I’m not a big ginger fan. I occasionally drink ginger ale. I don’t like ginger cookies of any sort. The only ginger I really care for is the pickled stuff you get with sushi.
Long story short, there’s no reason to think I’d enjoy a ginger beer, alcoholic or not. But that was before Crabbie’s Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer. I would never have tried it, but I was at an Old Town bar with a buddy who ordered and loved it. He offered me a sip and before I knew it, I was ordering my own. That night, I was in a grocery store where they happened to have it, so I bought a four-pack. And I’m enjoying one as I write this. Here are the details.
As you’d expect, ginger is the predominant flavor. It’s spicy and sweet, but not too sweet. Very smooth, with just enough carbonation so that you feel the bubbles on your tongue as you drink. And if you couldn’t read the label, you’d never know there was alcohol in it as there’s not an alcoholic note to be found.
According to the bottle, Crabbie’s clocks in at a wonderfully sessionable 4.8% ABV and an IBU count of … wait for it … zero.
How to drink it
There’s no real “right” way to drink this stuff, except that it needs to be nice and cold. The first time I had it, it was poured from the bottle into a nondescript pint glass. But it can also be served over ice or straight from the bottle (as I’m drinking it right now). The label on the bottle suggests serving it with a slice of line or lemon. No matter what, it does need to be cold to make sure the flavors stay crisp and refreshing.
This one’s a bit pricey. At the bar, it was about $7 for an 11.2 ounce serving. At the grocery store, I got a four-pack for $9.99 and Binny’s lists the same price.
Metasip grade: A-
This is a wonderful warm-weather beer, perfect for sitting on a patio or in a park. It’s light enough and has a low enough ABV that you can drink a few of them without being hammer drunk or feeling bloated. With summer approaching, I suspect I’ll be enjoying more than a few of these in the coming weeks.
Editor’s Note: Thanks to http://www.crabbiesgingerbeer.co.uk/ for the photo.