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Ginger Beer vs Ginger Ale – Is There a Difference?

The thought of ginger ale takes many of us back to the days when we’d be told that the tried-and-tested cure for a stomach ache is simple; a glass of ginger ale. Skip a decade or two, and you’re at the supermarket buying ingredients to whip up a batch of Moscow Mules. You’re faced with two soft drinks that both have the word ginger in their name, and you think surely there’s not much of a difference between the two… Or is there? Overthink it no more, and allow us to explain what sets ginger beer apart from ginger ale.

What’s the difference?

Taste test the two side-by-side, and you’ll immediately notice the difference. Ginger beer has a far stronger flavour than ginger ale. While we can’t speak for all Ginger Beers, a true Ginger Beer is brewed (just like a beer) using real ginger. Bundaberg Ginger Beer is traditionally brewed over 3 days using real ginger, whereas ginger ale is often a version of carbonated water that’s flavoured with ginger syrup. Brewing is what gives a great Ginger Beer that zingy, ‘smack in the face’ kind of flavour, in comparison to its somewhat tame friend, ginger ale.

Why do we brew?

Whether it be a ‘slow brew’, ‘cold brew’, or ‘craft brew’, brewed is one of those words we seem to be hearing more and more often. We know it’s good because brands won’t stop talking about it, but what does it actually mean? Well, at Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, we live up to our name – that’s for sure. Each one of our drinks is brewed for as long as it takes to extract maximum flavour from the real ingredients we use. The key is that we use real ingredients and follow a similar brewing process to alcoholic beer. As a result, our Ginger Beer has a strong ginger flavour that can’t be replicated.

How does brewing make ginger beer better?

Using locally grown Queensland ginger and sugar cane, we brew every batch over three days. We don’t take shortcuts or change the process because that’s how long it takes to give our Ginger Beer that spicy, gingery kick we’re world famous for.

By never compromising on ingredients or our brewing process, Bundaberg Ginger Beer sure stands out from the crowd. Packed with flavour, it’s good enough to be enjoyed on its own, or mixed to make a variety of different cocktails. But let’s set one thing straight – the key ingredient to a great Moscow Mule Cocktail Recipe is a good ginger beer, not ginger ale!

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  • ToniSeptember 11, 2018, 11:02 amI love drinking ginger beer it's the best drink ever
    • Bundaberg Brewed DrinksJuly 16, 2020, 12:26 pmThank you Toni. Funnily enough, we would agree with you that it's the best!
  • Patricia brooksNovember 25, 2018, 12:24 pmDoes diet ginger beer have sugar in it ? Thank you ?
    • Bundaberg Brewed DrinksJuly 16, 2020, 12:06 pmThere is a residual sugar content in the diet ginger beer that comes from the natural brewing process. Diet drinks based on artificial flavours can be made with zero calorie content, but a naturally brewed product, such as ours, will contain some residual calories. The % of sugar in our 375ml Diet Ginger Beer, as stated on the label, is 1.2% or 1.2gms/100mls which equals approximately 4.5gms/375ml bottle.
  • Mark H OliverMarch 31, 2019, 6:41 amIs there any alcohol at all? I brew beer and ginger beer and I expect with the latter the amount of sugar at the start and with the short primary brewing stage alcohol would be pretty low (<1% ) but not totally absent. I do get it that you actively stop the fermentation for a shelf safe product!
    • Bundaberg Brewed DrinksJuly 16, 2020, 12:10 pmAll Bundaberg Brewed Drinks including the famous ginger beer are naturally brewed. As such the products contain minute residual traces of alcohol. Our manufacturing process uses natural yeast which feed on sugars and ferments the ‘brew’ to be used as a base for our beverages. Alcohol is a by-product of this fermentation process. Before we fill the product into bottles we heat the brew to above 70 degrees C. to kill the yeast, halt the fermentation process, and remove the alcohol. After this heating process all of our products have a residual alcohol level of less than 0.5%. It is this manufacturing process, and the natural brew component in our beverages which adds the flavour profile unique to our products.
  • Mark PhillipsDecember 28, 2019, 6:10 pmI just enjoyed a pre-mixed Canadian Club and Dry, but said to my wife that it would be far better if it were Canadian Club and Bundaberg Ginger Beer!
    • Bundaberg Brewed DrinksJuly 16, 2020, 12:18 pmThanks for thinking of Bundaberg Ginger Beer. It is extremely popular as a mixing drink in cocktails so please give a few of our cocktail recipes a go and let us know what you think. Here are a few Ginger Beer + Whiskey Cocktail Recipes that you might like to check out.