July 19, 2013

Best Ginger Beers of 2013

Six ginger beers lined up - includes Reeds, Regetta, DG Ginger, The Ginger Peoples, Bunderberg and Maine Root

The most popular posts on the 2 Out of Three blog are our ginger beer reviews. And while each of the five tastings we’ve conducted used identical judging criteria, the lineup of ginger beers has varied. This has made comparisons a bit cumbersome and doing a quick lookup for specific beverages on this site can be downright frustrating. Well, we’ve set out to remedy this situation by shining a light on the American ginger beer landscape with a comprehensive guide. It is one you can download to your mobile phone for a quick consultation at the market, or print and store in your wallet for those who prefer an analog version.

Consider this a public service for those of us who go weak in the knees at the thought dark rum, ginger beer, and a splash of lime mixed and poured over ice; the devoted legions who take their ginger with vodka; or, those who prefer their ginger beer served straight and cold.

Over the years our judges — whose training consists primarily of drinking an above average number of Dark n’ Stormy’s — have settled on two favorites out of the 32 different ginger beers they’ve tasted: Fever Tree and Bundaberg. Both qualitative and quantitative evidence make it a no brainer for us to recommend you pick up one of these two when in doubt. But, personal favorites vary, so below (and in downloadable format) we’ve put together a ranking of ginger beers available in the United States with tasting notes and scores with a scale ranking between 1 and 10 (read our original tasting for details on the judging criteria).

Our ginger beer guide is portable!
Printable Pocket Guide (PDF)
Digital Pocket Guide (PNG) – save to your phones photo album

Fever Tree

Fever Tree

(score 9.16)

No ginger beer strikes a better balance between sweet and spicy than Fever Tree. Starting sweet, it lures you in, then wakes you up with a kick of ginger on the finish. While you certainly taste the fresh ginger in each bottle, at no point does it overpower or outstay its welcome. Neat, this beverage is the best drinking ginger and an excellent partner for any mixed drink.

Bundaberg

Bundaberg Ginger Beer

(score 9.0)

There are very few faults with Bundaberg. It’s refreshing and sweet, making you want to go back for another sip before you’ve finished the last. While it’s light on the spice scale, it mixes up one hell of a Dark n’ Stormy, making it the gold standard for ginger beers.

DG Ginger Beer

DG Genuine Ginger Beer

(score 8.83)

We recommend you take DG Ginger Beer out on the next hot summer day, find a shady spot, and sip away while soaking in your surroundings. This ginger is refreshing, with a sweet and light taste that finishes with a medium hit of spice.

Cock ‘n Bull

Cock 'n Bull ginger beer

(score 8.43)

Cock ‘n Bull has a brisk start and a smooth finish, and when mixed into a D ‘n S, our tasters all agreed it’s a top performer. Tasting notes included a stronger ginger scent than taste, a clear appearance and a low spiciness score.

Barritts

Barritts

(score 8.2)

This is an easy drinking ginger beer with low carbonation and very little bite. A pleasant ginger flavor with notes of citrus comes alive when mixed with rum. Average on it’s own, Barritts shines when mixed into a Dark n’ Stormy.

Regatta

Regatta Ginger Beer

(score 8.2)

Regatta does a lot right: mixed with rum and a lime it’ll give you picture-perfect storm clouds for your D n’ S. It’s very refreshing, with low levels of spice, and it has a unique chalky texture due to the stoneware bottles it’s kept in.

Maine Root

Maine Root Ginger Beer

(score 7.86)

A fresca-like color hides a solid kick of spice that intensifies as it lingers in your mouth. Its consistency is a bit syrupy and it’s flavor is more unique than most ginger beers. Support this site by picking up a couple four packs on amazon →.

Fentiman’s

Fentiman's Ginger Beer

(score 7.33)

You might call Fentiman’s the “Ike Turner” of ginger beers. It’s just sweet enough to convince you to keep sipping, while in the back of your mind you know the spice is going to hit you soon enough. You might not want to be married to this ginger beer but it certainly has it’s moments.

Schweppes

Schweppes Ginger Beer

(score 6.8)

Schweppes could aptly be called the “champagne of ginger beers.” While it lacks any distinctive flavors, it serves as a good combo in a D n’ S. Not the best but far from the worst.

Gosling’s

Goslings Ginger Beer

(score 6.66)

A serviceable ginger beer that fulfills its primary purpose as a mixer for a Dark n’ Stormy very well. Its an oddly smoky bouquet with a light trace of ginger. It has a modest spice that trails off quickly at the end. Buy a six pack, support this site →

Sioux City

Sioux City Ginger Beer

(score 6.4)

Sweeter than most ginger beers, Sioux City manages to balance nicely with its medium spice. It’s a decent ginger beer that mixes well with rum.

AJ Stephans

AJ Stephans Ginger Beer

(score 6.2)

There are likely other flavors in this ginger beer but they are difficult to detect under the spice. If you like your cocktails with a long, slow burn, this is the ginger for you.

Goya Ginger Beer

Goya Ginger Beer

(score 6.17)

Goya’s ginger beer takes late spice to a new level, crawling and coating your entire mouth. Its flavor is actually pretty decent, but its major flaw is an overpowering spice which crushes any mixed drink.

Artisan Elixirs Golden Ginger

Artisan Elixirs Golden Ginger Beer

(score 6.1)

This is one beverage you’ll either love or hate. A strong lemon flavor and notes of lychee left us enjoying the drink but comparing it to non-alcoholic offerings you might find at a trendy restaurant.

