In the most stirring example of the self-actualization of beverages, root beer is now officially a beer. Well, almost. There's a movement brewing to make hard root beer—a version of the classic soda that'll actually live up to its name—the next big thing in booze, with some of the country's biggest names in beer already on board with the trend. That includes our homegrown Coney Island Brewing Co, who recently launched their Coney Island Hard Root Beer, as well as other major brands (CIB is backed by Boston Beer, aka Sam Adams) including forthcoming versions by MillerCoors LLC and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.

The trend seems to have begun with a product called Not Your Father's Root Beer, a company owned in part by an owner of Pabst Brewing Company, according to the Wall Street Journal. The hard root beer, which launched last year, quickly rose to make its producer the sixth best-selling craft brewer for a period this summer, beating out some of the larger names in the scene like Stone and Goose Island.

Coney Island's version, which boasts a respectable 5.8% ABV, begins with a few types of malt plus European hops, which are further flavored with things like Madagascar vanilla to give it that signature root beer essence. According to the Times, the resulting flavor is "a tad sweeter and fizzier" than the original offering on the market. The brew is available at spots like Rite Aid and Key Food, as well as smaller specialty markets including Malt & Mold and bars including Village Pourhouse and Thirsty Scholar.