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Back in the land of gourmet coffee lovers, another upscale specialty beverage is brewing - Seattle's Thomas Kemper root beer. Laura Bracken, president of Thomas Kemper Soda Co., projects 1993 sales of $2 million, a 100 percent increase from last year.
Kemper root beer is bucking a category trend. As of April 1993, total volume sales of root beer were down 1.8 percent at $29.1 million versus a year ago, reports Information Resources Inc., Chicago.
Unlike most carbonated soft drinks, Kemper's products are brewed at Thomas Kemper Brewery in Poulsbo, Wash. The root beer first w;is produced as an experiment in October 1990.
Kemper uses honey as its primary sweetener. The product contains only one-tenth of I percent of the preservative sodium benzoate for stability. It's brewed in batches of 500 gallons of water with about a dozen ingredients, including sassafras bark extracts and oil of …