Ginger Beer

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by CraigP83, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. CraigP83

    CraigP83 Zealot (593) Dec 19, 2014 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    My boss just gave me a 4-pack of "Reed's Stong Jamaican Ginger Beer" because he knows that I like trying all kinds of beers. I can't find it listed on BA and Ginger Beer is not listed under styles. So, what exactly is ginger beer and would it fall under any current styles that we have here?
     
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  2. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,409) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Even though it has beer in its name, most all of them are produced as sodas. Check the alcohol content. If listed here it would be under fruit/vegetable beer or herbed/spiced beer.
     
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  3. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,270) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    That's a soft drink - aka "pop" or "soda" - just as root beer, birch beer and ginger ale are.
     
    #3 jesskidden, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
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  4. CraigP83

    CraigP83 Zealot (593) Dec 19, 2014 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I just checked, You are correct in very small print it states non alcoholic. Which surprised me for something with "Stong" and "Beer" in it's name. Hahah, thank you though
     
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  5. BradenMK

    BradenMK Disciple (321) Sep 24, 2012 Alaska

    If I recall correctly, Reed's is just a really tasty Ginger soda with pineapple juice added. Not a beer. Just like no ginger ale is actually an ale.

    Now there are some actual Ginger Beers with alcohol, but I still know almost nothing about them (if they are literally brewed using malt, water, yeast). I'm just pretty sure Reed's Strong etc etc isn't one of them.

    It is very gingery. :slight_smile:
     
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  6. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (5,778) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
    Premium Member Beer Trader

  7. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,270) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Actually, using "strong" on a beverage label would mean it is NOT a beer - since that would be illegal in the US :wink:
    Of course, for alcoholic ginger beers, there is this one just hitting many markets - Pabst hoping lightning will strike twice.
    Heard it described as drinking "instant heartburn".
     
    #7 jesskidden, Dec 4, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  8. msscott1973

    msscott1973 Devotee (465) Dec 28, 2013 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I used to drink those sometimes when I abstained from alcohol for a few years.
     
  9. tillmac62

    tillmac62 Poo-Bah (1,504) Oct 2, 2013 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    If you want an alcohol ginger try Islander Ginger "Beer" (5% ABV). It's not listed here since it's not made from barley - they use cane sugar.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Sixpoint

    Sixpoint Poo-Bah (1,696) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Member Industry Beer Trader

  11. monkeybeerbelly

    monkeybeerbelly Devotee (479) Dec 6, 2012 New York
    Beer Trader

    i had this one from saranac when they used to brew it. it wasnt bad, kinda like ginger ale thats been spiked at a high school party. sorry pabst/not yourfathers, saranac beat you too it a by a couple of years
     
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  12. Crim122

    Crim122 Aspirant (288) Aug 4, 2014 North Carolina
    Beer Trader

    Ive seen this in my area. Interested in it for Moscow mules, give them some more PUNCH.
     
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  13. alex_delany

    alex_delany Initiate (175) Apr 29, 2015 New York
    Beer Trader

    Hitachino Nest Ginger Brew is the best ginger forward ale out there IMO. Really incredible beer.
     
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  14. pat61

    pat61 Poo-Bah (4,769) Dec 29, 2010 Minnesota
    Premium Member

    My brother made a ginger beer in junior high that turned out alcoholic. After we had a couple of bottles my Dad figured out what was going on and confiscated it and drank it himself. Ginger and beer as Hitachino Nest Ginger Brew demonstrates actually goes fairly well together.
     
  15. rgordon

    rgordon Crusader (792) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    For Thanksgiving my daughter brought by a few bottles of Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Beer. It says "ginger ale with a kick", and at first I thought it might be alcoholic. It's not, but it's damned good!
     
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  16. Sixpoint

    Sixpoint Poo-Bah (1,696) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Member Industry Beer Trader

    It's a very unique beer, and tastes quite good, if you like the taste of ginger, of course.
     
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  17. donspublic

    donspublic Poo-Bah (1,594) Aug 4, 2014 Texas
    Premium Member Beer Trader

  18. abkayak

    abkayak Disciple (391) Jan 8, 2013 New York
    Beer Trader

    go big...copper cups, simple syrup, fresh lime, mint
     
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  19. marquis

    marquis Crusader (762) Nov 20, 2005 United Kingdom (England)

    It's quite easy to brew your own, all you need is sugar, water, yeast and dried ginger. The setup is called a "ginger beer plant" , you feed it with more sugar and ginger every few days and periodically split it into two and give one away.
     
  20. lambpasty

    lambpasty Devotee (481) May 3, 2013 New Hampshire
    Beer Trader

    Was about to say Crabbie's, delicious on its own or makes one hell of a Dark 'n Stormy. There are several variants too including an orange one that are also great.
     
  21. HopsDubosc

    HopsDubosc Aspirant (207) Apr 24, 2015 Vermont
    Beer Trader

  22. RobDB

    RobDB Devotee (473) Aug 31, 2009 New Jersey

    The non-alcoholic ginger beers are good for making a Dark & Stormy, a drink from Bermuda made with Gosling's Black Seal rum. Thinking about it makes me want one right now.
     
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  23. Jpinoniemi

    Jpinoniemi Aspirant (297) Mar 16, 2014 Ohio

  24. chcfan

    chcfan Devotee (466) Oct 29, 2008 California

    And Moscow Mules, which I recently learned I really enjoy.