Squamscot Ginger Beer

Squamscot

(score 5.7)

A consistent burn begins early and continues rolling through until well past the after-taste. Consider this an average ginger beer with medium spice.

Buderim

Buderim Ginger

(score 5.29)

Buderim comes strong with the ginger flavor upon first taste, then lingers with a medium hit of spice. Mixed into a cocktail, the flavor is muted with the ginger being overpowered by the rum and lime.

Prince Neville’s

Prince Nevilles

(score 4.83)

Containing “raw ginger” and lacking carbonation, this beverage has more in common with raw drinks like Kombucha and is not recommended as a cocktail mixer. A sweet introduction, with notes of pineapple and ginger candy, lead to a hardy spice.

Rachel’s Ginger Beer

Rachel's Ginger Beer

(score 4.0)

Appropriate given its taste, lemon is placed ahead of ginger on the ingredient list— its tart flavor can suck the moisture out of your mouth. Rachel’s is a decent soda but not ideal for a cocktail.

Captain Eli’s

Captain Eli's

(score 2.66)

The sweet sugar cane in this beverage is too strong, muting the ginger flavor. It’s best described as a “bad soda.” Go ahead try it yourself →

Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole Ginger Beer

(score 2.6)

Lacking spice; with a medicinal scent, and a clear appearance, we liken Jackson Hole to a flat cream soda.

The Ginger Peoples

The Ginger Peoples Ginger Beer

(score 2.33)

At first pour you’ll notice a cloudy, almost grapefruit-looking appearance, as well as the strong scent of ginger.

Reed’s Extra Ginger

Reed's Extra Ginger

(score 1.5)

Reed’s is a divisive beverage. Some people love it, and others can’t stand it. Our judges fell into the latter category. Our opinion, as ginger beer tasters, is that it tastes like crap, with a few malted notes.

Reed’s Original Ginger

Reed's Original Ginger

(score 1.5)

When we posted our review of Reed’s the company founder made his way to our blog and posted a strongly worded retort. We appreciate the sentiment, but we still don’t like the stuff.

119 comments

  1. Will Lohnes on

    Maine Root surpasses all for me! Fentiman’s and Bunderberg are acceptable. Haven’t been able to find Fever Tree in Chicago, nor have I seen Cock and Bull since the 60’s. Back in that era, Schweppes briefly made one that caused your eyes to water and your nose to sneeze, and I loved it! What they produce now doesn’t cut it. I quite agree that Reed’s is undrinkable.

  2. e uprichard on

    Love Fever Tree and Bundaberg, but also love Bruce Cost which you don’t include here. I do recommend adding a few sprinkles of powdered ginger to the top of a Dark and Stormy.

  3. Abraham on

    @e uprichard We did taste Bruce Cost in our 2012 review. I truly enjoy the beverage but it really is a ginger ale which makes comparisons to ginger beers unfair – that lead me to leave it out of this review.

    Great idea to sprinkle powdered ginger on the top of a D & S. I’ll try that on my next one.

  4. ianbrettcooper on

    Once upon a time, I believed that all ginger beers were good (I may have had a very broad view of what is good), then I tried Reed’s. The company really needs to get out of the ginger beer business.

  5. Shawn on

    Most of these can be found at World Market. I order a Dark & Stormy where ever I go and nothing can touch Main Root when it comes to quality and flavor. It has a kick but sooo smooth

  6. Roger on

    Thanks for compiling this list. Was Northwoods’ “Wild Ginger” considered for inclusion, or does its status as an ale rather than a beer disqualify it from your review pool? Is there even a difference, in practice, or does it amount to a marketing decision in the absence of a legal distinction between the two? Isn’t Reed’s an ale?

    PS: I think it’s “Bundaberg” rather than “Bunderberg” (unless you’re of the non-rhotic persuasion, in which case it’s a wash).

  7. Abraham on

    @Roger, no we didn’t consider any ginger ales. Ginger beer is brewed while ginger ale is carbonate water flavored with ginger. This results in a different taste – typically ginger beer has a stronger bite and ginger flavor. I’ve found it’s unfair to compare the two.

    Also, thanks for pointing out the spelling mistake.

  8. Jackson Simon on

    Abraham – While I agree that, on the whole, Ginger Beer should have a stronger bite and more ginger flavor than ginger ale, I disagree with your sentiment that ginger beer is technically brewed while ginger ale is carbonated water flavored with ginger. Have read any of the ingredients of, say, Barritt’s, Goya, Schweppes, or Gosling’s? Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural flavors, and citric acid. Cock ‘n Bull might make a claim against this, but it’s high use of corn sugars and syrups makes me think otherwise. I do agree that in terms of ginger flavor these are all much more superior than Reed’s, but as a conscious consumer I find myself cringing whenever I have any of these “brews.” Let’s be frank, most of the ones you listed are carbonated water and syrups. Period. They are not brewed. As far as the others that actually are brewed, I find Fentiman’s to be weak, and Fever Tree to be so grossly overpriced it’s criminal.

