Is Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer the Same? (Find Out Now!)

Ginger ale and ginger beer are both popular beverages worldwide. But just because two products look, smell, and taste similar doesn’t always mean they are. This has many people wondering,

Is ginger ale and ginger beer the same?

The short answer is no; ginger ale and ginger beer are not. They have a few similarities, but these two are different drinks in many ways. Ginger ale is more of a soft drink, while ginger beer is much bolder.

Aside from where you might find them in the grocery store aisle, a few things separate these two products. Ready to find out what they are?

What is Ginger Ale?

Ginger ale is often identified as a soft drink or a soda pop. This is often flavored with artificial flavoring, although some brands use natural.

To produce ginger ale, you add ginger syrup to highly carbonated water. Sugar is also added to the mix, ALOT of sugar. This is to reduce the zingy flavor of the typically spicy ginger. Some ginger ale brands will also add other syrups, spices, and flavoring.

What is Ginger Beer?

Creating ginger beer is more complicated than ginger ale. Ginger beer comes from fermenting ginger and sugar in water.

Ginger beer is the eldest of the two drinks. It was used as an alcoholic beverage in England around the eighteenth century. With 11% Alcohol content, this product was an actual beer and a popular one.

Today, there is much less alcohol content in most ginger beers. But this mix is still a staple for mixed drinks or “mocktails.”

Unlike its soft drink counterpart, ginger beer is bold, spicy, and can pack a punch.

The Key Difference Between Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer

So, now you know how each product is made. How do you differentiate the two before heading to the store?

Let’s break the similarities and differences between them down.

The Creation of Two Popular Ginger Drinks

You make these two products much differently. Take a look at the distinct difference in the production method.

  • Ginger Ale is more of a soft drink than an alcoholic beverage. You can make it by mixing sugar and ginger syrup in soda water.
  • Ginger Beer is made for adult beverages. This product comes from fermenting sugar and ginger in water.

Each Has a Unique Flavor Profile

Both products have most of the same ingredients but are processed differently. This is what gives them unique flavor profiles.

  • Ginger Ale is a common soda or soft drink that is sweet with a slight tang. This product is more syrupy than its counterpart.
  • Ginger Beer has a bold ginger flavor with an intense taste spicier than ale. It is also more aromatic, with a strong, spicy ginger smell.

One Contains Alcohol; The Other Does Not.

Both of these drinks come from combining ginger, sugar, and water. Yet, one of the products still has a slight alcohol content today.

  • Ginger Ale is made with flavoring and a lot of sugar. There is no alcohol in the soda whatsoever.
  • Ginger Beer isn’t the adult beverage it once was, yet it does have a small percentage, around 0.5, to be exact.

What Fun Things Can You Do With Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer in Mixed Drinks?

You can drink both beverages on their own, but what fun is that? Each of these drinks makes a fantastic addition to other mixes whether you are looking for a fun night out with friends and hoping to enjoy an alcoholic treat, or mixing up something a little more family-friendly.

Here are a few recipes we enjoy and think you will too.

Ginger Ale Drinks to Try

Grab some of your favorite ingredients and splash ginger ale into your cup. If you are new to the mixed drink game, here are some great recipes.

  • Holiday Fruit Punch (Non-Alcoholic) – White grape juice, ginger ale, and cranberry juice
  • Raspberry Refreshers (Non-Alcoholic)- Giner ale, fresh raspberries, sugar, cider vinegar, ice-cold water.
  • Whiskey Ginger (Alcoholic)- Whisky, ginger ale.

Ginger Beer Drinks to Try

Want something with a much bolder flavor? Here are some fantastic mixed drinks using ginger beer. These aren’t as sweet as the ones above; some pack quite the punch.

  • Black Ginger Cocktail (Alcoholic)- spiced rum, sweet and sour mix, ginger beer, and ice.
  • Sparkling Ginger Mocktail- Ginger beer, sugar, orange zest, unsweetened cranberry juice.
  • Ginger Beer Lemonade- Lemon juice, white sugar, water, lemons, and ginger beer.

Delicious Food Recipes You Can Make With Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer

Ginger ale and ginger beer are not only great for mixing drinks. You can also use these ingredients to create delicious dishes.

Ginger Ale Recipes to Try

Check out these sweet and savory dishes that require a cup (or two) of ginger ale.

  • Glazed Carrots– baby carrots, salt, butter, and ginger ale.
  • Brown Sugar and Honey Glazed Ham- Ham, ginger ale, honey, cloves, brown mustard, apple cider vinegar.
  • Apple Cinnamon Bread- (Bread)Eggs, milk, rum extract, salt, brown sugar, raisins, apple pie filling, apple cinnamon oatmeal. (Sauce) ginger ale, whipped topping, rum extract, salt.

Ginger Beer Recipes to Try

Here are some fantastic dishes that require a touch of ginger beer.

  • Ginger Beer Chicken- Chicken (thighs and drumsticks with bones and skin), ground ginger, ginger beer, ground allspice, ketchup, honey, soy sauce, star anise, and a slice of fresh ginger.
  • Ginger Beer and Tangerine Glazed Ham- Ginger beer, onion, mustard, cloves, tangerines, star anise, ham.
  • Ginger and Pear Muffins– Ginger beer, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, sugar, egg, milk, pears, honey, butter, hazelnuts, and sunflower seeds.

Are Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer Good For You?

Ginger is a well-known spice in the natural remedies world. In its natural form, this herbal ingredient is associated with gut health.

That said, it is important to mention that ginger ale and ginger beer contain added sugar. Yet, these additional calories are only enough to cause concern if consumed in high amounts often.

So, What are the Health Benefits of Ginger Ale and Ginger Beer?

Aside from being a delicious flavoring in your favorite mixed drinks, ginger root also has health benefits. Here are some of the most well known often thought of when discussing this spice.

  • Stomach Bug Relief- Ginger is a natural aid in digestion. It can help calm an upset stomach when ill or pregnant. It can also alleviate discomfort due to indigestion or acid reflux.
  • Aids in weight loss- This natural ingredient has positive effects in assisting in weight loss and battling obesity.
  • Helps with Joint Pain- The ani-inflammatory components in ginger are helpful with joint pain and arthritis.
  • Lower blood sugar (Aids in improving heart disease)- Ginger can significantly lower blood sugar. This helps with lower diabetes risk or improving diabetic disease. It also reduces “oxidative stress,” which can assist in lowering heart disease risk.
  • Can Help Lowering Cholesterol Levels- Ginger can reduce LDL or bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood.

You can’t argue with science. Ginger ale and beer are drinks with plenty of benefits.


Final Thoughts

So, are ginger ale and ginger beer the same thing? The answer is no; they are not. Ginger ale is a sweet drink made with sugar and syrup. Ginger beer is spicy and bold, coming from fermented ginger, sugar, and water.

Even though these two products are not one of a kind, it doesn’t mean they are opposites. Use the article above to help you decide which ingredient is best for your next recipe. Each option has its benefits, for sure.

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