    Anyway, ginger beer is usually in the soda or mixer section of stores. Really surprising to me that OP's boss thought it was actual beer.

    Edit: to be clear, I'm not comparing the disparity in craft beer demographics to women's suffrage. Just making a point with an example.
     
  25. bub72ck

    bub72ck Initiate (167) Nov 8, 2010 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    We like Gosling's for the Mule drinks. It's also good on it's own.
     
  26. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Meyvn (1,339) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey
    Beer Trader

    Just saw the not your father's ginger today. Ocean county NJ. But passed it up as curious as i was. Also Crabbies is my jam.
     
  27. beergrrl

    beergrrl Initiate (0) Dec 9, 2003 New Hampshire

    Atlantic in Bar Harbor: Mount Desert Island Ginger Ale. Yummy, wikkid yummy.
     
  28. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,270) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Is it really "authentic", though? The US labels says "MALT BEVERAGE WITH NATURAL FLAVORS AND CARAMEL COLOR ADDED", which to me reads as if it is simply a FMB/malternative - probably so it can be sold more widely in many US states under a retail license for beer/malt beverages? Similar to many former "wine cooler" products. Don't know what the UK labels reads, but given examples like the Seagram, Barcadi, and other spirit-branded products, they are often different in the US vs. the rest of the world due to US laws.

    Most of the old - 17th-18th century - recipes I've seen call for only sugar as a fermentable.
     
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  29. Sixpoint

    Sixpoint Poo-Bah (1,696) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Member Industry Beer Trader

    this is worth investigating...
     
  30. Dopen993

    Dopen993 Disciple (357) Jul 20, 2015 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    [​IMG]

    4.5% in mass an ri only.
     
  31. biboergosum

    biboergosum Poo-Bah (11,227) Oct 28, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    There is no 'beer' in Crabbie's Ginger Beer.
     
  32. GSS

    GSS Initiate (0) Sep 30, 2015 China

    That is an awesome dog in your avatar pic.

    They do some amazing ginger beer (no alcohol) in Sri Lanka. Very sharp and refreshing.
     
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  33. Sixpoint

    Sixpoint Poo-Bah (1,696) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Member Industry Beer Trader

    meaning there is no malt-based beverage foundation?
     
  34. Dopen993

    Dopen993 Disciple (357) Jul 20, 2015 Rhode Island
    Beer Trader

    Thanks man, that's my pup Crash. 80 lbs American bulldog that thinks he is a lap dog.

    I know it's cider, but if anyone has the chance to try Citizen Cider's Dirty Mayor, that is packed with ginger. Like a ton.
     
  35. TonyLema1

    TonyLema1 Poo-Bah (1,667) Nov 19, 2008 South Carolina
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Crabbies is the best alcoholic Ginger Beer that I've tasted...not to be confuse with Ginger Beer (Good Juju, Cack-a-Lacky come to mind), the non-alcoholic Ginger Beer is what I tell customers to use in Moscow Mules, and Dark and Stormy's, but the Crabbies would work just fine
     
  36. biboergosum

    biboergosum Poo-Bah (11,227) Oct 28, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

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  37. Sixpoint

    Sixpoint Poo-Bah (1,696) Jul 25, 2004 New York
    Premium Member Industry Beer Trader

  38. jesskidden

    jesskidden Meyvn (1,270) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    That thread lists the ingredients for the Australian version (in Drtth's post, #12).

    In the US, as shown above in Sixpoint's post with the photo, the label clearly says ""MALT BEVERAGE WITH NATURAL FLAVORS AND CARAMEL COLOR ADDED". The legal US TTB definition of "Malt Beverage" is also noted in that previous thread.

    If it isn't a legal "Malt Beverage" then the Importer (L. Knife's St. Killians) lied to the TTB and the product would probably have to go through FDA labeling requirements (like other beer-like products that don't meet the TTB definition, like Gluten-free beers, etc.) See - Guidance for Industry: Labeling of Certain Beers Subject to the Labeling Jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration.

    [​IMG]
     
  39. biboergosum

    biboergosum Poo-Bah (11,227) Oct 28, 2007 Alberta (Canada)

    I'm in Canada, and the ingredients are listed the same as the Australian one. I presume that the US, what with its strange labeling laws, is indeed different, though the product shipped from Scotland is likely the same.
     
  40. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,409) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    You may not have been. As it turns out Crabbies produces at least two different versions of their Ginger Beer to sell in the US. One of them is the Alcoholic Ginger Beer and at least some of the rest seem to be non-alcoholic. If we follow the trail blazed by @jesskidden could we assume that Crabbies would want/need to have their US Alcoholic version registered,etc. as a malt Beverage.

    Now a bit of speculation:

    It would seem (but I don't have brewing expertise) that Crabbies could simply use a malt extract in the preparation of their US Alcoholic version. This would avoid having to worry about sourcing and processing the malts, it might replace other sugars if they brew other Alcoholic versions for other countries, it wouldn't require them to radically change their procedures just to deal with the US market, and it would get them categorized in the US as a Malt Beverage for purposes of US regulations (and it might even just make the end result taste more like a grain based beer than their other versions of Ginger Beer).

    Does it make sense given what we currently know and in the absence of the ingredients list for the US Alcoholic version?
     
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