Pabst Taking ‘Not Your Father’s Root Beer’ National


Just in time for Father’s Day, Illinois-based Small Town Brewery today announced the nationwide rollout of its signature Not Your Father’s Root Beer line of soda-inspired beers.

In a press statement, the company said it signed a distribution agreement with Pabst Brewing Company, which began selling the product earlier this year. Specific terms of the arrangement were not disclosed and representatives from both Pabst and Small Town Brewery were unavailable for comment.

Already sold in 30 states, Not Your Father’s Root Beer is one of the fastest-selling new craft products, according to Nielsen data (supplied by Small Town Brewery) through May 23.

“The last year has been an amazing ride. We’ve had Not Your Father’s Root Beer go from being available in a few dozen Chicago bars and restaurants to becoming one of the most sought-after craft beers in the country,” Small Town Brewery founder Tim Kovac said in the release.

Indeed, multiple distributors Brewbound spoke to referenced the company’s rapid ascent in Chicago IRI scans. Sales in U.S. supermarkets have grown to more than $1 million in the last 7 months, according to IRI.

“Clearly there is a consumer right now that is clamoring for this,” said Bob Sullivan, the vice president of specialty and craft beer sales for Andrews Distributing in Texas. “I don’t know how widespread it can be our how deep it can go, but we are about to find out really quickly.”

Andrews Distributing, which sells the Pabst lineup, recently rolled out the Not Your Father’s Root Beer. The company also represents Boston Beer, which, via its Coney Island line of products, is also planning to launch a Hard Root Beer offering.

Other brewers have toyed with the style too. For years, Sprecher Brewing in Wisconsin has made a hard root beer and companies like Mission Brewery in San Diego and Berghoff Brewing (also in Illinois) have recently brewed their own varieties.

Small Town Brewery currently makes three varieties – a 5.9 percent ABV hard hard root beer sold in 6-packs as well as higher octane 10.7 ABV and 19.5 ABV versions.

Update (June 19): A Pabst spokesperson told Brebwound that chairman and CEO Eugene Kashper, and other company principals “exercised an option to acquire an interest” in the Small Town and the Not Your Father’s brands.

“Going forward the owners of Small Town and NYF brands will be Tim Kovac, Eugene Kashper and other Pabst principals,” the spokesperson said. 

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