03 April 2014

Battle of the Ginger Brews!

I know what you're thinking. "Would someone, please, drink all the ginger beers and blog about it." Well, here you have it, friends. Battle of the ginger brews.

It all started with a few spunky fresh sips of Gosling's ginger beer while waiting for our meals at Genessee Royale, and I've been hooked ever since (fun fact: that's where I fell into my love for curry chicken salad, as well. Read the menu online first, though. They change it seasonally.)  Let's be real- I'm a soda gal. I know it's like tar on your insides, or something to that appalling degree, but it's not so bad when sweetened with cane sugar instead of that dastardly high fructose corn syrup villain. We make big efforts to tame our HFCS intake around here, so I will share with you the devastating news that I just announced to my apartment of one human/one feline: Of the five g-brews we taste-tested, good ol' Gosling's is the only one sweetened with the nasty nasty. That's great news for the rest, but sort of a sad trombone for what I would have probably deemed the winner...  Gosling's: The best balance of "snap" factor without overwhelming herb tones. We've had a surprisingly hard time finding Gosling's for purchase outside the restaurant scene. One day, though, it sang to us from the new corner market on 39th. Ever since, we've been buying from the back stock piled in the corner and still packaged in sixes or flats. Save a duck, snip those plastic rings!  I brought this to work for lunch one day and split it with the little guy (who couldn't get enough). Him- "So... this is beeyewr I'm dwinking?"  Me- "Wellllll, it's soda. It's like root beer. A soda. For kids." Him- "Okay, soooooo... beeyewr."  Sure. Bundaberg: First of all, isn't that sawed-off bottle novel compared to your average brown boozey vessel? I feel like I should be drinking it in the woods with close friends, a fire, and a buffalo check blanket. They sell it with a neck, too, but nah. Bundaberg seems to be really popular, and for good reason. It's good. The "beer" in ginger beer rings truer here than with any of the others shown. Its aftertaste is quite malty. I'm a bit on the fence about that and it lacks the snap of Gosling's, but aside from that it's close to the happiest medium... plus(!) it's sweetened with cane sugar.Reed's: Sold everywhere, it seems, but easily the worst in the bunch. It reminded us of ginger ale with a weird twang. If I want to drink a tainted blend of Pepsi/Sprite, I'll do so.  Go home, Reed's! You totally missed the mark.The Ginger People: Mild. Truly not terrible, but lacking that zip I crave in a ginger beer.Fentimans: There's a very present "herbs and spices" bite about Fentiman's. Potentially too intense and probably best alone, rather than paired with anything too flavorful.   
So there you have it, the great ginger beer round up from my humble "tasting buds", as the nannychild calls them.Like I said, Reed's is, unfortunately, the most common here in Kansas City. World Market sells a nice variety of specialty soda (and booze, too, if a "dark and stormy" is up your alley). That's where we found the Bundaberg, The Ginger People, and Fentiman's. The Better Cheddar is really well soda-stocked, too, as I'm sure many many other places are. Fill me in locals! Try some ginger beer and tell me about it!


rooth said...

I'm all about Moscow mules lately so this is pretty perfect. I may have to pick some of these up and make my own this weekend

Krysten Gautreaux said...

I'd love to give a few of these a shot!

Emmie {Blue 11 Interiors} said...

I picked up some Gosling's last year at HyVee to make Moscow Mules and it worked really well. I don't care for ginger beer on it's own but I'd love to try to make some new cocktails with it!