  9. Abraham on

    @Jackson, the sentiment I mentioned is more of a definition than a consistent reality. Unfortunately, as you mention many of the ginger beers on the market are little more than carbonated water and syrup. Which is one of the main reasons we’ve taken on the public service of ranking ginger beers – in order to unmasked the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  10. nancy on

    I thought I’d invented something wonderful when I added Jack to Vernor’s Ginger Ale (I don’t get out much). But Vernor’s ain’t like it used to be in the 50s-60’s, when it had a mondo ginger kick to it- and sugar vs HFCS. So, wanting to get closer to that old time feeling (and away from the HFCS), I started cruising online for ginger beer reviews.The Fever Tree is good, and I’m with you on the Reed’s- blech!! Thanks for your research. You’ll think its hilarious that I’d never heard of a Dark n’ Stormy until a couple weeks ago when I stumbled on a recipe and thought it sounded pretty great. I guess that makes me the poster child for shut-ins everywhere, eh? Off the subject of GB- I glanced down the page and saw your tweet re back pain. Try some Penetrex cream- its brilliant for all things inflamed- all natural, and better than any other topical out there. BioMax makes it, and you can find on Amazon.

  11. Natalie on

    Fever Tree has changed their Ginger Beer recipe completely. People are starting to wake up and take notice at Amazon slowly but surely (so many of us were buying it by the case there). There is no cloudiness or Ginger sediment at the bottom at all anymore (they now show Ginger Extract in their listing at Amazon instead of what it used to read, which was Ginger Root). If you get a hold of any that expire 10/14, you will see no clouds and no Ginger (clear as water). Watery, sugary, and smelling a little like grapefruit and sweat. They have gutted this recipe completely. Some are even complaining that their Ginger Ale has also gone down in quality as well. This seemed to begin around October (less and less Ginger to none at all). It was my favorite drink in the world. Having to add our own Organic Ginger Root powder to the lifeless new ones, but it is still not the same. Not a very smart move on Fever Tree’s part. Why fix something that was not broken and absolutely delicious! Once the old stock runs out, Fever Tree Ginger Beer lovers are in for a rude awakening. I wish there was something that was similar to their not yet destroyed, original recipe, as none of the others that I have tried even came close. Sad and disappointing (not to mention stupid).

  12. Abraham on

    @Natalie, I haven’t seen any bottles of Fever Tree being sold with this new recipe but if it’s true that would be a disappointment. I’ll keep my eye out and update this post if I find the recipe has been changed.

  13. Natalie on

    Abraham, it’s sad but true. If you order a case and specifically ask the United States Distibutor (Brands of Britain) for a case oif their newer 10/14 stock (expiration date), you will see what I mean. I put that in the notes section (which you can do as well when and if you order) and you will get the newer stock. I did so hoping that it was better than the crap I was starting to receive thinking it was just a fluke, but it was no fluke and only got worse as the newer stock came in. Even the 8/14’s don’t taste the same, but they still at least had some remnants of Ginger in them.

    I know this because I am currently undergoing chemo and was buying three cases a month of this Ginger Beer. I know this product quite well. They told me that they have made no changes to their recipe, but that’s absolutely untrue. My husband, a few friends of ours, and even a bartender who works with this mixer, have all noted the changes and were stunned. Now it is just coming out in the reviews at Amazon slowly but surely. I give it six months and it will be everywhere. If you go to Amazon, I uploaded a photo of the stock we are used to getting that had lots of Ginger at the bottom, and the newer stock, which has next to nothing (now it is nothing….no clouds…no sediment…no peppery taste….no burn). A picture speaks a thousand words. Neither the distributor or Brands Of Britain will admit to this, but already others are taking note of this who orders this reguarly as I did. No one is going to know until the older stock runs out. That is just happening now so it’s hit or miss, and what is coming out now is more of a knock off than the real thing. It’s like looking for a discontinued product for us. We have one local chain here that carries this in small quantities, and we have had to look at the batches first because they vary now so greatly to see if the ones they have in are older and still have Ginger in them, or if they are the newer stock that is just coming out now that is completely clear. It has been very fruistrating as I counted on this for helpjng me with nausea while doing chemo. It was delicious and so helpful. It has truly changed Abraham. You will soon see and probably sigh in disbelief and disappointment as we have and others are just now waking up to. 🙁

    P.S. We found a 4 pack that expires 2/14 and we just poured it out tonight and could not believe the difference! It was night and day to anything they are putting out now. It was even more vast for us once we found this 2/14 sitting around in our dining room. Tasting that again was like heaven (I would buy cases and cases of this if I could find them, even though they are now expiring, as that would be better than what they are putting out now. Quality control is a thing of the past now for this once amazing Ginger Beer…..

    If you know of any that might be similar, I would be grateful for your help! I ordered in a bunch of different brands of Ginger Beer out of sheer desperation, but none of them could even come close. Sadfdened and frustrated as I used this medicinally more than anything.

  14. E uprichard on

    I just checked and my last two 4-packs of fever tree have no sediment. I looked at the last bottle I have in the frig and it has a quarter inch of sediment so the recipe has definitely changed. Time to switch.

  15. ianbrettcooper on

    I’m buying from Brands of Britain and my last batch of the premium ginger beer (BBE 09/14) has ginger root (not extract) and was relatively cloudy (definitely not clear) and had some ginger sediment in it (though definitely not enough to leave a quarter inch at the bottom of the bottle – that would be a lot!), though I’ve only found Fever Tree in the last month or so, so I don’t know what it was like previously. What I’ve had so far tastes good – better than other brands I’ve tasted.

    I also buy Fever Tree’s naturally light ginger beer – that seems to be clearer and have even less sediment, but I like the taste better as it’s not as sugary-sweet as the premium stuff. My latest batch of that (BBE 12/14) also lists ginger root – not extract.

