Is Ginger Beer an Alcoholic Drink?

The summer is starting and as I am ready to start to prepare a new batch of refreshing ginger geer, something in my mind starts wondering if ginger beer is an alcoholic drink or not. I have done some research about this question and am happy to share the answer with you.

So is ginger beer an alcoholic drink? Yes,… and No. I found out that ginger beer, if made according to the original recipe, will probably contain some alcohol. But it is also possible to make an alcohol free ginger beer. During my research I found out that most canned ginger beers that are for sale are non-alcoholic. Please let me explain why.

The original recipe for ginger beer was an alcoholic brew made from fermented ginger, sugar and water. If you want to make it yourself, these are still the main ingredients for making ginger beer. Making your own ginger beer is a very rewarding process which will definitely impress your friends and neighbours during your next BBQ party. 

Delicious non-alcoholic ginger beer
Image by mac231 from Pixabay

But it is also very easy and common nowadays to make a non-alcoholic ginger beer. This can be done easily by first making a ginger syrup with fresh ingredients, after which you mix it with sparkling water to get the super refreshing taste. This is a very easy to do recipe for your first ginger beer. And because we don’t like to waste food, we encourage you to use the ginger that you used for brewing the ginger syrup for your own homemade pickled ginger. Another very healthy delicious homemade dish. 

Where Does Ginger Beer Originate From?

Ginger has been used for many centuries to spice up drinks in the Western part of the world. ginger beer, which includes the actual fermenting of the drink, started in the Northern part of the UK during the mid-18th century. It became very popular in the UK, the USA, Ireland, South Africa and Canada during the 19th and early 20th century. 

Original ginger beer was always made with a ginger beer plant, an organism similar to the scoby that is being used for kombucha. If you can still get your hands on a ginger beer plant (SCOBY), that will definitely give you the best original taste. In the 1900s many large scale breweries favored a yeast starter over the original GBP starter. 

What Is the Difference Between Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale?

Ginger beer and ginger ale are becoming more popular again; you can get them almost anywhere. But what is the difference between these two drinks? We went on a quest to find out for you.

The difference between ginger beer and ginger ale is that the first has been fermented (brewed) and has a much spicier and gingery flavor. Also a ginger beer has a little less carbonic acid. ginger ale is a real soda. It has a softer, sweeter taste and can have a hint of orange and cinnamon. Now a days a ginger ale can be made even without ginger or other spices, but with artificial flavors only. 

Ginger ale drink
Image by dernaturfilmer from Pixabay

This sounds very clear, but the problem is that many times what is written on the can or bottle is not really what is inside. Many times you can find ginger beer that has been made with a similar process as ginger ale. So please check the label and see if you can read anything about the manufacturing process. 

Does Ginger Beer Have Any Health Benefits?

Can ginger beer encourage better gut health, lower your cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, reduce the chance of heart disease, benefit for blood sugar levels, and reduce muscle strain? Yes! Ginger is known for the many health benefits. However, these effects have never been scientifically proven, but ginger is worldwide known for its powerful analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. Of course, as with everything in life it needs to be taken in moderation.

Because ginger beer is fermented it could potentially cause some irritation to your stomach if you are not used to drinking fermented drinks. Fermented foods are definitely good for your health, but too much probiotic-rich foods can upset your digestive system. We noticed this when we started our adventure with kombucha and ginger beer. But now our bodies are used to it and we feel we feel no negative side effects.

To take full use from the health benefits of ginger beer, it is recommended to take 2-3 glasses per week. So when you are making your own homemade ginger beer, it is good to keep this in mind. You don’t want to let it go to waste, so start with small batches. 

Ginger Beer or Ginger Water, Which One Promotes Weight Loss?

Many people look to ginger for weight loss because it not only helps with with losing weight but also with detoxifying the body. That is why many people look at ginger as a superfood! But when you want to lose weight it is very important that you do not take too much calories. Being on a diet means that you should burn more energy than that you ingest. 

Ginger beer is being brewed with sugar, this means that it still contains a lot of calories. Comparing ginger beer vs ginger water, it is definitely better to drink ginger water if you want the beneficial side of the ginger superfood to help you with your weight loss. 

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Ginger water is better than any sweetened soda or sugary beverage. Ginger water almost contains zero calories vs. 100-200 calories for a serving of homemade ginger beer.  Ginger water also helps with hydration of your body, another major benefit if you’re trying to lose weight. 

Ginger water will not melt your belly fat or burn calories for you, but it might be a flavorful alternative to plain water. The real benefit of drinking ginger water is if you drink it instead of other sugary beverages, like sweet iced tea or ginger ale. 

Sim & Leo

During all our travels and living abroad we really got to know the flavors of the world. We love to learn new ways to prepare food, and then share our experiences with you. Living healthy doesn't come easy, but we want to help with that!

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