Ginger Beer vs. Ginger Ale: The Real Difference Between the Two

A few weeks ago I was really craving a Moscow Mule. Wanting to make it at home, I picked up a bottle of vodka and headed to the grocery store to grab some limes and ginger beer. However, once I got to the mixers and soda aisle, I was overwhelmed by the choices and the differences of ginger beer vs ginger ale. Would it ruin my alcoholic beverage if I opted for a bottle of Canada Dry?

Ginger Beer Vs. Ginger Ale

Are they different? Yes! Like most soft drinks, ginger ale is created using soda water and ginger flavor. On the other hand, ginger beer is created in the same process as traditional alcoholic beers by fermenting sugar, real ginger, and water. The carbonation is a byproduct of the brewing process, turning the ginger beer into a carbonated beverage. And get this, non-alcoholic ginger beer does actually contain a little bit of alcohol (less than .5 percent, think kombucha) but it is so little, the FDA regulates it as a non-alcoholic drink.

Ginger Beer Brands

Ginger beer itself originated in England, according to The Kitchn, and was brewed with a starter culture called the ginger beer plant. Not really a plant, this group of grains was the base of ginger beer. Today however most commercial ginger beers are fermented with champagne yeast.

Looking to grab a bottle of ginger beer? Here are some of our favorites to mix into your next Dark n' Stormy cocktail.

Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Beer

Reed's Extra Ginger Brew Ginger Beer


Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Barritt's Original Ginger Beer

Ginger Ale Brands

There's nothing that calms a stomach ache like ginger ale! Made popular in Canada in the early 1900s, ginger ale is basically soda water flavored with ginger root. The fizzy non-alcoholic beverage is a perfect drink by itself or as a mixer with tequila.

Vernor's Ginger Ale

Seagram's Ginger Ale

Schweppes Ginger Ale

Who wins in Ginger ale vs. ginger beer? That's for you to decide.

Our Favorite Ginger Beer and Ginger Ale Recipe

Use either ginger beer or ginger ale in this sweet treat.

Get the recipe here.

Watch: 10 Whiskey Drinks to Make at Home Because It Simply Makes Life Better