August 9, 2015

Q Ginger Beer – Best in Class


Editors Note:

Check out our new website The Better Mixer for an up to date list of the best ginger beers. You’ll also be able to leave your own rating, write a glowing review, or rant for the world to see.


Balance and pacing are key to making a great ginger beer. A spicy kick should introduce itself right away and continue to build for the first few moments while a subtle sweet flavor should follow, encouraging you to go back for more. Too much spice – or spice that lingers – and you’ll hesitate to take the next sip. Too much sweet, and you might as well be drinking Sprite or ginger ale. The balance was so important to the good people at Q Drinks, that they even illustrated how the story plays out with their new Ginger Beer.

Illustration of the spice scale for Q Ginger Beer vs other ginger beers. Line graph shows Q with more spice and less sweetness vs other ginger beers.

And boy did they get it right. The sediment floating at the bottom of the bottle – which I presume are bits of ginger and spices – was the first hint Q ginger beer was quality. As with any ginger beer, it’s recommended you tip the bottle to mix the sediment before consuming. Once opened, the smell was another mark of quality: along with the obligatory nostril burn, our tasters detected a combination of ginger, coriander and cardamon.

Then the taste. Oh, the taste. Q delivers a good ginger punch that lingers in your throat before fading – all with a sweet note that keeps you wanting more. Our tasters remarked at Q’s similarity to Fever Tree but noted it was just a step up in ginger burn. When mixed into a Dark n’ Stormy, Q performed admirably, maintaining its balance and delivering an excellent cocktail.

After tallying the scores our panel of veteran judges awarded Q Ginger Beer our highest score ever (9.333), which puts it at the top of our list of Best Ginger Beers. Congrats Q – you make one hell of a ginger beer.

Editors Note:

Full disclosure, Jordan Silbert, Founder of Q Ginger Beer, contacted the author and sent a sample 4-pack to taste. This in no way influenced our scoring but does go to show Mr. Silbert is a class act.

5 comments

  1. Ian Brett Cooper on

    All that occurs when companies send reviewers free samples is that it brings the reliability of review and the ethics of the company into question. While the reviewer may escape criticism if he’s known to his readers, such activities can never reflect well on the company. A true class act would be a company that had a policy NOT to send reviewers free samples.

  2. Abraham on

    @Ian, having developed my own iPhone app I’ve personally undertaken the challenge of attracting media attention and customers. Offering a promo code to test the app for free was one of the most effective ways to get a writer/blogger/media outlet to try my creation (and hopefully write about it). From my perspective there is no conflict of interest with this type of exchange (assuming the value of the product is relatively small such as a $1.99 app or a $9 pack of soda). If anything the ethical issue is on the writers side as the onus is on them to ensure they remain impartial – I hope my readers trust that I have.

  3. Ian Brett Cooper on

    I dunno. It still smacks of “bribe” to me. Heck, if they want to send free stuff out just out of the goodness of their hearts, why is it always reviewers who get the free stuff, but never me (or some other Joe Sixpack who doesn’t review products)?
    Look, if they’re sending you free stuff, it’s most likely because they’re hoping it has an effect. It might not have any effect on some reviewers, but sometimes it does, and sometimes the reviewer might not even know it’s having the desired effect. The fact is, we often respond subconsciously to such things. As soon as you get that free product, any review you do of the product has to be seen as suspect by any critical reader. It gets even more suspect if the review is wholly positive, as this one is.

  4. Abraham on

    @Ian, you make a valid point, consciously or unconsciously there is a chance a reviewers perception could be altered. In this particular case the value we’re talking about is so minimal that I don’t believe it alters the review in any way. If the review was for a car or a mobile phone there’d be a stronger case to be made. Either way I felt it was important to disclose the potential effect by adding the “Editors Note” at the end so readers can judge for themselves.

    As for why this particular reviewer got “free stuff” you’d have to ask Jordan Silbert but I suspect it’s because the first few Google search results for keywords like “ginger beer review” and “best ginger beer” return my blog and he hopes to increase exposure for his product. He was confident enough in his product to send it my way in the hopes of a positive review (which he got) but it very well could have gone the other way (see our review of Reed’s).

    From your previous comments on this blog I know you’re well versed what makes a quality ginger beer so I’d love to hear you’re take on Q Ginger Beer? Is it all this review makes it out to be? Or, did we polish a turd?

  5. Ian Brett Cooper on

    I went on their website and from what they say they cut back on the sweetness, which might mean it’s the sort of ginger beer I like (I usually drink Fever Tree Light, which is far less sweet than most). I just checked for local availability – apparently it’s in my local Whole Foods store. I’ll see if I can get a few bottles and I’ll report back. I’ll be surprised if it beats Fever Tree, but I’m open to changing my mind (especially since it’s locally available, which Fever Tree is not).