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Mixers Rated A+ Reviews

Drinking Ginger Beer with Fever-Tree’s Tim Warrillow

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What’s that hot kick in your typical ginger beer from? If you said ginger, you’re probably wrong: Many brands put cheap chili pepper oils in their brews to give them that kick, which is why so many come off as hot, but not particularly spicy in the way that real ginger is.

That’s just one of the insights I was granted by Tim Warrillow, a co-founder of Fever-Tree, whose artisinal mixers (particularly its tonic water) are the bottles of choice for discriminating drinkers.

We reviewed the company’s Ginger Ale previously — and in the next few weeks (late July 2009) Fever-Tree will finally bring its long-awaited Ginger Beer to the U.S. (It’s already the company’s #2 selling product in the UK, after tonic water.)

Warrillow brought a four-pack by today and we compared his new offering with standbys, including Reed’s, Bundaberg, and the new Gosling’s.

Warrillow’s pride is wholly appropriate. As much as I liked Gosling’s compared to its competition at the time, Fever-Tree runs rings around this brew to the point where I’m almost embarrassed. Intensely spicy with an amazing flavor of fresh ginger, you can actually see bits of ginger floating in the bottle. It’s almost translucent, there’s so much of it in there. By comparison, Reed’s honey-and-pineapple-sweetened ginger beer is pathetic, and the other two ginger beers tasted were effectively weaklings.

That translates to throat-warming heat and lots of it, with a lasting finish that is really quite delicious. But Fever-Tree Ginger Beer isn’t a one-man show. It’s perfectly sweetened (with cane sugar, not corn syrup), and is equally palatable on its own as it is with rum (the Dark & Stormy) or vodka (the Moscow Mule). Or, hell, whatever else you want to throw in there. Fever-Tree’s new brew can stand up to anything, I assure you.

A+ / $5.69 (estimated) for four-pack of 6.8-oz. bottles / fever-tree.com

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Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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12 Comments

  1. B.E. Earl June 26, 2009

    I like the choice of Tito’s for the Moscow Mule.

    But my favorite drink with Ginger Beer (and Barritt’s is the best, IMO) is with bourbon, a couple of shakes of bitters and a lime. Something similar to a Horse’s Neck.

    I’ll check the stores for this one though. Sounds delish. Thanks!

    Reply
  2. B.E. Earl June 26, 2009

    Oh, and I would also recommend Fentiman’s Ginger Beer. A bit pricey, but really spicy and delicious.

    Reply
  3. Christopher Null June 26, 2009

    B.E. – Hang in there. It won’t be on shelves til late July. According to Warrillow, the first shipment for the US is still “on the water”…

    Reply
  4. Christopher Null June 27, 2009

    Geoff – None of these products have ginger as the #1 ingredient. Obviously, water is #1 on all of them. Can’t speak for the others, but Fever-Tree is indeed brewed. Obviously I need to try Fentiman’s!

    Reply
  5. AlchemistGeorge June 29, 2009

    Does the ginger beer have alcohol in it, and if so, what %? I couldn’t find any information on the FeverTree website

    Reply
  6. Christopher Null June 29, 2009

    No, all ginger beer is alcohol-free.

    Reply
  7. Bryan Boucher March 23, 2011

    false, botanically brewed ginger beer is fermented. Fentiman’s for example, contains 0.5% ABV

    Reply
  8. Tim October 13, 2014

    Just to follow up on what Bryan Boucher is saying: Anything that is actually brewed with traditional fermentation is going to have trace amounts of alcohol. Not familiar with Fentiman’s, but if it’s sold as non-alcoholic, I believe it has to have 0.5% ABV or less. The Kombucha world was shaken up by this fact a few years ago.

    Reply
  9. Anonymous October 24, 2014

    Is that ginger beer safe during pregnancy?

    Reply
    1. Christopher Null October 24, 2014

      Elle – As noted above, any brewed product will have a trace amount of alcohol in it. This will be under 1/2 a percent alcohol by volume, by law. Please consult your physician to see if this is OK for you to drink during pregnancy.

  10. Elle October 24, 2014

    Is that brand of ginger beer safe during pregnancy?

    Reply

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