Raise a glass for new summer fav: alcoholic root beer

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RENATA GORTAN, The Daily Telegraph

UNABLE to bear any more beer, drinkers are raising a glass to alternative brews — and an alcoholic version of an American favourite is the latest to hit fridges.

Future Memoirs of a Root Beer, the first of its kind available in Australia, was introduced into bars last year and is now available in bottleshops.

With demand for alcoholic ginger beer growing by about 6 per cent a year, the root beer’s brewers are hoping to cash in with their similarly flavoured tipple.

But while ginger beer is made with ginger, root beer uses sassafras root, vanilla and cinnamon.

“The significance of that near-beer category is huge,” East 9th Brewing’s Benjamin Cairns said. “It’s an evolution that started with cider many years ago.”

After deciding to launch a root beer, it took the brewers about 12 months to adapt the American flavour for Aussie palates.

“Root beer is a sweet thing anyway, we don’t not shy away from that, it’s what makes it different and unique but a lot of the ones in the top American brands are really sweet so we had to adapt it for our market,” Mr Cairns said.