MillerCoors said the new range will be out next year

MillerCoors said the new range will be out next year

MillerCoors has said it has no plans to launch a "hard" root beer ahead of the roll out of a new alcoholic soda range.

The US company, a JV between SABMiller and Molson Coors, told distributors yesterday that Henry’s Hard Soda will be available from next year. The initial launch will be made up of Ginger Ale and Orange Soda flavours, both at 4.2% abv.

MillerCoors said the range means it will not enter the alcoholic root beer category, which is enjoying strong growth in the US through Small Town Brewery's Not Your Father's Root Beer.

"We have made the strategic decision not to launch with a hard root beer at this time," MillerCoors said. "Instead, we will launch with a more differentiated entry into the hard soda space."

The company described Henry’s Hard Soda as "sessionable, delicious hard soda with an edge" aimed at bringing 34-45 year old men and women into the MillerCoors portfolio.

Henry’s will be available in 6-pack 12-ounce bottles and 16-ounce singles cans.

Not Your Father's Root Beer - which according to the Wall Street Journal took 3.3% of all craft beer sales in the four weeks to July 12 - is expected to be available across the US by the end of the year after Small Town Brewery signed a distribution deal with Pabst Brewing Co.