48 Investigates: New alcohol trend has parents on alert - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

48 First Alert Investigation

48 Investigates: New alcohol trend has parents on alert

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)

Companies are taking what used to be plain soft drink flavors and adding booze.

When Sarah Sigro picks up adult refreshments for get togethers with friends, she is eager to serve one of the hottest new items on the market:  root beer—- beer.

"I like it because it's delicious, like, it is drinking an awesome childhood drink but in an adult way." said Sigro.

Sigro's favorite is "not your father's root beer", the makers say it's flying off the shelves. 

"We cannot keep up with the demand across the country and consumers are ranging from 21-years-old all the way to 80-years-old."  said Aaron Sosnoski of Small Town Brewery.

From "spiked" root beer, to other companies, which make: hard soda flavors like: cherry cola, orange, lemon-lime and ginger ale, industry insiders say alcoholic beverages with traditional soft drink flavors will be the trend to watch.  

"I think the trend toward spiked sodas it will happen and occur for the next year or two." said Brian Sudano with Beverage Marketing Corporation.

The beverage marketing corporation points out there's been a drink evolution when it comes to flavored alcoholic beverages. It started with wine coolers then flavored vodkas, spiked lemonades, ciders and now hard soft drinks. Sudano says some brewers are getting creative. 

"So they're pushing into this flavor business which was originally the domain of the spirit companies." said Sudano.

And while these drinks appear to be popular with adults experts say parents need to stay on top of new alcoholic beverage trends so they can speak to their teens about it. 

"Really talk and engage with teens that these drinks are alcohol regardless of what content they come in and how they're packaged, but it's alcohol and we want them to make the right choices by not consuming it if they are under the age of 21." said Natasha Thomas, member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

The makers of Not Your Father's root beer said they take underage drinking very seriously. 

"We have 21 plus on all our packaging and all our retailers then card, as well as bars." 

Sigro introduced her friend Mikey to the root beer—beer and he said although he is not a connoisseur,  he's now a fan. 

"As someone who doesn't drink much I loved it."

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