  16. Natalie on

    E uprichard,

    Sad isn’t it. People are so deliriously in love with this product, as we were, and have no idea what awaits them, but now you have seen it too for yourself (the newest stock is crystal clear now with no sediment and no clouds). Fun huh. The 10/14’s are going to shock people, who have been drinking this for years. I think the natives are going to be rather restless when they wake up from thier nice, long, sleep (and that’s coming soon). I stil have a few 8/14’s that have only a fraction of the Ginger that these used to have in them (they taste like mere shells of what they once were). When we found a few of those 2/14’s lying around recently, what a wake up call! It made me remember why I fell so in love with these and how truly great they once were. I had forgotten just how good they were, as I had been drinking 8/14’s for some tine now because they at least had some remnants of real Ginger at the bottom still and were not as sugary, watery, and run down as the new 10/14’s and over are. I uploaded a picture under the reviews at Amazon that you can’t miss. It SHOWS the decline in Ginger (it was so thick and peppery)!

    A picture doesn’t lie, and some have been stunned by the vast difference in that picture. It was in the fridge, so it had good lighting, and showed the expiration dates and how things are declining. They have been weaning us off what we are used to, in the hopes that we won’t notice when there is simply none at all anymore, but even true followers of this product can tell something is wrong from the 8/14 batches! People like me who are long time, loyal, consumers are going to notice that something is wrong more than the next guy so to speak. Brands Of Britan has been trying to do damage control right now and even told me that the problem doesn’t exist, as I am the first to call them (ummmm yeah). They need to go over to Amazon and check some of the message boards as apparently I am not the only “crazy lady: out there! My experience with the handling of this matter has been so disappointing.

    Fever tree swore they have made no chnage, but they lied (they truly have and the proof is in the pudding). It’s just disappointing, as consumers are no fools. We can’t be gaslighted so easily. We know when something has changed in a product that we consistently use. I was buying three cases per month! If I could find them, I would buy 10 cases right now of expiring 2/14’s or 4/14’s, as they at least had the old receipe and will probably still be good for much longer than they show. The 4/14’s are still using the old recipe too. Frustrating and stupid on their part…..

    My husband and I have been asking ourselves….why..? How crazy!

    When we opened up those 2/14’s that we just found, it was like drinking a discontinued product, and nearly made me cry, as I was relying on this for helping me through chemo. It was like a whole body tonic for me, and made the nausea almost non-existent! Now these actually make me a little sicker to my stomach, which is the polar oppposite of what they once did for me. We have had to buy our own Organic Ginger Root powder and stir it into these, but now it’s a pian in the ass, and it is still not quite the same. I just love the base notes of fresh, clean lemon and hints of Ginger or I would have abanodned them by now. There is a clean taste about these that I loved. When you are doing chemo, precious little tastes good to us. These were my lifesavers every day. They have not changed the labels yet on the actual Ginger Beers, but that is surely bound to follow, as they just changed the ingredients at Amazon, which used to read Ginger Root, and now it says Ginger Extract. It explains the decline.

    Nobody had anything as good as these. I ordered in almost $300.00 worth of Ginger Beers in a desperate attempt to find a replacement, but nothing has a base like this at all. I spoke to the guy in charge of quality control at Fever Tree, and he was less than honest, and said nothing had changed (I must admit he did have a rather imnpressive accent, and was very convincing, but the prrof is in the newer Ginger Beers). I am hoping that someone knows of a Ginger Beer that is still very rich, peppery, has real Ginger in it at the bottom, that has that sort of fresh, lemony base to it. This was great because it did not have other spices in it to ruin the Ginger. Just a little Lemon to give it that freshness and yumminess I miss so much (it had TONS of Ginger settling to the bottom). I guess they figure most people are using it to booze up in Moscow Mules and Dark and Stormy’s, and won’t notice with the booze, but they are starting to notice it now and this is just the beginning….Heartbroken.

    Why change anything!

  17. ianbrettcooper on

    I had the same thing happen a couple of years ago with a favorite brand of cookies (Late July) – suddenly their dark chocolate cookies tasted totally different – gone was the old rich recipe and it was replaced by a bland cookie that tasted like all the others on the supermarket shelves. The company stonewalled and admitted nothing, but in the end the truth came out – cost-cutting. It’s always the same story – if a company can cut costs, it will, and the customers get screwed.

    I don’t know if Late July went back to the old recipe – I’ve never bought any of their products since. These companies think they’re saving money by cutting costs, but it always turns out to be short-sighted: they lose their best customers and ensure their eventual demise. But by the time that happens, the executives who destroyed these great products have their retirement package.

  18. Natalie on

    Ian,

    I had the same thing happen, only it was my favorite foundation (comsetics). It had a cult following, and one day it was suddenly thick, not as pigmented anymore giving you less coverage, and eventually, they renamed it, and the toothpaste was completely out of the tube, so to speak (they claimed that no changes were made too). I am admittedly obsessed with cosmetics, so this was a huge blow for me at the time (obviously when you are dealing with cancer, your priorities change). My face looked flawless and the pigment was just incredible, so you looked almost airbrushed (Estee Lauder). We were just saying to each other the other day (my husband and I) that it seems like everywhere we turn these days, something we loved is being changed or has the kiss of death on it’s label (new and Improved, which usually translates to quality down-cost up).

