The Best Ginger Beers

Your next cocktail deserves one of the best ginger beers! Try it for your next Moscow mule or dark & stormy!

Ginger beer is delicious and easy to mix with tons of cocktails. It’s one of my favorite cocktail mixers, but sometimes I also enjoy sipping on it by itself.

It’s so delicious with a squeeze of lime!

8 bottles of ginger beer on a white tile counter

What is ginger beer?

A great question! Ginger beer is a non-alcoholic soda made of fermented ginger root.

It has a strong ginger flavor but doesn’t actually contain any beer. It’s more like a gingery, spicy version of root beer than anything else!

Well lucky for you, I have a whole blog post about what ginger beer is and the best uses for it.

photo of Irish mule cocktails top-down

The best ginger beer brands

I took one for the team and bought every kind of ginger beer I could find, and taste-tested them all for you. It was a very hard job!

But I was happy to do it — honestly.

For each one, I ranked them out of 10 points, based on how spicy they are.

Something to know is that ginger beer can have a spicy flavor. It’s not spicy the way that hot sauce is spicy, but it’s similar.

Ginger beer has sugar to help balance it, but even still some ginger beers can pack quite a punch. Some of them have more herbal flavors and others have more of a ginger focus.

I attempt to dig in to all of this in this blog post, but I recommend you pick your top two or three from this list and try them for yourself. I think you might discover a new favorite brand!

8 bottles of ginger beer on a white tile counter

Where to find ginger beer

Ginger beer is available in most regular grocery stores. I found all of these at my local Target and Harris Teeter, but just about any grocery store should have a few choices of ginger beers.

Once you’re in the grocery store, look for it in one of a couple of places:

  • Look in the soda aisle next to the root beer. Usually there are a few brands to choose from.
  • Also look near the cocktail mixers like bloody mary mix and margarita mix. (Sometimes in/near the wine/beer sections.)

You can also usually find some of these brands in specialty grocery stores or beverage shops.

a bottle of fentiman's ginger beer

Fentiman’s Ginger Beer

Fentiman’s is one of my favorites. It uses a recipe from 1905 to ferment Chinese ginger root.

This brand of ginger beer is on the spicier side, but it has a complex flavor. There are strong hints of herbal, botanical and juniper notes. The herb flavors hit your tongue first, then the ginger. The ginger flavor is subtle, but deep yet it still has some sweetness.

My friend who helped with taste testing described it as a “summer afternoon.” It is wonderful to amplify any vodka or gin cocktail, like this Gin-Gin Mule recipe.

Spice rating: 7/10

a can of zevia ginger beer

Zevia Ginger Beer

Zevia is a zero-sugar soda brand. They also make root beer, cola and a number of other flavors.

Their ginger beer has a sugary flavor but, to me, it tastes like a diet soda. I’ve personally never been a big fan of diet sodas, so this one isn’t for me, but if you’re looking for a lighter option, you might try this one.

The flavor is lightly gingery, and it’s a good option if you don’t want sugar or zero calories from the soda. 

Spice rating: 2/10

an unopened bottle of fever tree ginger beer with a piece of ginger root

Fever Tree Ginger Beer

Fever Tree is a brand I see behind many bars. They make club soda, tonic and other cocktail mixers as well.

Their ginger beer is light, mild and sippable — you could definitely drink it on its own. The balance is lovely: not too gingery and not too sugary. You could easily mix Fever Tree with gin or bourbon (like this Kentucky mule) to highlight the spirit more. 

Spice rating: 1/10 

a bottle of maine root ginger brew beer on a white background

Maine Root Ginger Brew

Made from organic sugar cane from Brazil, Maine Root has the most intense ginger beer of the bunch I have listed here. It’s definitely not entry-level! If you’re sensitive to ginger spice, this one is probably not for you.

However, it is palatable and balanced in a Moscow mule. I find it to be harmonious and refreshing with other ingredients, especially citrus — it’s fantastic when paired with tart grapefruit.

Spice rating: 9/10

a bottle of bundaberg ginger beer with a piece of ginger root and a lime

Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Bundaberg is an Australian ginger beer. It’s extremely well-balanced with a drinkable mix of sweetness and ginger — a good middle-ground for lots of palates. 

