Baton Rouge on Tap comes to the River Center _lowres

Photo provided by Abita Brewing Company -- Bayou Bootlegger Hard Root Beer is one of the Louisiana beers that will be available at the Baton Rouge on Tap event on Saturday at the River Center.

Abita Brewing Company has released an alcoholic version of its root beer, the first in a line of “Bayou Bootlegger” hard sodas, the company announced in a news release.

Bayou Bootlegger Hard Root Beer is based on Abita’s current root beer formula, including pure Louisiana cane sugar, brewed to achieve a 5.9 percent alcohol content by volume.

Six-packs of the hard root beer are expected on local store shelves this week, with full distribution by early 2016.

“Our hard root beer is a decidedly adult take on the old-fashioned Abita Root Beer we’ve been brewing and you’ve been loving for years,” said David Blossman, president and CEO of Abita Brewing Company.

Blossman said consumers and local bars and restaurants have been known to use Abita Root Beer to concoct their own alcoholic drink recipes, so this was a natural move for the company.

The packaging, referencing early-19th century pirate and smuggler Jean Lafitte and his strong ties to Louisiana, says the sodas are “brewed with the swagger and rebellious spirit of our most famous pirate.”