What's the Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale? (2024)

Despite the name, ginger beer doesn't contain any alcohol.

What's the Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale? (1)By Chanel Vargas
What's the Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale? (2)What's the Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale? (3)

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If you like having a drink with a bit of a kick, you might be a fan of ginger ale's slightly spicier cousin, ginger beer. While both are non-alcoholic soft drinks, ginger beer and ginger ale are mainly different in that ginger beer is spicier, with a more robust flavor than ginger ale. Also, while ginger ale is generally treated as a tame alternative to alcohol or soda, ginger beer's flavor makes it easy to enjoy on its own or mixed in a co*cktail—like the traditional Dark n' Stormy or even a sangria.

Where is it from?

Despite it being marketed as a typically non-alcoholic drink nowadays, ginger beer's name isn't a complete misnomer. Traditional ginger beer originated in England in the mid 1800s and was a product of fermenting and brewing ginger with water and sugar, resulting in a drink with about 11 percent alcohol, according to thekitchn.com.

Modern ginger beer is not fermented, but is instead carbonated, making it a soft drink. This ginger beer typically contains less than .5 percent alcohol, and is not classified as an alcoholic beverage.

How is it made?

Depending on the filtering process and the manner in which it's brewed, ginger beer can either have a clear or cloudy appearance. The manner in which it's made also affects the flavor, making different brews zestier than others.

So, while ginger beer and ginger ale can be used interchangeably, it's important to remember that ginger beer does have a stronger flavor.

What flavors can you try?

Ginger ale comes in a variety of flavors, including: green tea, blackberry, cranberry, black cherry, pomegranate, and even peach.

Ginger beer sticks to a more citrusy flavors such as lemon, lime, and pineapple.

What co*cktails can you make?

Full of spice, zest, and sweetness, the flavor profile of ginger beer mixes well with a variety of different co*cktails. The flavor of the ginger beer manages to stand out in any co*cktail, from the traditional Moscow Mule to a ginger and apple cooler with a splash of maple syrup, or even a blood orange and tequila co*cktail.

What are the best brands?

Ginger Ale

What's the Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale? (4)What's the Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale? (5)

Buy Now Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, $39.99 for a pack of 12
Buy Now Red Rock Ginger Ale, $4.99 for a pack of 12
Buy Now Vernor's Ginger Ale, $15.38 for a pack of 12

Ginger Beer

What's the Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale? (6)

Buy Now Fever Tree Ginger Beer, $39.92 for a pack of 24
Buy Now Bundaberg Ginger Beer, $28 for a pack of 12
Buy Now Fentiman's Ginger Beer, $7.39 for a pack of 4

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What's the Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale? (7)

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What's the Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale? (2024)


What's the Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale? ›

While these two drinks were once identical, ginger ale is typically sweeter, non-alcoholic, and made using artificial carbonation. Ginger beer tends to be spicier and is carbonated via fermentation. As a result, it may contain alcohol, though sometimes in amounts as low as 0.5% ABV.

Is ginger beer better than ginger ale? ›

Sweatman says that ginger ales tend to be more processed, noting that the syrup-boiling process can deteriorate the nutrients in fresh ginger. In a hurry? Choose ginger beer, which is more likely to use fresh ginger in the brewing process and is, thus, better suited to relieve nausea or an upset stomach.

Is Moscow Mule with ginger beer or ginger ale? ›

Directions. Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour in lime juice, then vodka, then ginger beer. Garnish with lime slices.

Can I replace ginger beer with ginger ale? ›

Some drinks rely on the deeper flavors of ginger beer to stand up to other ingredients, but you can really use it interchangeably with ginger ale — as long as you know that ginger beer is more intense in flavor than ginger ale.

Does ginger beer contain alcohol? ›

Today, most commercial ginger beers contain no alcohol or less than . 5 percent. Ginger beer's spicy-sweet flavor profile makes it an excellent mixer and it's a key ingredient in classic co*cktails. Because it contains no alcohol, ginger beer is also a go-to ingredient for spirit-free drinks.

Can you drink ginger beer straight? ›

Packed with flavor, it's good enough to be enjoyed on its own, or mixed to make a variety of different co*cktails. But let's set one thing straight – the key ingredient to a great Moscow Mule is a good ginger beer, not ginger ale!

Why do doctors recommend ginger ale? ›

Ginger may offer benefits for heart health, headaches, and nausea, as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, varieties of ginger ale that contain more ginger may be better for your health.

Which ginger beer has real ginger? ›

Reed's Original Ginger Beer

This world-famous, Jamaican-inspired recipe is crafted with REAL fresh ginger root, natural fruit juices, honey and spices. Perfect straight-up or mixed.

Why is ginger called mule? ›

The first is the base spirit itself – gin – and the second is the GINger beer stirred through at the end. Gin-Gin – get it? The 'mule' element of the name is said to refer to the fiery kick the ginger gives to the drink, as in a Moscow Mule.

Why is ginger beer so expensive? ›

It is expensive to do it, and ginger juice makes such a big component that to make it it's our highest cost per production beer that we make.

Is ginger beer good for your stomach? ›

Ginger root, a plant indigenous to southern China, contains hundreds of compounds that provide several important benefits to those who ingest it. Drinking ginger beer can help reduce inflammation, promote digestion, relieve nausea, and even help in the prevention of cancer.

What is the best alcohol to mix with ginger ale? ›

While the traditional choice for this co*cktail is rye, bourbon or other American whiskeys can do the job. A high-rye Canadian whisky could also work in a pinch, but the key is to choose a spirit with enough oomph to announce its presence rather than be overpowered by the ginger.

Can kids have ginger beer? ›

Yes, it's non-alcoholic and safe for children.

Is ginger beer full of sugar? ›

Ginger ale is the lighter option, with 125.1 calories and 32.3 grams of sugar per can (12 fl oz). Ginger beer is a bit heavier but nevertheless very close to ginger ale, with 140 calories and 35 grams of sugar per can or bottle (12 fl oz).

Does ginger beer go bad? ›

All of our Reed's ginger beers in aluminum cans have a one year shelf life from the date of production. Expiration codes can be found on the bottom of the can. The Best By date starts with BB, followed by the 2 digit month, date and year, BB: 122520 would be best by December 25th, 2020.

Can ginger beer be healthy? ›

Drinking ginger beer can help reduce inflammation, promote digestion, relieve nausea, and even help in the prevention of cancer. Ginger beer is a less-sweet alternative to ginger ale, and the popularity has skyrocketed among Americans, especially millennials.

Is ginger ale or beer better for stomach? ›

Ginger beer sometimes contains even higher levels of ginger than ginger ale, which means it may be even more helpful at alleviating nausea than ginger ale, Trinh said. But just like ginger ale, ginger beer can vary depending on the brand and specific product.

Is ginger ale or ginger beer better when sick? ›

While you can still drink a cup of ginger ale if you're feeling nauseous, the main thing to remember is the kind of ginger ale that you're drinking. Since ginger root is what can help to alleviate discomfort, seek out a brand made with real ginger root, even ginger beer would be a better option.

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