Ginger Beer is a brewed alcoholic drink that uses ginger as its defining ingredient, hence the name. It is one of the most misunderstood beer types of the world because of nominal relations to other drink varieties.
Ginger beer is a carbonated drink that is flavored primarily with ginger and sweetened with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Most ginger beer produced commercially is a manufactured soft drink. The original version, rarely produced commercially since the mid-20th century but often home brewed, is a brewed alcoholic beverage.
The first commercially recorded ginger beers appeared in England around the mid 18th century. They became widespread over the next hundred years or so, but never attained the success of other beers. After the popularity of soda fountains faded in the early 1960s. Both ginger beer and its root beer relatives became relatively obscure.
Ginger doesn't lend itself as well to fermentation as wheat, which leads to lower Alcohol Counts. Typical ginger beer is in the 2 to 3 percent alcohol range, although several brands claim 5 to 7 percent. The fermentation process is less stable for ginger beer, so the drink is bottled before fermentation is completed.
The process of brewing and fermentation is similar to lager beers, only ginger, sugar, tartar, yeast and water are used--rather than wheat, barley and hops. The result is a very distinct ginger flavor that's zesty, and almost spicy. The color is more akin to lemonade than beer.
- Old Jamaica Ginger Beer
- Royal Ginger Beer
- Barritts Ginger Beer