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Ginger Ale vs. Ginger Beer: What's the Difference?


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We’ve all enjoyed a cold, refreshing ginger ale before. If you were once a child with a tummy ache, your mother probably prescribed a small glass of ginger ale to help soothe your aching stomach. Perhaps your mom even had some ginger ale when she was pregnant with you to help ease her morning sickness.

But now, you’re an adult, wandering the soft drinks aisle of your local supermarket, trying to get the right ingredients to make a batch of Moscow Mules at home. You’ve got the vodka, lime juice and copper cups, but the recipe calls for ginger beer, and all you see is ginger ale soda. They’re the same thing right? Well, not quite!

Ginger Ale vs. Ginger Beer

While the name seems similar enough, we assure you that there are some key differences between ginger ale and ginger beer. First, and most noticeably they taste quite different. Both are flavored with the ginger root, but ginger beer is typically stronger and has an almost spicy kick to it. Since it undergoes a brewing process, ginger beer is also typically less carbonated than ginger ale.

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The brewing process for ginger beer is a fairly simple one. The ingredients generally contain ginger root, baker’s yeast, sugar and water. Many recipes also add lemon juice and/or cream of tartar. These ingredients are all mixed together, then boiled and left to sit while they ferment. Citric acid is a common preservative that can be added after the brewing process to retain freshness.

The brewing process does mean that some alcohol is present in ginger beer, but most batches contain less than 0.5% alcohol, thus meeting FDA standards for a non-alcoholic beverage. Yet, there are some craft breweries today that are making ginger beer containing upwards of 8% ABV.

Ginger ale on the other hand is produced by adding sweetened ginger flavored syrup, or extract to carbonated water. This drinks more like a smooth, refreshing soda pop. It is usually much lighter in flavor compared to ginger beer and is much sweeter. Ginger ale is more likely to contain a higher content of artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, or cane sugar.

When it comes to mixing drinks, ginger ale is a great, flavorful substitution for seltzer water, club soda or soda water.

Is Ginger Ale Good For You?

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Ginger is one of the oldest spices used by mankind. It’s long, rich history of human consumption dates back to at least 5,000 years ago in ancient Indian and Chinese cultures. Over the course of history, ginger has been sought after to treat numerous ailments from the common cold to cancer. People have long used this root to treat a variety of health issues, including nausea, digestive issues, fatigue, coughing and to help ease pain.

Some of these health benefits are even backed up by modern science. Numerous scientific studies have been completed on the positive health effects of the ginger root. Among these studies, some have found that ginger is a powerful antioxidant that may possess some anti-aging properties.

Ginger can also act as an anti-inflammatory agent, helping reduce inflammation, swelling and pain. Yet, another laboratory study has found that ginger could even help prevent the development of cancer cells in humans.

With all of this good news about ginger, it’s making us a little thirsty for a sweet, refreshing drink!

Here are some delicious ginger ales and ginger beers available to purchase wholesale from Redstone Foods:

Dublin Hot & Spicy Ginger Beer Soda

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Handmade in Dublin, Texas using only the finest ingredients, Dublin Hot & Spicy Ginger Beer Soda leaves a spicy kick that’s immensely satisfying. It is great to drink alone, or as a mixer for your favorite ginger beverages! This ginger beer is caffeine-free and they only use pure cane sugar and natural flavors to round out its unique flavor profile. Dublin bottling works has been making hand-crafted sodas since 1891.

Bundaberg Ginger Beer

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Bundaberg uses real Australian ginger to brew their world-famous ginger beer products. Using a traditional brewing process, these drinks are “brewed to be better” which has made them wildly-popular all across the globe. Bundaberg Ginger Beer comes in a signature “stubbie bottle” and is also available in diet with fewer calories, but the same great taste!

Cock N Bull Ginger Beer

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Cock N Bull Ginger Beer is the originator of the Moscow Mule! This beverage has been enjoyed by Americans since 1946. Born out of a desire for more ways to enjoy the spicy kick of ginger, Jack Morgan invented the beverage at the iconic Cock’n Bull Restaurant on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California.

His friend, John Martin had been tasked with marketing the newly-acquired Smirnoff Vodka to Americans who traditionally preferred whiskey and gin. The two came together to create a drink that would help boost sales of both of their new products – a mixture of vodka, ginger beer and lime. The name Moscow Mule was a tribute to the origin of vodka (Moscow) and Mule was referring to the kick your taste buds got from the ginger beer.

Reed’s Strongest Craft Ginger Beer

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For the adventurous ones who desire a mighty kick of spicy ginger, Reed’s Strongest Craft Ginger Beer has exactly what you’re looking for! Made with the finest, organic Peruvian ginger, Reed’s prides itself on making small batch brews that allows them to control every step of the brewing process. Reed’s never uses artificial flavors, preservatives or any GMO-sourced ingredients. This is definitely a must-try for any ginger brew enthusiast!

BAWLS Ginger Ale

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BAWLS Guarana Ginger Ale goes the extra mile with added caffeine! This perfectly-crafted ginger ale combines ginger with citrus for a crisp, clean and refreshing taste that’s hard to beat! Using caffeine and guarana berry extract, this drink packs a punch that you can truly feel. It is the perfect pick-me-up after a long, exhausting day.

Sprecher Ginger Ale

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Sprecher Ginger Ale is another unique take on the classic dry ginger ale. The sophisticated flavor and pale color is reminiscent of a fine chardonnay. The complex flavor profile combines the classic bite of spicy ginger, which is mellowed-out with pure Wisconsin honey and tops it all off with a surprising whisper of oak notes. We can assure you that this is nothing like any other ginger ale you’ve ever tried before!

If any of these items have piqued your interest in a refreshing ginger beverage, Redstone Foods has plenty of options to satisfy your cravings. With 25 different ginger drinks currently available on our website, we have the ginger ale or ginger beer that your customers are looking for!

Whether enjoyed alone, or mixed with other flavors to make your own unique concoction, ginger beverages add a distinct flavor kick that is unlike anything else. Our extensive craft soda offering consists of nearly 500 unique products that are sure to be a big hit with your customers.

If you ever need any help deciding what to order, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always glad to help! Sign up for an account online, or give us a call today: