What Is Ginger Beer Exactly

ginger beer in glass

If you ever tried cocktails like the Moscow Mule or the Dark ’n’ Stormy, the existence of ginger beer is no surprise for you. But how to make it good? Why the bottle of this beverage you have bought in a supermarket tastes so awful – not like a beer at all? More information about the authentic ginger beer and the variations of it are right here.

What is this beverage?

In general, ginger beer is alcoholic brew made from three ingredients – ginger, sugar, and water. Sounds like a sweetened ginger water, ha? You’ve got the gist – that’s the reason why commercial products are mostly non-alcoholic. But you should also know – those non-spicy and carbonated ginger drinks are not a ginger beer! Alcohol is one secret ingredient that makes the difference between a ginger ale (that sweetened ginger water) and a ginger beer.

Traditional ginger beer

Created in England, the traditional ginger beer consists of simple ingredients: sugar, ginger, water, and lemon. To make it alcoholic, Englishmen decided to add the specific starter culture (they’ve even called it a ginger beer plant). That really makes it delicious – and turns it into a beer with 11 percent alcohol.  

Modern day version

This is the beverage we have to deal with today. In contrast to the authentic variant, this kind of beer is almost non-alcoholic – less than 0.5 percent of alcohol. To brew it, producers mostly use champagne yeast and adopt forced carbonation. Does it fuel your appetite? Some brands cheat even more – they add more ginger flavor to a ginger ale and call it a ginger beer. So, read the list of ingredients carefully on a bottle!

Other varieties

You can see some other differences in a ginger beer – but they actually won’t spoil your feasting. For example, the duration of filtering process can make a ginger beer darker or clearer – but surely, the tone is more intense than the one of a ginger ale.

Is ginger ale terrible?

Irish people won’t agree. They claimed to invent ginger ale – even though that’s not true, why to spoil an opportunity to compete with England?

The truth is that Canada Dry style in the 1900s made ginger ale really delicious and popular – using the dry style, making it lighter in color, and adding no alcohol. As the ginger beer, it’s bubbly and refreshing. But it’s still not an alcohol drink but a substitute of a club soda – sweet ingredient to a cocktail girls like.

So for the really deep taste, consider searching for a traditional ginger beer, it won’t disappoint you!

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