    I just don’t understand why they would take something like Fever Tree Ginger Beer, which had a much deserved cult satus, and mess with it at all. You said exactly what my husband said, it was all about cutting corners and spending less money. The kind of customers who are willing to spend nearly $40,00 a case for Ginger Beer, are going to be willing to spend a little more if they have to in keeping the quality! They have a batch running around out there that expires 7/14, which tastes completely bizarre, as something that does not belong, got inside these somehow, and we did make them aware of this. I went so far as to have some neighbors and a bartender who owns a house nearby, stop over, and we put out dixie cups and had them taste these 7/14’s that taste strangely bitter and bizarre, and not only did all of them tell us that something was indeed very off about them in comparison to another batch we had, but that it tasted like they accidentally let Tonic or Quinine into those bacthes that expire 7/14, instead of spring water. You have no idea what we have been through with this whole mess. We have had to return any 7/14’s that we got because something spilled into those that does not belong. We have kept some of those cases as proof should anyone require it down the road. It was bye bye Amazon Prime, which was the whole reason I bought that service (so that I could order cases of this and get it in two business days without incident for years).

    Then we found that the 8/14’s did not taste bitter, but that they were drasticaly different from what we are used to, and figured that’s going to be the most we can hope for at this point becauise anytime I ordered it from Amazon again, it was a crapshoot and I would end up with 7/14’s again! We found a small, local chain of stores that carry this in small quantities and we now have to go and look these over first, and see the bottoms of the bottles to see if it’s worth buying to know that those are not completely ruined ones yet! It’s been a mess. This stuff chnages DRASTICALLY from batch to batch to the point of insanity now. Quality control means that when you buy something again, you can expect to get the same taste and quality that you have come to expect from that product (not that they have fallen asleep at the wheel, and each batch is VASTLY different from the next)! We thought that the 8/14’s were “safe” to buy, until we started get some now that have half of what the other 8/14’s had, so at this point we just threw our hands up in the air and screamed. Quality control does not exist there anymore. I have never seen anything like it before in my life! This is a very high end product costing a small fortune and so people who spend this kind of money, are not expecting this drastic of a change from something so high in quality. If you call, they pretend you are the first (disappointing) and it’s so obvious even from the pictures, which I uploaded at Amazon that something major has happened here. I just miss my favorite Ginger Beer. None of them even come close to what these used to be. Cock N Bull was the tastiest of the others we tried, but it just wasn’t the same at all. I thought for sure that someone had to be making thier own version or a knock off, but so far, we have gotten nowhere.

    P.S. Please forgive any typo’s from my posts. A lot on my plate these days.

  19. Theresa on

    And to think, I thought I was the weirdo for hating reeds. The product has always tasted like a molasses experiment gone wrong. The ginger is masked by the insane amount of sulfur. Personally I love the smooth ginger flavor of Bundaberg and never had the privilege of trying fever tree, so perhaps in this one instance I am the lucky one.

  20. ianbrettcooper on

    I honestly haven’t experienced a difference in taste with Fever Tree, but I have noticed less cloudyness in recent batches. The problem I’ve been having is with Brands of Britain, which has, in the last three months, sent me three boxes of Fever Tree ginger beer with no fragile labels on them – the result, lots of broken ginger beer bottles. Sure, they’re good about sending replacements (until this last time – suddenly they’re being strangely silent), but I don’t want to pick through broken glass to get my ginger beer fix.

    Anyway, I’m looking around for alternatives. I tried Barritts, but it’s awful – comparatively no ginger taste or bite whatsoever. I’m looking for something with lots of bite and preferably not too sickly sweet. Any recommendations?

  21. Natalie on

    Wait untl al the old stock runs out COMPLETELY, or better still, wait until you pick up four first 4 pack of Fever Tree Ginger Beer that expires 10/14. I’ve calmed down (took me a while, as I was really was relying on these for help with my chemo). They were so delicious and had enough real Ginger in them to quell any nausea that came my way. They are doing the old Frog trick (and not all of us are fools, and see it for what it is). If you put a Frog into boiling water, it will jump out immediately. If you put that same Frog in boiling water and slowly turn up the heat until it’s boiling to death, it will die without realizing what happened to it.

    They have been lowering the level of real Ginger for nearly 6 months now, slowly but surely. As someone who was truly and genuinely buying 1-3 cases per month, I should know! LOL! I drank nearly 4-6 bottles of these per day because when you are doing Chemo, you take what you can get down. I had a large store manager tell me that I probably know more about their product than they do (which is a scary thought, as after dealing with both them and Brands Of Britain, they are either very accomplished liars or they truly do not know their own product). Neither one of those is good. People at Amazon are starting to slowly wake up. I go by there maybe once a week to have a look, and sure enough, there is always someone else who has awakened and is not very happy. You can almost tell who still has the old stock and who has the newer stock by their reviews (and the old stock can run around forever until the day it’s dead, as I saw with the 2/14’s).

    The even bigger awakening is when we found a 4 pack of 2/14’s that we had missed in the corner of our large dining room. That was a true awakening! We poured that over a little ice, and just closed our eyes (the difference was huge). I mean huge! I would be willing to buy up any and all cases left of 2/14’s if only a store would sell them to me. That was the perfect and true original recipe, and only if you can find one of those or maybe a 4/14, will you be able to know just HOW much they tinkered with this! We were going from store to store and picking up 8/14’s as some of those still had a fair amount of Ginger in them, but again soooo NOT the same.

    Now we find that even within that same expiration date they made the change more significant and they have next to nothing in the bottom (depending on what lot you get). We are through! We are sooooooo through! It’s the closest we could find to being what I need rightt now (I don’t use these for cocktail mixers), but we have gone to The Ginger People’s Ginger Beer Soda, as it has a very similar taste and lots of spicy, fresh, Ginger in it (though it lacks perfect carbonation), but it’s more expensive, and still not as fabulous as Fever Tree once was. Someone has fallen asleep at the wheel over there bigtime, and as for Brands Of Britain, they will only dumb you down and gaslight the hell out of you. No thanks….have enough on my plate! A mess (and so unecessary)! Someone else out here has already noticed as well by what he or she just bought, so trust me, it’s a coming folks…….

