Ginger beer has become a popular beverage, so in this article, we will explore popular brands and provide suggestions for some of the best ginger beer drinks.
Not long ago, it was a challenge to find even one ginger beer option on the shelves of your liquor or grocery store. Today, however, there is a wide range of options. You’ll find sweet, spicy, all-natural, organic, and mild options for fun cocktails.
A good ginger beer should fit with the flavor profiles that you enjoy the most. But finding that perfect ginger beer can be a challenge given the number of options available today.
In this article, we will take a look at how to buy a great ginger beer. We will also give you seven products that we like and think will fit most people’s idea of the best ginger beer.
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What To Look For In The Best Ginger Beer
The first thing that you need to know about ginger beer is that no two products are the same. Ginger beer, like regular beer, comes in many different flavors, so you need to know what flavor profile you want.
Some people love bright and spicy ginger beer. While other people like an option that is sweet and light, with a mild ginger taste. Besides the taste, these are the product features that you should consider when looking for the perfect ginger beer.
A good ginger beer will be made from real ginger, not fake flavoring. Real ginger can mean a fresh root or a naturally derived extract. Fresh ginger will make your ginger beer spicier, while extracts can be diluted for a more mild flavor.
The other ingredient you need to be mindful of is the sweetener. We like options with unprocessed sweeteners like raw sugar or sugar cane. Skip the high fructose corn syrup.
You need to consider the flavor of your ginger beer. You’ll find great options that are spicy and some that are mild. Other options add citrus for a little bit of tang to go with the ginger spice.
A high-quality ginger beer will be a little cloudy. This is due to the addition of real ginger.
If your ginger beer is clear, it is probably made with artificial flavors and processed sugars. Check out our explainer on will bottled beer expire.
There is nothing fancy about ginger beer. It should be about the same price as most soft drinks. Off-brands may be less expensive, but you are better off sticking with a name brand with good-quality ingredients.
How To Pick The Best The Best Ginger Beer
If you still need help picking the best ginger beer, here are some other helpful hints.
- Look for a product that tastes like fresh juiced or sliced ginger.
- Added flavors like fruit juices or citrus mask the bright ginger flavor.
- Ginger beers with natural sweeteners tend to have a better balance between the spicy ginger and the sweetener.
- A good complement to a cocktail is a ginger beer that you would drink without the added alcohol.
- If you are entertaining and you have guests that enjoy a ginger beer in their cocktails, select a couple of brands. They are likely to know what they like and will tell you which ginger beer is the best for their cocktail preferences.
Q Mixers Premium Ginger Beer
This is a great mixer for a variety of cocktails. Q Mixers ginger beer is slightly spicy and perfectly sweet. It is made from organic ginger and sweetened with organic agave.
This ginger beer is best for mixing with vodka, rum, or whisky. We like that it is sold in smaller cans, so an open can should never go to waste.
- Nice balance of sweet and spicy
- Uses organic ingredients
- Comes in single cocktail-sized cans
- Not sweet enough for some people
- Tends to be higher priced
- Not as easy to find
Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer
Fever-tree tends to be a higher-priced ginger beer option. However, it is quite popular for making more mild versions of popular ginger beer cocktails.
You’ll notice that it has both ginger and herbal flavors, with a slight bit of sweetness. Fever-Tree uses spring water, cane sugar, ginger root, and other natural flavors.
- Has a light, mild ginger flavor
- Herbal flavors bring the ginger spice forward
- Not overly carbonated
- More expensive than other options
- Not as easy to find
Barritt’s Original Ginger Beer
If you love a traditional Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktail, then you want to find Barritt’s Original ginger beer. This ginger beer is considered the standard for most bartenders when making cocktails with ginger beer.
It mixes well with all types of liquor. Barritt’s originated in Bermuda, the first place where the Dark ‘n’ Stormy was made.
- Has a unique island flavor
- Goes well with most liquors
- Fairly easy to find
- Sugar cane has been replaced with high fructose corn syrup
- Only comes in a 12-ounce can
Bundaberg Ginger Beer
In the US, Bundaberg usually comes in a standard twist-off glass bottle. But in Australia, where it originates, it comes in a one-of-a-kind short, glass bottle with a yellow label and a pull tab lid.
When it comes to ginger beer, Bundaberg is made like its alcoholic, malt-based cousin. It is fermented using yeast in a wort made of ginger, water, and cane sugar.
The fermentation process does not make alcohol but instead naturally carbonates ginger beer. This ginger beer is nicely balanced with enough sweetness and spice for a tasty cocktail or a refreshing drink on its own.
- Uses ginger grown only in Australia
- Nice balance of sweetness and spice
- No processed sweeteners
- Twist off lid doesn’t reseal well
- More expensive than other options
Reed’s Original Ginger Beer
Reed’s has come on the scene as a popular craft soda maker. The original ginger beer is their top seller. Made with all-natural ingredients, including ginger from Peru, honey, and cane sugar, Reed’s is a mild ginger beer option and makes a great mixer for fruit juices and retro-style cocktails.
- Made with quality ingredients
- Delicious stand-alone drink
- Has a bit of citrus added for a bit of tang
- More expensive
- Cannot reseal the bottles
- Hard to find in smaller communities
Maine Root Ginger Brew
Main Root has exploded into the craft soda market with a range of flavorful but not-too-sweet soda options. Main Root’s ginger beer is handmade and is what we would call “Old Fashioned.”
It is a nice balance of spicy ginger, a little sweetness, and just enough carbonation to make it lively. We like to drink Main Root without any added alcohol, but it does make a great cocktail.
- Not too spicy and not too sweet
- Well balanced flavors
- All-natural, minimal ingredients
- Perfectly carbonated
- You’ll pay a premium price for this product
- Only comes in 12-ounce glass bottles
Zevia Mixer Ginger Beer
If you are looking for a sugar-free option, ginger beer from Zevia Mixer is a good selection. This ginger beer has a strong, spicy ginger flavor. The key to the bold ginger flavor in Zevia Mixer ginger beer is the use of stevia, a natural plant-based sweetener, instead of artificial sweeteners.
- Best-tasting sugar-free ginger beer
- Light and refreshing
- Stevia can give a bitter aftertaste
- Not available in all markets
To find the best ginger beer, we tried a lot of products. Not only did we drink our ginger beer straight, but we mixed each with a variety of liquors. Our picks were those that tasted good on their own but also complemented the flavors of each liquor when used as a cocktail mixer.
Why You Can Trust Me
Though ginger beer isn’t really beer, I love to try new cocktails and experiment with different flavors. Though beer is my preferred adult beverage, I am always up for a good whiskey or a traditional cocktail. You might be interested in our explainer on is draft beer stronger than bottled beer.