A tasty carbonated beverage that is made with elements that are common to the production of both beer and non-alcoholic beer substitutes, ginger beer includes the ingredient of fresh ginger juice to achieve a taste that is both invigorating and pleasant. This beverage can be produced fresh using home beer kits as well as purchased in commercial packaging. Formulated differently from ginger ale, ginger beer has a more robust taste and may include fermentation as part of the brewing process.
The defining ingredient in ginger beer is the fresh ginger juice that helps to give the carbonated drink a unique flavor and bouquet. Often, the basic recipe for making it will include the use of barley or other grains that are allowed to age in liquid over a period of time, employing a process that is very much like the production of any type of beer. Some recipes call for the addition of the concentrated ginger juice early in the process, while other manufacturers prefer to add the ingredient just before fermentation begins to take place.
Ginger beer is generally available in both fermented and non-fermented versions. Most versions will have a darker color than is found with most soft-drink style ginger ale, as well as a more pronounced taste and scent of ginger root in the concoction. While some fans of the drink prefer to enjoy the beverage at room temperature, it is not uncommon for ginger beer to be chilled and served in a tall frosty glass or mug.
Home kits for making this beverage have become more common in recent years. Requiring the same equipment that is used in home brewing, it is now possible to purchase kits for making ginger beer in many specialty stores, as well as online outlets. One advantage of home brewing is that the producer can adjust the amount of ginger juice used in the recipe to suit his or her personal tastes.