    I will cry with you Abraham once you see the 10/14’s. I loved loved loved this stuff (and they absolutely did JUST change the ingredients out at Amazon where people have this shipped to them monthly via Amazon Prime). It used to say Ginger Root just like the labels still do, but now it says Ginger Extract! I also uploaded a picture of how much Ginger was once in these, next to what you can maybe find now if you are lucky (some stray 8/14’s that still have some in them). A picture speaks a thousand words. Stupid…..really stupid and greed driven……..

  22. Patrick B on

    You couldn’t be more right about Reed’s. Sorry Reed’s owner, but your product sucks. I’m having trouble choking it down right now. Good thing you fleeced Whole Foods. I have no idea why they carry you.

  23. ianbrettcooper on

    I’m still trying to find a replacement for Fever Tree. I still haven’t tried Maine Root – have to get some from Amazon. My local liquor store carries Gosling’s, which is pretty good in terms of bite, but it’s a bit too sweet for my taste.

    Not sure why Barritts is rated so highly here. To me it tastes like syrup and there’s hardly any ginger in it. Also, the calories in Barritts are insane – 200 calories per can is crazy (that’s 60 calories more than a can of Coke) – it’s like they just added a splash of water to sugar and canned it.

  24. Natalie on

    I finally found a replacement to my once beloved Fever Tree Ginger Beer (so many waking up to the new recipe and not happy). The new 10/14’s and 12/14’s are going to be a nasty shock for anyone who has yet to see or taste the new recipe (I swear it tastes and smels like cheap grapefruit juice and sweat). It’s actually disgusting, which is a far cry from the subline concoction it once was. Greed and utter stupidity……..

    We have spent a fortune ordering in all the brands listed here and even a few others out there, and nothing grabbed me. The only one that had any real life to it for ME was Goya and that has High Fructose Corn Syrup in it, which is a bummer, as it does have lots of ginger in it, as well as cayenne in there, and tasted pretty good. I finally found one that I actually love and is very reminsicent in some ways of what Fever Tree used to be only the burn is more lingering and the ginger much more intense and spicy. It’s delicious and made of all natural ingredients like Fever Tree, and is spicy as hell with linear notes of hot peppery ginger and fresh lemon only, which is what I loved about Fever Tree’s now discontinued version.

    We are now having to drive almost an hour in each direction to pick up cases from a grocery store outlet that is willing to special order “The Ginger People’s Ginger Beer Soda” in for us from thier distributor (so it a pain in the ass), but no way was I going to pay more than the $51.00 a case that they charge me, as it’s already outrageously priced! Amazon wants $75.00 to ship a case to you of this stuff and that is just outrageous and nearly turned us off from even trying it, but if you are near a Whole Foods or can get a local chain to order it in for you, they usually charge $50.00 a case, but you do get (24) 12 ounce bottles instead of the tiny 6.8 ounces bottles from Fever Tree, so it is double the amount, however it is stil crazy priced! It’s not ranked very high here, and I wanted so much to hate it because of the price, but I was very surprised at how delicious this stuff is! It won some well deserved awards too. We were pleasantly surprised, and finally, a replacement! What a mess this has been! Fever Tree should have just left well enough alone and raised the price instead of selling out in this manner.

    If you try a Ginger Beer Soda from The Ginger People, make sure you invert it and even shake it, as they use fresh Ginger Root and press it like those large commericial juicers, and you will see this stuff thick as molassess start to flow towards the neck of the bottlel (that’s all the fresh pressed Ginger). The Lemon really makes it so clean and spicy. It’s like a stronger version of what Fever Tree used to make. Just glad to finally find one I can use (they charge a lot, but at least they deliver the goods)! Drinking Ginger Beer is a must for me rght now. It really does make Chemo easier.

  25. Inez on

    I first had a true, good quality British ginger beer as a child and loved it (my parents are from Europe and we traveled a lot). When properly made, it is indeed not the same as ginger ale for the brewing reasons mentioned above. What I had way back when, came in a cream colored stone/ceramic bottle and I have no clue as to the brand. Regarding the change in recipe you are all mentioning, I believe they have decided they would get more sales if they catered to American tastes. I have seen this happen with many indigenous foods once they get to the US as there is a generally blander palate here (of course the rest of us who like the real stuff get frustrated). I know for certain of one beer that sells a slightly different version here to cater to American tastes so it will sell. I also know of a specialty drink whose top of the line brand isn’t even available (at all) in the US, and the only one available here is the absolute worst (way to thin and such a high alcohol content you cannot taste the rest of it). I also think that is why they say it hasn’t changed – they think it will only be noticed by a few and that the new version will increase sales to a wider audience.

    It sounds like The Ginger People ginger beer is the real stuff, and since I like their other products I will give it a try. What a shame, though, that they had to add the word soda to it for marketing.

  26. Rees on

    I am happy to see that I am not the only one crazy about ginger beer. My favorite is D&G SPICY ginger beer. You have the non spicy version ranked. Have any located the spicy version. I have not seen it in 3 years.

  27. ianbrettcooper on

    Natalie, maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t noticed any change in the taste of Fever Tree’s ginger beer, and I’ve had a few of the 10/14s. I did notice a change in the cloudiness – definitely not as cloudy.
    Have you considered that the chemo may be affecting the taste? I’ve been told that people are advised to avoid their favorite foods while on chemo, because it does change the taste and the flavor can get hard-wired in your brain, making you continue to hate the taste afterwards. Just a thought.

