Hard Soda is the latest Drink Craze. If you don't know what hard soda is, it's an alcoholic beverage, made to mimic drinking different flavored soft drinks. So you would think the easy way to make these is to use the soda as the base, and add booze. The thing is most of these "root beers" are actually just flavored beer. Sadly that means they are NOT gluten free. Brands like Henry's Soda will respond to inquiries on Facebook to tell you NO it's not gluten free. Or Not Your Father's Rootbeer says they brew their Beverages with the best Malt you can find. But Neither say this on the bottle, which can be confusing to the typical gluten free consumer, because food products label if they contain gluten. Alcohol doesn't fall under the same labeling laws and do not have to disclose ingredients on the label.
The same applies to Their other flavored options, Hard Ginger Ale, Hard Orange Soda, they are all malted beers with other spices and flavoring added. This drink craze is bringing more and more brands to join in to capitalize on the 'non-beer drinking' market who like the fluffier drinks that don't taste like beer. When actually they are drinking beer. The newest one I've seen in stores is Coney Island Hard Root Beer, this too is not Gluten Free.
That being said I've found a few options for Hard Rootbeer and Hard Ginger Ale that are Gluten Free and taste good too.
Root Sellers has both a Root beer and Hard Ginger Ale/ Ginger Beer option in Gluten Free. The Root beer has a harsh taste at first more like sassafras than root beer, but I've come to like the taste. Their Ginger Beer really reminds me of Ginger Ale and goes down very smoothly. Grabbing a bottle of Tito's Handmade Vodka, this would be a great option for making a Moscow Mule!
Abita brewing just released a Hard Root beer as well that is gluten Free. I like the taste on this one better than the row hard, it really tastes like Root Beer, goes down smooth and easy. I'm going to have to make a Hard Root beer float again!
So what I've figured out is if it is a "hard" soda or root beer, if it is Gluten Free It will say so. If it doesn't say Gluten Free, It probably is not!
Henry's Hard Soda, Orange, or Ginger Ale are NOT Gluten Free.
Coney Island Brewing Hard Root beer is NOT Gluten Free.
Not your Father's Root Beer is NOT Gluten Free Either.
Yes they sound delicious but they are NOT Safe.