As we march steadily towards the holiday season, the crisp chill of the late autumn air makes us crave something with a touch of spice — Ginger beer. No, not the naturally-sweetened non-alcoholic soft drink that first comes to mind. We’re looking for something with a little more gusto —craft beer (plus cider and mead) brewed with ginger. Nothing gets us more excited for the season ahead better than the warming aromas of holiday spices. The Christmas music, on the other hand, can wait a few weeks. Take a look at some of our favorite “ginger beers” below:
Great Lakes Christmas Ale — $11.99/6pk
A perennial favorite from Great Lakes makes its return to the walk-in cooler. This winter warmer is brimming with notes of fresh honey, ginger and cinnamon that coalesce in beautiful harmony. A bready, smooth malt carries the pleasant spices notes and leads to a dry, fruity finish. Christmas Ale typically sells out long before Christmas so stock up early!
Indeed Wooden Soul: Certain Shade of Green Sour Ale — $7.99/bottle
Indeed’s Wooden Soul program is a force in the sour beer scene, consistently delivering dynamic mixed culture, barrel-aged sour ales. Certain Shade of Green began as a typical golden sour, then got racked into barrels and became inoculated by wild yeast and bacteria, re-fermenting on whole limes and ginger. The beer is basically broken down and rebuilt into an enticing Moscow mule-like sour ale with zesty notes of key lime, fruit pith and warming ginger.
Lindeman’s GingerGueuze Lambic — $25.99/bottle
Lindeman’s is mostly recognized for their line of lambics that have been sweetened with fresh fruit juice, but they can also hang in the traditional lambic category. GingerGueuze is based on Lindeman’s traditional old gueuze, Cuvée René, but with a surprising extra layer. Fresh, in-season galangal enhances the dry, pleasantly sour character of the lambic. GingerGueuze is bottle-conditioned and will develop with age like a good wine.
Vander Mill Ginger Peach Hard Cider — $10.99/4pk
Michigan’s Vander Mill is a fairly new entrant into the Minnesota cider market, bringing a delicious range of ciders pressed from high-quality Michigan apples. Vander Mill excels in the semi-dry to semi-sweet range of ciders — showcasing great fruit quality and a crisp, clean finish. Ginger Peach balances zingy ginger and peachy fruit notes in a crushable, semi-sweet cider.
Gl. Dansk Mjod Mead — $27.99/bottle
Brewed according to an old Danish honey wine recipe from the 1700s. Gl. Dansk Mjod has added ginger and hops for a lightly spicy, aromatic character. Rich, honeyed notes that are reminiscent of sherry balance out flowery hop notes and spicy ginger. Drink room-temp or lightly chilled.
Others of note:
Southern Tier 2XMAS Spiced Double Ale — $10.99/6pk
Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer $9.99/4pk