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After Taking The Beer Category By Storm, Hard Sodas Look To the Future

April 20, 2016

A year ago, Small Town Brewery in Wauconda, Illinois, launched hard soda brand Not Your Father’s Root Beer. By December 2015, Not Your Father’s had reached nearly 3 million (2.25-gallon) cases, rocking the beer category. “We were taken completely by surprise,” says Joseph Doust, co-owner of the 15-unit Cap N’ Cork chain in Indiana. “This one was a real shocker.”

Other hard soda brands soon followed. Boston Beer Co.’s Coney Island Brewing debuted a hard root beer in August, and newcomer W.G. Brewing Co. released Wild Ginger that same month. Mega-brewers A-B InBev and MillerCoors rolled out hard soda lines a few months later. Craft producers, including Abita Brewing Co. and F.X. Matt Brewing Co., also got into the act.

It remains to be seen whether hard sodas can maintain their growth going forward, although new brands and flavor options will likely fuel growth in the short term. Most retailers continue tapping into the boom with increased offerings, even if they still aren’t certain whether the trend will pan out long-term. Market Watch has the full story.

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