November 22, 2015 – Did you know that alcoholic ginger beer was a victim of Prohibition? According to Jamey Grosser, founder of Wild Ginger, alcoholic ginger beer has been around as long as the art of brewing but Prohibition turned it into soda.
Because he couldn’t find an alcoholic ginger beer, Jamey decided to create his own and we’re glad he did. An informal tasting panel of three men and one woman gave Wild Ginger an enthusiastic, unanimous thumbs up.
This is no pale, shy, tasteless glass of fizz like a best selling soda we all know. It is a somewhat rusty color, nicely spicy and as one taster noted, “worth drinking”. There’s some sweetness but nothing cloying and a clean finish meaning no beer aftertaste. If you like ginger, you’ll enjoy Wild Ginger. We tried it over ice but can imagine it as a wonderful addition to any cocktail calling for ginger flavored soda.
Wild Ginger at just 4% alcohol is made in Wisconsin and comes in 12-ounce cans. A six-pack retails for $8.99 – $9.99 and it is broadly distributed. If you can’t find it locally, you will soon.
We see Wild Ginger as a very classy brew and we’d like to see the artwork on the can tweaked a bit. A bit less of Miss Wild Ginger’s torso would be a good thing! Believe it or not, it was the guys who complained.
We also tasted Wild Root Alcoholic Root Beer from the same company, WG Brewing Company based in Nashville, TN. One taster was disqualified on the basis of really detesting anything root beer. The others considered themselves root beer aficionados. We poured it over ice and got a thick, creamy head that was delicious. It is quite sweet, but as we tasted, subtle notes of herbs and spices came through making it a very enjoyable drink and quite a cut above root beer soda.
Everyone liked the colors on the can and the design of the Wild Root logo, but the cartoon of a beer mug with an ugly, angry face and what looks like roots growing out the bottom, isn’t happy. Let’s see him with a big grin as we party!
Wild Root Beer, 5% ABV, comes in 12-ounce cans and sells for $9.99-$10.99 per six-pack. Both Wild Ginger and Wild Root are available in Minnesota, Michigan, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi with more states coming in January.