When the sun is shining and you’re relaxing outside, you’ll probably want a refreshing drink by your side.
However, if you have your young children with you, then you might want something that the whole family can enjoy – this means no alcohol!
A popular choice for a cooling refreshment in the sun is ginger beer, though its name suggests that it might be alcoholic. Does ginger beer have alcohol in it?
Well, we’ve got the answers for you! In our guide below you’ll find out all about whether ginger beer has any alcohol in it, or whether it’s just a misleading name.
On top of that, you’ll find out lots of interesting and helpful information on the drink, such as the history of its creation.
To give you a quick answer to your question, ginger beer typically does not have alcohol in it.
However, there are brands of it that you can get that do have alcohol in them, and you should watch out and look at the label to make sure that you get the type you want.
If you read on, you’ll find out a lot more about this.
Does Ginger Beer Have Alcohol?
Despite the use of “beer” in its name, most ginger beers that you find on store shelves will be listed as alcohol free.
However, this is not always the case. There are some brands of ginger beer that do have alcoholic content in them.
An example of a popular alcoholic ginger beer variety is the one offered by Crabbie’s.
In the case of their drinks, you can clearly see on their green label that it says “Alcoholic” above the name of the drink.
With that being said, they now offer an alcohol free version of their ginger beer.
You can tell these ones apart because they have a bright blue label instead, and the words “Alcohol Free” above the name of the drink.
However, most ginger beers that you see will be like this, non alcoholic. This means that they won’t have a drop of alcohol content in them.
Examples of these brands would be Fentimans, Stoney, or Bundaberg. These drinks are considered to be alcohol free, although that term isn’t entirely accurate.
In a lot of cases, there will actually be around 0.5 percent of alcohol by volume in them. This is low enough to be classified as non alcoholic, though there is still technically a very tiny amount.
If you want to give your children some ginger beer, then it is up to you whether this 0.5 percent ABV is low enough.
It shouldn’t have any effects on them, but you may not like the idea of serving it up at all. It’s especially not a good idea for 2 years olds, because the sugar can upset their stomachs.
Why Is It Called Ginger Beer? A History Of Ginger Beer
You might be wondering why ginger beer is called “beer” when it is typically made without alcohol. Well, it all comes down to the history of the drink, and when and how it was first made.
Ginger beer was first brewed in England during the middle of the 1700s. When it was first made, it was created as a fermented alcoholic drink.
Its creation involved ginger, water, and sugar. Before its creation, ginger was used to spice drinks up, as well being used for medicinal reasons centuries and centuries before.
With the use of strong bottles, the drink was able to be exported around the world, which caused its popularity to rocket.
Shortly afterwards, Ireland created a slightly different drink called “ginger ale”, which also became very popular.
We’ll get to the difference between those two drinks in a moment, but you can see why ginger beer has been called “beer” all these years – because it had alcohol when it was first created.
Ginger Beer And Ginger Ale: What’s The Difference?
The key difference between both these ginger drinks is their strength.
Ginger beer is a drink with a very strong flavor of ginger, with plenty of bubbles and a finish that is notably spicy. Ginger ale, on the other hand, is much milder.
If you drink a ginger ale, then you will find that it is much sweeter than the ginger beer is, with a mellow feel to it – you won’t be hit by any strong sensations when drinking one.
Ginger is a soft drink (Check out Coke’s Senior Vice President – Bea Perez here), plus more carbonated than ginger beer is.
Ginger beer and ginger ale are both popular as cocktail mixers, though both will be used for different purposes.
If you want a strong finish to your cocktails, then you can guess which one you should use: ginger beer! Drinks like a “Moscow Mule” use this, giving them a big kick in taste.
However, if you want a sweet and mild cocktail mixer, then ginger ale is going to be your best bet out of the two.
If you want all the flavors to mix together, and you don’t want the others to be overpowered by a strong and spicy ginger taste, then ale is the way.
How Is Alcoholic Ginger Beer Made?
When alcoholic ginger beer is made, the process is understandably different to how non alcoholic ginger beer is created.
To brew it alcoholic ginger beer, a series of ingredients are mixed together and left to ferment for a good few days.
These ingredients are: ginger, sugar, water, and GBP (which stands for Ginger Beer Plant, and begins the fermentation process).
Some brewers will also add things like cream of tartar or some lemon juice, in order to give it new and extra flavors. As it ferments, the sugar is converted into alcohol.
Most gingers beers are non alcoholic, although they technically have a 0.5 percent ABV.