It’s kind of hard to imagine how Not Your Father’s Root Beer could improve on its already-feverish success — in less than a year the brew has become America’s top-selling craft six-pack, according to Nielsen. But the company’s plan seems pretty solid: It’s releasing an even-boozier version of its sassafras-y hit, which delivers a 10.7 percent ABV smack in the face. People in Illinois can expect to see bottles on shelves next month, the Pabst-run brewery says, and by the fall, a bigger rollout should reach every state except Maine, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, and Tennessee (because those places have stricter alcohol laws). The plan is for six-packs, three special releases of 22-ounce large-format bottles, and the option to offer the beer on draft.
This double-strength brew was one of the first two kinds of hard root beer Small Town introduced back in 2012 in the Chicago suburbs, and founder Tim Kovac says it’s been “amazingly popular since day one.” The other version, it should be noted, was twice the potency of that — a roundhouse-delivering 19.5 percent.