Trader Joe’s Brewed Ginger BeerPosted: May 21, 2015 Filed under: Trader Joe's Brand | Tags: 4 stars, Drinks, ginger, ginger ale, ginger beer, Trader Joe's 9 Comments
There’re ginger ales, then there’re ginger beers, and then there’s this. Trader Joe’s Ginger Brew is an intense, carbonated ginger drink unlike anything else I’ve ever had – and I’ve drunk a liter of Trader Joe’s Triple Ginger Brew.
There are a lot of types of ginger drinks in the world – ginger ale, ginger beer, this stuff, each one offering its own take on the complex, nuanced spice of ginger. Growing up on the ubiquitous Royal Canadian brand of ginger ale, I remember being absolutely gobsmacked the first time I tried a bottle of Reed’s Jamaican Style Ginger Beer. Never had I suspected that ginger soda could be so intense – never had I dreamed that someone would dare!
Since then I’ve warmed up to the idea of extremely gingery soda. Not a beverage you enjoy so much as explore – a sippin’ drink. The whiskey of the soda world. But even I was taken aback by Trader Joe’s Brewed Ginger Beer – a real ass kicker of a ginger soda that doesn’t let you off the hook just because you wanted to drink something sweet.
TJ’s Brewed Ginger Beer has the same intense ginger flavor of the seasonal Triple Ginger Brew, but adds in a mixture of lemon and lime, as well as a proprietary mix of natural flavorings and extracts – additions that are quite visible in the sediment that settles onto the bottom of the bottle. Not that you’ll be able to pick these flavors out from behind the fierce wall of extra ginger gingeriness that blasts you in the mouth.
However, it’s not just the ginger that makes this drink so unique, it’s the bitterness. Lurking behind the first blush of sweetness and the sharp slap of ginger there is a hard, bitter burn – like a hint of tonic water. That shocker is what sets this brewed ginger beer apart from other’s of it’s ilk. Of course bitterness isn’t necessarily a bad thing – in fact, in this case I actually think it’s a nice touch, adding an extra dimension to the already complex play of flavors without being unpleasant to drink..
Trader Joe’s Brewed Ginger Beer certainly feels like a manly ginger ale, earning the bold nautical imagery TJ’s throws on the label. It’s so manly, in fact, that I can’t help but think about using it as a mixer in alcoholic drinks. Any ginger soda will work for your Dark and Stormy (dark rum and ginger ale), Moscow Mule (vodka and ginger ale) Horsefeather (whiskey and ginger ale) or Ginger Shandy (beer and ginger ale), however Trader Joe’s Brewed Ginger Beer’s complexity and not-too-sweet delivery is a natural choice for adding extra depth to your drink.
This may not be the most quaffable ginger soda in the world, but if you’re looking for a good ginger beer to savor, or an high-class mixer for your cocktails, it’s tailor made for you.
Would I Recommend It: To certain refined palettes, I wouldn’t hesitate.
Would I Buy It Again: Yeah, along with some more dark rum.
Final Synopsis: A strong, slightly bitter ginger beer with a lot of complexity.
Ooo I am so glad you reviewed this! I am on the search for something that resembles the ginger beer that I drank in East Africa – Stoney Tangawezi. You can’t get it here in the states and it was SO much stronger and less sweet than anything I have found here. Going to give this a try!
I’m glad it got a really good review, and that it’s not a duplicate Reed’s Ginger Beer! Don’t get me wrong, I love Reed’s Ginger Beer, but no need for another one. So I’ll definitely be picking this up on my next TJ’s shop trip!
I’m have to disagree- the bitterness is just w bit too strong in this one. It’s a good kind of soda, to be sure (my favorite, actually) but the quinine levels of bitterness here actually wash out the other flavors. This is even worse when you add in alcohol (for example, the delightful dark&stormy).
It is not without it’s merits, but some (in my opinion) superior contenders might be Maine Root Ginger Beer, Cock and Bull, or even Bundaberg. Of course, these might not be available in your local grocery, so I’m glad trader Joe’s has brought this to their lineup. Even if I wish they’d used a slightly different recipe.
I am drinking this right now. First time. It is stronger than the Reeds Extra Ginger Brew IMO. I need super strong ginger for when I get nausea with migraine headaches. TJ’s is so far the strongest I’ve been able to find, and the four-pack is $1 cheaper than the Reed’s at the regular grocery store in my area, so win on two levels. I will be going back to stock up.
This one leaves a burn in the back of my throat while the Reeds does not.
I have to disagree, IMHO, Reed’s Extra Ginger Brew has a stronger ginger flavor. I find the T.J.’s brand a bit l “lemony” and not so much “gingery”.
Where is Trader Joe’s Ginger Beer Brew made? I find it curious that many of the product’s “place of origin” is missing.
You are so correct! I tried some at my friends house, recently, &oh man, was it good! I was so pleasantly surprised, my head involuntarily went back after a sip and I exclaimed oh, my! …is THAT GOOD!!
I HAVE! to have more – of THAT STUFF! ! It was the exact thing, the Trader Joe’s brand with the anchor, in the green bottle. WOW! Awesome way to get your ginger on! 😉
I’m addicted to TJ’s Brewed Ginger Beer. It is a nice non-alcoholic treat that is so refreshing. I love ginger and this stuff has it. I have NOT been able to find any other market selling anything that is comparable. There are actual little (very small) chunks of ginger in this drink; but they aren’t too small because you can see them with your naked eye. Drinking from the bottle, most of the bits settle to the bottom…but quickly resurface with every sparkling sip, as they are small and light. But, you hardly notice you are swallowing them until you get to the end of the bottle and then it’s just a welcome surprise and treat. The taste is hard to explain to a non-ginger lover (a person like me who shaves raw ginger regularly into stir frys, salads, seafoods-you name it)…but, it’s packed with ginger flavor, sometimes gives you a slight bit of heat, then follows with the sparkle and refreshing taste of ginger…PURE BLISS! Best served ICE COLD.
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