  28. Natalie on

    No offense Ian (truly mean this) but I think it kinda may be just you on this one. If you have had a 10/14 and did not see the change (drastic) it is you……as nice and kind as you are. Here is my review (War and Peace Alert), but if you look at the comments, you will see others shocked and dismayed as well, as they know the product just as well as I do, and are stunned by the drastic change. If you also search the review in general (I have provided links to others) you will see other consumers waking up to this as well. I am the only one on Chemo that I know of.

    Now for the good news (I think). Two people have just stated that maybe the ruckus we caused may have resonated olver there at Fever Tree, and they went back to the original recipe, as the new 2.15’s that Amazon is sending out has that sediment that we have all come to expect, enjoy, and which made the product so delicious, rich, and peppery. Haven’t seen one yet for myself, as after so much craziness and expense, I gave up. I will be on the look out though, but they most definitely changed the recipe! It’s glaring! People even under some of their Facebook postings are asking if something has changed with thier Ginger Beer, as it is not what they have come to love and want to know if they will be going back to it again. If these two people are right that responded to my review at Amazon, they may have done just that, but the problem with this is that it may be to late for many who just gave up and found another to replacxe it.

    Here is that link (and again look under the comments, which are three pages long and you will see what I mean). I am posting a few others if I can find them.

    http://www.amazon.com/review/RLIGW3QZI3419/ref=cm_cr_dp_title?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B002NVZDR4&nodeID=16310101&store=grocery

    More Reviews From Amazon…..

    3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Will not order, March 23, 2014
    By
    R.A. Benson – See all my reviews
    This review is from: Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer, 6.8 Ounce Glass Bottles (Pack of 24) (Grocery)

    I logged in to order the ginger beer as I,ve enjoyed it in the past but given the recent recipe change I will find another brand. it appears that the company has forgotten what made this product special. If they change it back, perhaps I will try it again. Get it together, Fever Tree!
    Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
    Was this review helpful to you? Yes No
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    Comment Comment (1)

    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Has formula changed?!, March 17, 2014
    By
    Ms Em – See all my reviews
    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer, 6.8 Ounce Glass Bottles (Pack of 24) (Grocery)

    There is no sediment in drink. Although still a refreshing beverage, it was disappointing that the content is not as potent as previous order. Was there a mistake in preparation or has company changed how it makes this mixer?
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    4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Why oh why did they change the ginger beer recipe?, February 21, 2014
    By
    A Farmer – See all my reviews
    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer, 6.8 Ounce Glass Bottles (Pack of 24) (Grocery)

    VERY disappointing with my most recent purchase. Does not taste the same. I’m moving my one case per month business elsewhere….
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    Comment Comment (1)

    And there is plenty more if you go looking peppered in with those who are obviously drinking the older stock or supposedy the brand brand brand new stock that I have yet to see locally…….

  29. ianbrettcooper on

    No offense taken at all – it may well just be me. No one ever accused me of having a sensitive palate. 🙂

  30. ianbrettcooper on

    Also, I only buy the 17oz bottles, so I suppose that might explain it.

    Getting back to the more general subject, I’ve started getting into Fever Tree’s “light” ginger beer. I stopped getting the stuff from Brands of Britain because half of the batches they were sending got smashed. I switched to Amazon.com because even though I loathe Amazon as a company (they have a horrible labor relations record and apparently Jeff Bezos is the biggest jerk on the entire planet), they were the only remaining choice for Fever Tree. Amazon had also had some problems getting this to customers intact and they stopped shipping the regular stuff for a while, so I switched to the “light” version, and I kinda like it better than the regular stuff (the fact that it’s low in calories is a definite plus for me). It’s not as good in a Dark and Stormy, but on its own it’s very refreshing. My only problem is that I go through a box of 8 bottles in less than a week, so keeping it in the house is killing me financially.

  31. Colin on

    A Ginger Beer I really enjoy that we have here in Canada is made by President’s Choice! They sell it by the 2L bottle. I find it has just the right amount of bite for a Dark ‘n Stormy.

  32. Abraham on

    @Colin, thanks for the comment. I’ve spent a decent amount of time in Canada and always struggle to find a good ginger beer. I’ll give President’s Choice a try next time.

  33. RBI on

    I have found mixing both Fever Tree and Bundaberg into a Moscow Mule gives the perfect balance. The slight extra sweetness of the Bundaberg with the extra heat of Fever Tree balances perfectly. A bit more work but well worth it IMHO.

  34. TomPhillips on

    REGATTA Ginger Beer seemed to me to be a perfect blend of ginger taste with a bite, and use of cane sugar……not too expensive, but not easy to find. I don’t mix it with anything, usually, but as a daytime soft drink I can add 50% mixture of Lemon/Lime Seltzer to make a satisfying thirst quencher and save on cost.

  35. David on

    They have the Stoli ginger beer at a liquor store on Grand Avenue near Lake Meritt in Oakland, Abraham. It’s across from the big movie theater, you can’t miss it as they prominently display a variety of ginger beers in their window. I haven’t tried the Stoli yet, as I’m prejudiced against canned drinks. Definitely a highly recommended store – they also have Fever Tree Bitter Lemon, which is a great mixer with gin.

  36. Ram on

    I am quite surprised “Elephant House Ginger Beer” is not in the list. This particular Ginger Beer is made using 100% natural ginger extract with no artificial flavors or colors. It is made to an original recipe since 1896. This particular drink is not only an absolute thirst quencher but also helps digestion. I have tasted 5 out of the above list including the top 2 but for me Elephant ginger beer is above all.

