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Big Brother Hard Root Beer Review By In The Great Wide Travel Lifestyle Blog Thirsty Thursdays

Hard root beers have become increasingly difficult to find now that hard seltzers are all the rage, but this one will quench your thirst if you know where to look for it!


Why Hard Root Beer?

Hard root beers were the big thing a few years ago. It was the drink of choice in the summer of 2015, and people frequently argued over which was the best one. Out of the two big competitors, Not Your Father’s was generally preferred to those I spoke to, but Best Damn was my favorite.

Not Your Father’s got bought up by Pabst (aka PBR), while Best Damn was bought by the mega-brewery that is Anheuser-Busch, which owns Budweiser, Stella Artois, and Golden Road, to name a few. WHY those huge companies bought up these small-time hard root beer breweries, we’ll never know, because all they did was discontinue their products, leaving those shelves empty and open for what wouldn’t come until a few years later: hard seltzers.

While Pabst doesn’t seem to have officially discontinued the Not Your Father’s brand, they haven’t updated their social media since early 2019 and their website doesn’t show anywhere to buy their products. If you see it on the shelves at your local store, let us know where to find it! Unfortunately, Best Damn is done for, for good. This has all left a wide open market that isn’t being taken advantage of much, but at least now there’s Big Brother!

Big Brother Hard Root Beer Review Drinks For Hot Summer Days By In The Great Wide Travel Lifestyle Blog Thirsty Thursdays

Big Brother Hard Root Beer Taste

I’m usually not big on sweet drinks, but hard root beer is one of those perfect drinks for a hot summer day. Camping or relaxing in the pool, red solo cup in hand, or in our case, an afternoon hanging out in the backyard with family in Midwest-in-August-level humidity. If you’re still thinking it sounds sickly sweet, just think of it like having a piña colada on a Caribbean beach, only much more regularly attainable for most of us in the States.

Yes, Big Brother Hard Root Beer is sweet - even sweeter than what I remember Not Your Father’s and Best Damn tasting like - and that sweetness can turn a lot of people off, but if you drink soda on a regular basis, I would be surprised if you don’t like this. You probably won’t want more than one in a sitting unless you have a very serious sweet tooth, so this is a great six pack to share.

It tastes like candy, so make sure that you keep it separated from non-alcoholic beverages if you have little ones around. With a 5.8% ABV, this hard root beer may taste super sweet, but it actually clocks in with a higher alcohol content than Budweiser, Blue Moon, Stella Artois, or Guinness.

Where Big Brother Hard Root Beer is Made

Contrary to my initial assumption, Big Brother is not a brewery that makes hard root beer. It’s not even its own brand! Big Brother doesn’t have a website, an Instagram… nothing.

It turns out that Big Brother Hard Root Beer is made by City Brewery in La Crosse, Wisconsin. As a city with just over 50,000 people, I was surprised; it’s not often that a small-town brewery like that has a lot of reach. But City Brewery is actually a contract brewery, meaning that big businesses can hire them to make stuff just for their own company, such as how Trader Joe’s has its own branded items, or the Great Value brand at Walmart, or the Up & Up brand at Target, and so on. I can’t find any reference of Big Brother Hard Root Beer being sold anywhere other than where we found it, so apparently that’s just the name the store wanted to use and not the name of a brand.

Find Big Brother Hard Root Beer At Aldi Stores Summer Drinks Review By In The Great Wide Travel Lifestyle Blog Thirsty Thursdays

Where To Find Big Brother Hard Root Beer & Cost

In the early 2022 summer in Los Angeles, I randomly got a craving for some hard root beer, which was when we discovered that there isn’t even space on the shelves for it anymore at our usual store. We tried going to Bevmo, a West Coast staple for “beverages and more”, which claims on their website to still sell Not Your Father’s Root Beer, but surprise, surprise… every time we went, they were always “sold out” and didn’t know when they would get more.

After trying Bevmo a few times and checking several local liquor stores, I figured I just wasn’t going to find any… until we visited Adam’s family in Rockford, IL towards the end of the summer and found Big Brother Hard Root Beer in their fridge! I gasped when Adam pulled it out and showed it to me and immediately asked his mom where she found it. Turns out, we just needed to go to Aldi!

Growing up in Oklahoma, any store that wasn’t Walmart was considered bougie, so even though an Aldi was built up the street from the house I grew up in, I never stepped foot inside. Needless to say, I made my first trip into an Aldi in Rockford ASAP to stock up on hard root beer for the 2 weeks we would be spending in Illinois, and I was pleasantly surprised! The prices aren’t ridiculous the way I was led to believe - in fact, it’s even cheaper than Trader Joe’s for a few of the items we buy on a regular basis. And the Big Brother Hard Root Beer is $9 for a 6 pack!

When we returned to Los Angeles, we found one of the few Aldi stores around and, sure enough, they sell Big Brother too, and at the same price! So while the Aldi website says it’s not available at every store and the price may vary, we are 2 for 2 right now - 1 in Illinois, and 1 in California!

My biggest wish for Big Brother though is for it to also come in a can. We love pool days with friends and camping by Kern River or the beach, but you are not supposed to have glass in a lot of those places - and for good reason! Just imagine if someone before you dropped a glass bottle along the rocky Kern River’s edge… you wouldn’t know it until you stepped on broken glass. This would be the perfect drink for summer camping trips if only there was a canned option!

Big Brother Hard Root Beer Review Drinks For Hot Summer Days By In The Great Wide Travel Lifestyle Blog Thirsty Thursdays

Our Verdict

Big Brother Hard Root Beer is for you if any of the following are true:

  1. You love sweet cocktails

  2. You love regular soda / root beer

  3. It is hot and humid as hell outside and you need something to sip on for a relaxing afternoon in the sweltering heat

I think that covers it! Cheers!

Quick Reference Guide



Sweet like regular soda and candy



Made In

La Crosse, Wisconsin

Buy It At

Aldi stores - They claim not every store carries it, but all the ones we’ve been to do


$9 for a 6-pack - Aldi also claims the price may vary, but it was the same for us in Illinois and Southern California

Our Verdict

An excellent sipping drink for hot and humid summer days, it will quench both your thirst and your sweet tooth. It’s a perfect 6-pack to share with friends (unless you have a SERIOUS sweet tooth), but comes in bottles only.

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Travel Blogger Lifestyle Blogger And Bartender Phoebe Meador Reviews Big Brother Hard Root Beer For In The Great Wide


In The Great Wide Travel Lifestyle Blog Phoebe and Adam at the Scotch Whisky Experience in Edinburgh, Scotland

We’re Phoebe & Adam
the couple behind
In The Great Wide!

This is our travel lifestyle blog where we not only share stories from our adventures while traveling the world, but also our thorough research of the places we visit & practical advice on how to save money so you can travel more too!

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