You know "hard" root beers have reached critical mass when The King of Beers enters the market with its own version. Unfortunately, most of the big brewers' formulations - like Not Your Father's Root Beer and Coney Island Root Beer - are not gluten free.
Enter Louisiana's Abita Brewing Company, which has released an alcoholic version of its famous root beer. It's the first product in the brewery's line of "Bayou Bootlegger" hard sodas.
Bayou Bootlegger Hard Root Beer is based on the same root beer formula Abita has been craft brewing with pure Louisiana cane sugar for more than 20 years, and brewed to achieve a 5.9 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). The brew is all natural, caffeine free, and gluten free. Its flavor profile delivers aromas of wintergreen, vanilla and sassafras, with hints of clove and anise.
Abita currently produces more than 14,000 barrels of root beer annually in its state-of-the-art brewing facility. Its root beer is made with a hot mix process using Abita Springs’ natural spring water, herbs, vanilla and yucca.
Locally, Bayou Bootlegger Hard Root Beer is available throughout New Jersey, though not Pennsylvania or Delaware at the moment. (Check Abita's website for a store location near you.)