  37. RBI on

    I’ve been tinkering with blending bundaberg and fever tree. I made dark and stormys last night with the following and they were fantastic!

    2 oz goslings
    3 oz bundaberg
    2 oz fever tree
    Squeezed and threw in two lime wedges.

    The balance mixing the two ginger beers is better than either one of them individually in my opinion (although both are great on their own).

    Also the fever tree I purchased has lots of sediment so they may have fixed the formula.

    Try the blend and let me know if you agree!

  38. lorettagreene on

    Just tried Reed’s and was completely disappointed. I took a few sips and tossed the rest of the bottle. This is the worst ginger beer I’ve had. It is sickeningly sweet and doesn’t have even have a hint of ginger flavor. Had plans to make Dark and Stormies, but I don’t want to waste the rum!

  39. Kevin on

    Just made a mule with Reeds extra ginger. We’ve been using Fever Tree…..Reed’s is like a flat, stale something flavored soda, totally undrinkable! Happy to pay extra price for Fever Tree! Maybe we were spoiled by the starting with the best! No comparison.

  40. Rose on

    Ever try a Blenheim ginger beer. Every year we go on vacation in the Carolina’s we pick up a few six packs in regular and spicy Think it is made in south Carolina. It would make a nice addition to your list.

  41. ianbrettcooper on

    I drink Fever Tree Naturally Light Ginger Beer – got my latest batch a couple of weeks ago (best by end of 07/15) – the ingredients say “ginger root”. I can’t speak for the regular ginger beer, but if it does contain only ginger extract, those who drink it straight and who want ginger root might consider switching to Fever Tree Naturally Light Ginger Beer. I think it tastes better anyway – not so sickly sweet. However, it’s not so good as a mixer for alcohol.

  42. Mike S. on

    nice list, some brands i have not tried yet that i will. I generally do not drink soda pop in the traditional sense– coke pepsi products. I drink a lot of water but always have ginger beer in the fridge as my “other” drink. As such, 99% of the time i drink it “plain” as a soda pop. Yet when i do mix it is generally a dns or a gin buck.

    My personal favorite and what i drink regularly is a local Pittsburgh brand from natrona bottling company–in business since 1904. They bottle a ginger beer called Jamica’s Finest ginger beer. A case of 24 runs me $37 before tax. The hot hot hot version is to strong for my tastes on it’s own unless im sick then i buy a few bottles and use it to clear out my sinuses. However, ithe hot, hot hot goes well when cut w/ liquor.

    website is http://natronabottling.com/

    When my local distributor is out, Barrits is the readily available fill in as the grocery stores all seem to carry it albeit somewhat on the high side price wise. Barrits for comparison sake to JF is a lot lighter on the tongue and has the “squirt” like appearance as well as citric taste as opposed to the Jamica’s finest looking more brownish gingerale/spicedrum color with a distinct ginger kick.

    Today is one of those days where both the distributor and the grocery store were out of my normal brands– hence the google search on my cell phone while going into a panic on what to get. Being out of Jamica’s Finest ($37 case/ or $1.8 per bottle loose) and Barrits ($8 a 4 pack)– i was stuck w/ a 4 pack of regatta @ $6 and Saranac ($18case/$4 4 pack) They did have reed’s on the shelf in 4 pack form yet being it tastes like medicine to me i passed right over it and ignored the price.

    Regatta i have had before so no complaints there. Saranac i have not tried. Little disappointing that it is made with high fructose corn syrup–yet at $18 a case that is likely why the price difference.

    Thanks for the article. And im glad to know that there are other people who drink ginger beer!

  43. Mike S. on

    oh, forgot to add–seeing how some people in the comments are interested in ingredients etc— Jamaica’s finest ginger beer lists following ingredients–

    12oz/354 ml bottle. 120 calories per bottle. 5 mg sodium, 29g carbs,

    filtered carbonated water, cane sugar, ginger root oil of ginger and other natural essential oils, citric acid and caramel color.

    other notes- carbonation is an older method described as pinpoint carbonation on company website and the bottle. im no expert in carbonation so cant say if that is good or bad.

  44. Abraham on

    @Mike, thanks for the informative comment. I haven’t found anyone in California that sells Jamica’s Finest or Saranac but I look forward to trying them when I can get my hands on ’em.

  45. danthony on

    Actually Thomas Kemper is a ginger ale so not technically a ‘ginger beer’. But I really like it. You can probably get it at bevmo.com

  46. Lynn on

    I’ve tried them all (I think) and Fever Tree is tops, hands down – not too sweet, not too much cayenne flavor – just hearty and bold true ginger that I love….but my last purchase last week was flat and noticeably lacking in flavor – they have changed the formula. I may have to start keeping fresh root at home or something like it. I was hooked on Fever Tree – this is a shame.

  47. danthony on

    Even though Thomas Kemper is an ale, it seems closer in taste to bundaberg… maybe better. Unfortunately bundaberg is more available, less expensive than TK, so have to sub. Don’t know if have had fevertree though… I will have to give it a shot. But I think for a testing of the ‘best’, if some of the ales out there can taste as good or better than a beer, it ought to compete. All I care about it a great taste and that quality kick of ginger.

  48. danthony on

    …. after recently drinking some of the Thomas Kemper ale I was touting, I have to admit it is a bit lacking. Not as much ginger zing as I remembered before… Its good, but probably not in the same league as some of the competition…