2015 was a WILD year for the beer industry. Heineken bought a 50% stake in Lagunitas, the go-to happy hour IPA for many bros across the nation. Miller-Coors And InBev/Anheuser Busch announced a possible merge to form a $100 billion beer super conglomerate. Protein-fortified fitness beer hit the market.
That said, the biggest emerging trend in the 2015 was one I profiled in July: Alcoholic root beer. 2015 was the year bottle shops and restaurant around the country couldn’t keep brands like Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer and Coney Island Brewing Company’s Hard Root Beer in stock fast enough.
In fact, according to an industry report announced today, Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer was the biggest craft beer in the country, even though it’s not really a craft beer and *technically* a hard soda. It beat Boston Lager, New Belgium Fat Tire, and Lagunitas IPA but tens of millions of dollars in terms of revenue.
Here’s an important thing to remember, however — A sales number isn’t the same as volume:
I think anyone who has thrown back a couple Not Your Father’s Root Beers can attest that it definitely isn’t beer. At all. It’s a one-and-done kind of drink, perhaps even a novelty most enthusiastic beer drinkers. It will be interesting to see if has sustained relevance that beer brands enjoy with consumer appetites.
Regardless, that’s a nice little nest egg for the Bros at Small Town Brewery to sit on. I’m gloating like a pig in shit right now because I totally called with this article back in July.