Who Makes the Best Ginger Beer? We Tested 10 Brands to Find Out

Updated: Apr. 28, 2024

Before you mix that Moscow Mule, make sure you're pouring the best ginger beer into your copper mug. Our pros sampled 10 brands to find their faves.

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Tkp Ginger Beer Test Sq
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Who Makes the Best Ginger Beer?

Many cocktail aficionados know ginger beer as the base of many delicious drinks like the Moscow Mule and the Gold Rush. This NA sipper packs a serious punch of ginger along with plenty of bubbles (and yes, ginger beer is different than ginger ale!).

The same cocktail experts also know that using the best ginger beer is what can take those same drink recipes from good to great. But with more and more brands popping up each time you turn down the beverage aisle, it can be hard to know which to pop for. That’s where the Taste of Home Test Kitchen comes in!

How We Tested Ginger Beer

For this taste test, our team shopped for 10 different types of ginger beer.

For the record, ginger beer is a nonalcoholic beverage that’s made with water, ginger and sugar; it’s then fermented with yeast, carbonated and bottled. The result is an exceptionally gingery soft drink with a bit of a bite. Our team kept this in mind as they sipped each brand.

As always, the identity of each bottle was kept a secret until after testing was completed. The 10 ginger beer brands were judged according to two categories:

  • Bubbles: While not as fizz-forward as ginger ale, ginger beer should have enough bubbles to tickle your nose and satisfy your craving for carbonation.
  • Flavor: Our team is looking for snappy, bright ginger with a touch of heat. There should be sweetness in this drink, of course, but fresh ginger must be the star of the show.

So which brands make the best ginger beer? Check out our pros’ picks below.

Q Ginger Beer via merchant

Spiciest Ginger Beer

Q Ginger Beer

The spicy kick of fresh ginger is what many folks are looking for when they crack open a bottle of ginger beer. When you snag a pack of Q Ginger Beer, that’s precisely what you’ll get.

At first blush, this bev looks mild. It has a pale color and light ginger scent. One taste, though, and you’ll get that impactful flavor. “It tastes like hot, fresh ginger,” says the Test Kitchen’s Shannon Norris. “I like it!”

Overall, this ginger beer from Q is wonderfully spicy and not very sweet. It is perfect for ginger fanatics and would stand out when mixed into these ginger beer cocktails.

Reeds Ginger Beer via merchant

Most Complex Ginger Beer

Reed’s Craft Ginger Beer

Most ginger beers are made with just sugar, ginger and water. Reed’s Craft Ginger Beer goes the extra mile and adds more flavors that pair so well with spicy ginger.

What sort of flavors you ask? Reed’s ginger beer recipe gets sweetness from honey as well as a blend of lemon, lime and pineapple juices. The result is a sipper that has a lovely ginger flavor and a bit of puckery tartness.

Because of the depth of flavor of this drink, it’s a great option for enjoying on its own over ice, but Shannon recommends adding it to your favorite cocktail or mocktail to level up the taste. Use this when you make a Moscow Mule.

Maine Root Spicy Ginger Beer via merchant

Bubbliest Ginger Beer

Maine Root Ginger Brew

Because it’s not a traditional soda, ginger beer often lacks some of the fizz of other soft drinks. That’s not the case with Maine Root Ginger Brew. It provides plenty of bubbles and just-right taste.

“This has great ginger flavor without being overwhelmingly sweet,” Sarah Tramonte in the Test Kitchen explains. “And it has a really good amount of carbonation.”

The flavor in this soda is very much that of fresh ginger with some slight herbaceousness to it—our team suspects that’s from fresh (rather than crystallized or powdered) ginger. The heat with this sipper lingers but it isn’t overpowering. If you ask the Test Kitchen’s Mark Neugang, this quality makes it an excellent option for serving cold over heaps of ice. It’d be refreshing after a day in the sun.

Fever Tree Ginger Beer via merchant

Sweetest Ginger Beer

Fever-Tree Ginger Beer

If you like a little bit of sugar with your spice, make sure you’re stocking up on Fever-Tree Ginger Beer.

At first sip, you get the sweetness and bubbles that you may expect from a classic ginger ale. After another try, you’ll find that it has some spicy ginger flavor that lingers for a second or two. “It’s sweet, but a balanced sweet,” says Shannon. “It’s also sharp with the right amount of mild ginger flavor.”

Because it’s not as strong as some of our other best ginger beer picks, Fever-Tree is a good option for those who are new to this beverage.

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