really appealing to people."

‘Gruit-inspired’ history

Kovac described NYFRB as a line “gruit-inspired brews” or “flavored craft beers,” rooted in his personal familial connection to gruit brewing.

“I had an ancestor who was a gruit brewer, so my brewing methods are largely inspired by him.  I have been home brewing and experimenting with different styles of beer for about 30 years. It wasn’t until 2011, after a cancelled vacation with my son, Jake, that we decided to try to brew a root beer beer,”​ Kovac said.

“The idea of making these craft brews that evoke classic American flavors was really exciting. After about two years and countless batches, we hit on the recipe people tell us ‘tastes exactly like root beer.’”


Not Your Father's Root Beer and Not Your Father's Ginger Ale both come in 12 oz. glass bottles or cans with ABV of 5.9%

Natural flavors

Not Your Father’s Root Beer and Ginger Ale has a spiced, herbaceous taste compared to many other craft brews.

Small Town Brewery also strives to use natural ingredients in its products without artificial, sugary ingredients.

“We use many herbs and botanicals like sarsaparilla, Madagascar vanilla and honey throughout the brewing process to create our distinct brews,”​ Kovac said. 

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