Bundaberg is the ginger beer I usually have stashed in my fridge. That’s because it’s a good baseline ginger beer, and I find it to be delicious with most spirits, like this Mexican mule.

Spice rating: 5/10 

a bottle of barritt's ginger beer with a piece of ginger root

Barritt’s Ginger Beer

Made in Bermuda with cane sugar, Barritt’s ginger beer is a good budget option if you like a lighter ginger flavor. It’s usually pretty easy to find.

For me, I found it slightly too sweet and overbearing, and it lacks the bite I have come to love in ginger beer.

I recommend you counterbalance with a high-proof alcohol, but I will say it won’t be as nice with the more expensive stuff. Here’s my guide to picking the best vodka.

Spice rating: 3/10

a bottle of reed's ginger beer with a piece of ginger root

Reed’s Ginger Beer

Reed’s is another easy-to-find brand, available at most grocery stores in the specialty soda section. This one’s from Jamaica, and is made with real cane sugar.

The taste is balanced between gingery and sweet, but the spice level increases depending on which version of Reed’s you buy.

Reed’s make a few tiers of spiciness, which are easily identified right on the label: Original, Extra and Strongest. They also make a zero-sugar option and a “Premium” that has pineapple and honey flavor. They’re all good, but I prefer the Extra or Strongest if I can find it!

Spice rating: 4/10 for Original; 7/10 for Extra; 9/10 for Strongest

a powell & mahoney ginger beer can with a green tea towel

Powell & Mahoney Ginger Beer

The ginger beer from Powell & Mahoney Craft Cocktail Mixers might have been my favorite find of the bunch I tried for this blog post. It was new to me, but boy am I glad I found it.

Their ginger beer is perfectly balanced with a small zing of ginger flavor. Their website says they engineered it for the perfect Moscow mule, and I have to agree with their recipe.

It’s the perfect cocktail mixer if you ask me! I can’t wait to use it for my Yule Mules at the holidays.

Spice rating: 6/10 

a can of gosling's ginger beer with a piece of ginger beer and a piece of ginger root on a green tea towel

Gosling’s Ginger Beer

Balanced, peppery and zippy, Gosling’s is another ginger beer from Bermuda.

It was designed to make the perfect dark and stormy when paired with Gosling’s brand of spiced rum. It’s intended to be more sweet, so it balances well with any spiced rum or even a complex bourbon.

Spice rating: 4/10 

The best ginger beer for Moscow Mules

Picking the best ginger beer for Moscow mules is a tough job. (Again, I was glad to do it.)

The short answer: The best ginger beer for a Moscow mule is totally subjective, and it’s going to depend on how spicy you like your ginger beer.

The sweet spot for most ginger beers is going to be in that 4-6/10 range. Gosling’s, Reed’s Original, Powell & Mahoney and Bundaberg are all top brands with a medium spice with a nice balance of sweetness. Powell & Mahoney is my favorite of the bunch, followed closely by Reed’s and Bundaberg.

For me, I like it spicy, so I’ll be over here with my Maine Root, Reed’s Extra and Fentiman’s. I find the complexity of these spicier brands to bring more flavor to my mules.

But, as I always say, you do you!

I would love to know what your favorite ginger beer is! Especially if it’s not listed here, because I would love to try it!

If you made it this far, you clearly love ginger beer — hope you’ll come to say hi to like-minded folks in my Facebook group. See you soon! // susannah.

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Comments

  1. Mary McNulty says

    I love the spiciness of Angry Mule, brewed in WI. Let me know what you think. I am excited to try the ginger beer’s
    that score 6-9/10!

    • Susannah says

      Hey Mary! Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m going to keep an eye out for that one! So glad you are excited to try these ginger beers. I’m planning to add some more to this post soon!
      //susannah

  2. Todd M Shepard says

    I was disappointed that Cock and Bull ginger beer was not in your group. It is definitely on the spicy end of the spectrum, it is my favorite, however I have not tried a few of those you tested. I’ll keep my eyes open for them, maybe I’ll be the one to find a new favorite!

    • Susannah says

      Hey Todd! I’ve never tried that one but I’m going to be on the lookout for it! I bought every kind of ginger beer they had at two stores, but I plan to update this post later on with some new brands so I’ll keep an eye out! Especially since you say it’s spicy! 🙂

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