- Associated Press - Thursday, December 24, 2015

ABITA SPRINGS, La. (AP) - Abita Brewing Co. says it’s entering the hard soda market with an alcoholic root beer based on the non-alcoholic version it’s been selling for nearly 20 years.

Spokeswoman Erica Sweeney says “Bayou Bootlegger Hard Root Beer” is on sale in southeast Louisiana and will be moving throughout the company’s network early next year.

She says other hard sodas will follow - and so will other non-alcoholic sodas.

The new root beer is 5.9 percent alcohol.

Sweeney says Abita produces nearly 5 million gallons of beer and about 434,000 gallons of non-alcoholic root beer a year.

The company is based in Abita Springs, about 30 miles north-northwest of New Orleans.

According to Abita’s website, it sells in 41 states, the District of Columbia and a limited number of foreign countries.

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