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Last week, Small Town Brewery announced that Not Your Father's Root Beer will take its first export steps with a move into the UK and Ireland. 

Not Your Fathers Root Beer is rolling out to the UK & Ireland

Not Your Father's Root Beer is rolling out to the UK & Ireland

The 5.9% abv "hard" root beer is unfamiliar to consumers outside of its home US market, but since its launch in 2012 - and nation-wide distribution in the middle of last year - it has sparked a revolution in the long-alcoholic drinks category. 

Leading brewers have raced to launch their own hard root beers followed by other flavours in the hard soda category. Anheuser-Busch InBev even launched a new unit, Best Damn Brewing Co, dedicated to hard soda releases.

So far, no release has matched the success of Not Your Father's Root Beer, which at one stage last year was the top-selling craft SKU in the US off-trade. But the category as a whole is threatening other long-alcoholic drinks, especially cider. In October last year Cowan analyst Vivian Azer said the emergence of hard root beer "looks to be having a clear impact on cider". Meanwhile, Wells Fargo classed 2016 as the "year of hard soda" based on a survey of US convenience store owners.

Could Not Your Father's Root Beer spark panic in the UK cider industry? UK cider may be more entrenched than in the US, and UK consumers may not be as familiar with root beer and its distinct flavour profile. But if the new wave of hard soda gains half as much traction in the UK as in the US, then it will have an impact.

Here's a round-up of some of the hard soda releases in the US to follow Not Your Father's Root Beer:

It stands to reason that one of the category's early adopters would be the first to cross the Atlantic. 


Sectors: Beer & cider

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