Small Town Brewery

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Small Town Brewery
IndustryAlcoholic beverage
FounderTim Kovac
HeadquartersWauconda, Illinois, US

Small Town Brewery is a brewing company based in Wauconda, Illinois, best known for producing the Not Your Father's brand of flavored beers.


Small Town Brewery was founded by Tim Kovac in Wauconda in 2010.[1] Kovac first started homebrewing in 1988.[2] After three years of development, Not Your Father's Root Beer was released in Illinois in 2012.[1][3] It was initially sold in its 19.5% abv incarnation in kegs at local bars and liquor stores. The brewery then did two small bottling runs of a 10.7% abv root beer in 22-ounce bottles, and in November 2014, they released 12-ounce bottles of a 5.9% abv version.[4]

In March 2015, Small Town partnered with Pabst Brewing Company to distribute the Not Your Father's brand nationally.[5][6][7] Shortly thereafter, Pabst owners, including Pabst CEO Eugene Kashper, acquired a stake in the brand and the company.[8][9] A new category in the alcoholic beverage industry was created due to the success of Not Your Father's Root Beer, referred to as "hard soda" or "flavored beer."[1]

The Small Town Brewery tap room in Wauconda was opened to the public on October 15, 2015.[10] It serves a rotating cycle of 16 Small Town beers, with beer flavors including French Toast, Bourbon Pecan and Strawberry Rhubarb.[11]


Not Your Father's Root Beer is a traditionally-made beer brewed with botanicals, spices, and herbs such as wintergreen, sarsaparilla bark, anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean and honey, to give it the taste of an old-fashioned root beer.[12][13][14] It is currently available nationally in two abv levels: 5.9% and 10.7%.[12] Not Your Father's Root Beer 5.9% abv 6-pack bottles was the best-selling craft beer in the United States in 2015.[15]

Not Your Father's Ginger Ale was released in November 2015.[16] Not Your Father's Vanilla Cream Ale, at 4.1% abv, was made available in 2016.[17]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • BeerHoptacular Beer of the Year, Second Place, 2013[18]
  • 94 out of 100 rating by Beer Advocate for Not Your Father's Root Beer (10.7% abv), 2014[8]


  1. ^ a b c Tripp Mickle, "Not So Soft Drink: Brewers Add Booze to Root Beer," Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2015.
  2. ^ Jacky Runice, "Big tastes are coming from small-town breweries," Daily Herald, September 27, 2015.
  3. ^ Mary Ellen Shoup, "Not Your Father's Root Beer appeals to 'whole new market', founder says," Beverage Daily, April 12, 2016.
  4. ^ Josh Noel, "Higher alcohol Not Your Father's Root Beer to go national," Chicago Tribune, April 19, 2016.
  5. ^ John Kell, "Root beer is the next big thing in craft beer," Fortune, July 21, 2015.
  6. ^ Stephanie Strom, "Pabst Raids Dad's Beer Fridge as It Looks to the Future," New York Times, April 1, 2016.
  7. ^ Wesley Case, "Led by boozy root beer, 'hard soda' trend now in full swing," Baltimore Sun, February 10, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Kyle Stock, "Boozy Root Beer Is About to Be Huge," Bloomberg Businessweek, July 21, 2015.
  9. ^ Melissa Locker, "This Alcoholic Root Beer Might Be Your New Favorite Summer Drink," Time, July 22, 2015.
  10. ^ Russell Lissau, "Popular Wauconda brwery opens taproom," Daily Herald, October 16, 2015.
  11. ^ Suzanne Brazil, "Wauconda's Small Town Brewery not your father's taproom," Daily Herald, December 8, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Gary Dzen, "A mysterious Midwestern brewer toys with dessert," Boston Globe, June 27, 2015.
  13. ^ Florence Fabricant, "Batches of Root Beer Generate a Noticeable Buzz," New York Times, August 17, 2015.
  14. ^ Geoff Williams, "Root Beer Flavored Beer Is Now A Thing And Only the Beginning Of What's Coming," Forbes, December 30, 2015.
  15. ^ Chris Furnari, "IRI: Craft Sales Up 18 Percent in 2015," Brewbound, January 7, 2016.
  16. ^ Greg Trotter, "Hard soda pops while soft drinks fizzle," Chicago Tribune, December 18, 2015.
  17. ^ Sean Fahmy, "'Not Your Father's' Unveils Newest Hard Soda, Vanilla Cream Ale," Foodbeast, May 25, 2016.
  18. ^ Mike Tighe, "Not Your Father's Root Beer keeps La Crosse brewery hoppin'," Washington Times, August 31, 2015.

External links[edit]