Key Hard Soda Brands

An overview of the major players in hard sodas and alcoholic soda-flavored beverages

Hard sodas sell well for Indiana's Cap N' Cork chain.
Hard sodas sell well for Indiana's Cap N' Cork chain.

Alcoholic sodas took the U.S. market by storm starting in 2015, and the trend may stick around for awhile to come. From craft producers such as Abita Brewing Co. to major players Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors and upstart companies like W.G. Brewing Co., suppliers across the country are betting big on consumers’ taste for sweet beverages with a touch of nostalgia. The list below details hard soda brands currently available in the U.S. market.

Key Hard Soda Brands

Bayou Bootlegger: Covington, Louisiana–based craft producer Abita Brewing Co. launched the first in a new hard soda line in late 2015. Bayou Bootlegger Hard Root Beer is based on the company’s existing soft drink recipe and is available in 42 markets.

Best Damn Brewing Co.: Launched by Anheuser-Busch InBev in December 2015, the Best Damn platform boasts Root Beer and Cherry Cola variants, with more to come. Available on draft, in 16-ounce cans and in six-packs of bottles, the products are available nationwide.

Coney Island Brewing Co.: Owned by Boston Beer Co., the craft brewer launched Coney Island Hard Root Beer in August 2015 and also offers Orange Cream Ale and Ginger Ale variants. The products are available in bottles nationwide; the root beer is also available on draft.

Crabbie’s: A fermented ginger-based product from United Kingdom–based Halewood International, Crabbie’s launched stateside in 2012. Three offerings—Original, Spiced Orange and Scottish Raspberry—are available nationwide in four-packs of 11.2-ounce bottles and single 16.9-ounce bottles.

Fitz’s Hard Root Beer: Brewed and bottled at Maryland Heights, Missouri’s O’Fallon Brewery, the brew is blended with a special root beer made by St. Louis–area soda maker Fitz’s Bottling Co. The 5-percent abv product launched in May 2016 and is available in six-packs of bottles and kegs throughout O’Fallon’s Midwest distribution network.

Hard Frescos: Launched in May 2016, the 5-percent abv products highlight traditional Mexican agua fresca flavors. The line has four variants: the citrus-based Citrico, the hibiscus-flavored Juicy Jamaica, the tamarind-forward Tangy Tamarindo and the kola seed–enhanced Cola Buena. Hard Frescos are available in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles and single 16-ounce cans, with initial distribution in Arizona and California.

Henry’s Hard Sodas: MillerCoors rolled out the brand in early 2016 with Orange and Ginger Ale offerings. The hard sodas come in six-packs of bottles and single 16-ounce cans and are available nationwide.

Jed’s Hard Sodas: Utica, New York’s F.X. Matt Brewing Co. introduced Jed’s Hard Sodas in October 2015. The bottled products—which include a Root Beer, an Orange Cream and a Black Cherry Cream—are inspired by the company’s existing Saranac 1888 soft drink line.

Not Your Father’s: Small Town Brewery’s Not Your Father’s Root Beer—which sparked the current hard soda boom—was joined in November 2015 by Not Your Father’s Ginger Ale and May 2016 by Not Your Father’s Vanilla Cream Ale. All three are available in bottles, with the root beer on draft as well. More products are in the works. Small Town partnered with Pabst Brewing Co. in 2015 to increase distribution and production.

Seagram’s: North American Breweries launched the line nationally in March 2016. Flavors include Cherry Cola, Grape Soda, Lemon ‘N Lime and Orange Cream. Packaging options include six-packs of bottles, 24-packs of cans or bottles and single 23.5-ounce cans.

Sprecher’s: The Milwaukee-based brewery released a hard root beer in 2013, a ginger beer the following year and three additional flavors—hard cola, hard cherry cola and hard orange cream—in 2016. The products are available in 23 states in four-packs of 12-ounce bottles, with six-packs coming in the summer of 2016.

W.G. Brewing Co.: Launched by entrepreneur Jamey Grosser in August 2015, the company’s initial offerings included Wild Ginger and Wild Root. In June 2016, W.G. Brewing added the Rock and Rye–inspired Wild Docta’ and the citrus-flavored Wild Sit Russ, and the company has plans for a new product line launching in the summer of 2016. The hard sodas are available in six-packs of cans in 16 states, with expansion in the works.